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Unassisted breech birth?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Have you done it? Would you?

One of my biggest fears in this pregnancy is that this baby will be breech. In my province breech means automatic c-section. This terrifies me. I still have plenty of time before I need to worry but I'm worrying now.

Is it possible to safely vaginally birth a breech baby unassisted?
post #2 of 36
Yes, breech babies are born unassisted. I know there are quite a few stories over at www.freebirth.com

In Emergency Guide to childbirth, they explain breech as just a version of normal.

If you're feeling fear surrounding this, then I'd prepare yourself with the facts, so you can just let it go then.
post #3 of 36
I haven't had a breech birth, but I would. There are a couple of options for birth attendant here for vaginal breech. One is an OB in a hospital and while he is miles better than most OBs around here, he's still too medical for me. I don't know if knowing the baby was breech would cause me to hire a homebirth midwife experienced with breech or not. I'd have to be in the situation to really know. I don't think i would though.
post #4 of 36
Breech births are best left alone. "hands off the breech" is a common term.

-Angela
post #5 of 36
It's an auto c/s here, too. Mine's a long and complicated story, but basically, dd#2 was all manner of breech throughout the last tri: frank, transverse, oblique ... all over the map. We tried EVERYTHING to turn her, including 2 ecv's. The last one, at 40w4d, they left her transverse. : We decided that if she turned from transverse (either head-up or head-down), we'd go forward with our uc. With MUCH frustration, we also scheduled our c/s for 41w4d - just in case. I went into labor at 41w. It was obvious during contractions that she was straight up-and-down, so the uc was on. We didn't know until she was born whether she was vertex or breech. 10 lb vertex baby! Yay!
post #6 of 36
I would probably attempt the Webster technique, external version, anything I could and if the baby didn't turn, I would at the least hire a midwife.
post #7 of 36
I would much rather have an unassisted breech than C-section which raises risks to both mom and baby. If I suspected a breech I would probably arm myself with knowledge, but when it came down to it, I would just listen to what my body was telling me. That's never led me wrong in birth. I automatically needed to be on hands and knees for my rather broad shouldered child and was nearly standing up straight and pulling "up" on my rapid descent baby who needed to be born very quickly. I have heard many breech moms say that intuitively needed to birth squatting, which is the 'right' way to give birth to a breech.
post #8 of 36
Although I do believe that breech is a variation of normal, I also believe it has a slightly increased natural rate of complications. So it was a worry of mine too. Thankfully, all my babies were head down. I'm not sure what I would have done if one had persisted in being breech even through labor. (Sometimes they do turn even that late.)

I do know of five successful UC breech stories -- if you go to my blog at autonomousbirth.blogsome.com and have your browser find the word "breech" you'll see links to some of them.
post #9 of 36
Mama, my last baby was breech up until just a few hours before labor began. I fully intended to birth her unassisted regardless of whether she was breech or vertex.

She spent the whole pregnancy breech, then one night she turned head down. About four hours later my water broke and I went into labor. I had my big 13 pound girl an hour & a half later.
post #10 of 36
I'd have a breech UC before going anywhere near a hospital. It was an automatic c/s here when I was pregnant, too. I didn't UC, I had my breech with no trouble at the Farm (had to drive 5 hours in labor to get there, heh), but the midwives didn't need to do anything life-saving. We could have done it UC if we had wanted to (I had never really heard of UC at the time).

I've never had a vertex birth to compare it to, but my breech birth seemed pretty easy, as births go. Next time I'll give myself longer to wait for a pushing urge, so maybe I don't have to push so long, but we got there in the end.
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies everyone!

This is the one issue dh and I cannot agree on. He says "if the midwife says hospital and they say c-section that is what it is no matter what." <banging my head on a brick wall>
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
Mama, my last baby was breech up until just a few hours before labor began. I fully intended to birth her unassisted regardless of whether she was breech or vertex.

She spent the whole pregnancy breech, then one night she turned head down. About four hours later my water broke and I went into labor. I had my big 13 pound girl an hour & a half later.
I'm sure I never told you this, but your story inspired me SO much while I was pregnant with Heidi.
post #13 of 36
I would not attempt an unassisted breech birth. I am sure in most cases the baby would be ok in the end, but I believe the risk to baby is greater in breech birth, and I would not attempt it without having someone present who is skilled in dealing with complications that can occur during a breech birth and/or the option of switching to c-sec for instance in the case of a footling breech.

In the end I would think for me in that case statistics would win. The only studies I have heard about looking into socalled "high risk" homebirths such as twins and breeches have shown significantly higher mortalityrates than hospitalbirths or socalled "low-risk" homebirths. I dont have them handy but I remember in one study 3 babies died out of 80 "high-risk" homebirths and for me those odds are just not good enough. Even taking into consideration all the things that can be wrong with those studies..

But then again I live in an area where I would have the option to try for a vaginal breech birth in hospital. If forced c-section was my only other option then I am not so sure what I would do..
post #14 of 36
hmmm, for me, I just don't feel breech in a hospital is safe enough an option to consider it.

I might ask a local midwife to come, but honestly it would be more for spreading the idea that breech is a variation of normal and encouraging exposure to breech birth than believing her being there would make the birth so much safer for me or the baby.

~Kat
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_ani View Post
Thanks for your replies everyone!

This is the one issue dh and I cannot agree on. He says "if the midwife says hospital and they say c-section that is what it is no matter what." <banging my head on a brick wall>
But the thing is that those policies are not based on science.

-Angela
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
hmmm, for me, I just don't feel breech in a hospital is safe enough an option to consider it.

~Kat
I would worry about that too, but I guess that really really depends what hospital you have handy.

Been giving this alot of thought but I really wouldnt know what to do.. My conscious mind would really want me to do it in hospital but I have had the occasional breech UC fantasy too - the UC "wow-surprise-baby-is-breech-but-got-out-perfectly-fine-just-the-same" fantasy..
But knowing in advance that baby was breech I would find it really difficult to decide..
post #17 of 36
So in our current breech=csection climate, how many babies will die from surgical complications? Those are stats I would be interested in.

And how many babies died in 'high risk' home births because of interference? I know of two home birth MWs inducing at home with Cytotec, you know?
post #18 of 36
I had a c-section for a frank breech baby in March of 2003. I became sensitized to an antibody, creating a whole host of problems in my subsequent pregnancies/births. Knowing what i know now, i would absolutely UC if i had a known breech.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
I'm sure I never told you this, but your story inspired me SO much while I was pregnant with Heidi.
Thank you.

I remember thinking about it a lot while I was pregnant. It was strange - the only worry I ever felt was when I started thinking about all the hype surrounding breech birth. It never came from me internally...only outside myself. Once I figured that out, I realized that I was going to have my baby unassisted, like all the others, and it didn't matter which way she entered the world.

I think the most dangerous place to have a breech babe is in the hospital.
post #20 of 36
We had a planned HB/UC and during one big contraction one of Aayla's feet came out instead of her head. We're not sure when she flipped cuz she was head down the day before and i never felt a thing when she did. Now i was not comfortable birthing breech, so we opted for hospital transfer and in this case it was a good thing we did since one leg was up by her ear and the other was out of me, so automatic emerg. c-section. And we were okay with that.
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