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Unassisted breech birth? - Page 2

post #21 of 36
of course it is possible to birth a breech safely unassisted. the majority of breeches come out fine. sometimes, however, there ARE major complications which can in most cases be righted by a pair of knowledgeable hands. if i had a breech, i would find a good, knowledgeable midwife to attend me.
post #22 of 36
I think part of the problem is there don't seem to be that many good knowledgeable midwives(in regards to breech birth). Many are too scared to attend a breech birth and they transfer care in the case of a breech. And some of those who ARE willing to attend a breech in reality just haven't seen that many. I think it's a misconception that there are lots of midwives walking around out there who have tons of experience with attending breech births. So I don't think it's as easy as just finding someone, yk?

~Kat
post #23 of 36
I think to answer this question for yourself, you should address the major concerns of a breech birth. For me, the major concern would be that I would push out the feet, legs, and torso, but baby would get stuck at the shoulders or head. On another forum, a midwife told us that that scenario is very unlikely in a full-term birth, although it may happen in a preemie birth, when the hips are still much smaller. She said that if you are dilated enough to push the hips out, the rest will usually come out just fine. The key is to wait until your body is pushing on its own. That to me was a huge relief, and now I am at peace if my next one (in about 10 weeks +/-) were to turn breech at home. I'm also o.k. with transferring if we were to discover during the pushing stage that one leg is up and the other down, or baby engaged at the shoulder, etc. That is what hospitals and c-sections are for--to save lives.

Anyhow, that's just an example. Do some searches on the unassisted birth websites. Get educated on the potential risks of birthing a baby breech and then prepare yourself. Most of the fear is of the unknown. Knowledge can help so much. My dh doesn't read what I ask him to, so I print off stuff and read it to him throughout the pregnancy, and before I know it, he's repeating things to me that he thinks are his own ideas. :-)

HTH some,
Michelle in TX
post #24 of 36
I would birth a breech baby unassisted, or if I were in the Vancouver area I might hire an experienced, hands off birth attendant like Gloria Lemay to be with me. I would not plan a hospital birth, because they would not 'allow' a vaginal birth and I don't think I could stand up to them during the birth process.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
I think part of the problem is there don't seem to be that many good knowledgeable midwives(in regards to breech birth). Many are too scared to attend a breech birth and they transfer care in the case of a breech. And some of those who ARE willing to attend a breech in reality just haven't seen that many. I think it's a misconception that there are lots of midwives walking around out there who have tons of experience with attending breech births. So I don't think it's as easy as just finding someone, yk?

~Kat
: If I could have found a hb/mw to attend a breech birth, I might have done that. It took me 18 months to find a hb/mw who would travel to our area who wasn't a flake. She was super-medical and we clashed over LOTS of stuff. The dealbreaker, though, was that she won't attend breech deliveries. We couldn't justify paying $2000 for someone who might not even agree to attend us at home, and we wouldn't know until labor if we were paying for a hb/mw or a really, really expensive "doula" for a c/s-for-breech.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark View Post
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.
I tried to follow that link and my work browser blocked it as "sex and erotica". : So I googled freebirth and tried to go to some of the sites that came up... same thing. Why on earth....

Now I'm afraid I'll get THAT email from the internet watchdogs here.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajahkat View Post
I think part of the problem is there don't seem to be that many good knowledgeable midwives(in regards to breech birth). Many are too scared to attend a breech birth and they transfer care in the case of a breech. And some of those who ARE willing to attend a breech in reality just haven't seen that many. I think it's a misconception that there are lots of midwives walking around out there who have tons of experience with attending breech births. So I don't think it's as easy as just finding someone, yk?

~Kat
It all depends on where you are. There's the Farm (that's where I went). Even for people who are far away from Tennessee, if they want to they can come down before labor starts and stay in the nice little houses. There was a lady from Florida waiting for her breech baby while I was there. And when I was looking around there was a midwife in north Georgia who had attended 11 or so breech births (not as experienced as Ina May with her 82 or so breech births counting me, but still not too bad). So, I know from experience how difficult it can be to find someone, but with help and Finding Your Tribe, odds are pretty good.

And I still think the forest is probably a safer option than the hospitals around here would be.
post #28 of 36
I highly recommend Laura Shanley's site as another resource for info and stories I'm pretty sure one of her sons was a breech presentation.
post #29 of 36
If I knew I was having a breech baby, there's no way I'd set foot in a hospital! Nor would I allow any midwives or anybody else around me unless she was 100% comfortable with vaginal breech birth- I'd rather be alone and trust my body than have anybody around who might mess things up (or threaten to cut me open.)

Fortunately, I've never had to make that decision, as all of my babies were head-down at the end of pg.
post #30 of 36
My UBAC was footling breech. This was a surprise since the night before she was head down. Yes, she turned at the last minute, and turned the wrong way. Go figure.

I wouldn't go COMPLETELY unassisted with a breech baby (well, honestly I wouldn't no matter what); I would want at least my husband or a friend or someone who was prepared to help me deal with any complications. With Sinead (my footling breech baby) we had to literally reach in and pull her out. She was hopelessly stuck. I simply don't think I could physically reach to do that myself.

When I have told this story before, some people have asked me what I mean by "stuck." Maybe this is very uncommon, I don't know. My contractions had completely ceased. I had no more urge to push -- I was pushing anyway, but it was doing no good. Yet she was still head and shoulders inside, with her legs and lower torso dangling out. She had to be manually extracted by literally reaching in, carefully turning her, and pulling her out. She ended up being ok, but like I said, I would be physically incapable of doing it myself.

So I do think you need at least one other person around. But do you need a c-section? Not in my opinion.
post #31 of 36
Personally, I would have a breech uc. Dr's and mw's don't seem to have as much experience in these situations anymore. I think everyone's comfort level is different too.
post #32 of 36
I'd personally want to UC a breech than have any manner of attendant with me. I feel that if a baby remains breech, there is a good reason for it, that we may never understand.

I would never attempt an EV, it sounds downright brutal to mom and baby IMO, and even OBs know there are risks associated with it.

Even the spinning babies website rubs me the wrong way :

I do like the website for the technical explanations/drawings though.

I love love love http://www.breechbabies.com/

Quote:
But the thing is that those policies are not based on science.

-Angela
Yes, they are based on fear of the unknown b/c well, we as birthing women have allowed it to become unknown! Just a select few of us (compared to the whole rest of western society) are clinging to the knowledge, the truth of breech (or anything else) in the hopes that it will be passed down and survive and (in my daydream world) thrive.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
I would never attempt an EV, it sounds downright brutal to mom and baby IMO, and even OBs know there are risks associated with it.

Even the spinning babies website rubs me the wrong way
Jesse ~ I agree with you on this. During my entire pregnancy my daughter was in the breech position (up until just before labor began) and I really had to face this common perception that many have that you just HAVE to do something about it! Docs, midwives, mothers....everyone I read about or spoke to had this amazing and passionate belief that you've just got to do EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER to change the baby's position. I found this unsettling at best, and downright scary at worst.

What I came to in my own journey was that I personally saw nothing harmful in keeping my body healthy with yoga and good postures, but that purposely and actively trying to force my baby into another position felt wrong. The thought of doing something like that felt violating. And it felt as though it didn't honor the sacred environment my baby was sheltered in. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's how I felt.
post #34 of 36
I would absolutely still UC if my baby was breech. For me I would consult with an experienced person of knowledge, for most that would be a good midwife, and ask that in the event of any complications may I call upon them for assistance. Fortunately for me, I have a person that I would trust to do such. Although, if there was no one trusted to consult with, I would still UC unless my instincts told me otherwise.

I was frank breech, and my mother's OB turned me after I was descended into the birth canal, wrapped my cord around my throat, almost sent her for an emergency C since my heart rate was decelerating due to the cord, and ultimately butchered her and used forceps and a vacuum to extract me. It took her almost 6 mo to heal, and years to not have pain. 22 years later my mother still has nightmares. I don't have much faith in most OB's I would have been a perfect breech delivery, with little to no trauma.....
post #35 of 36
I have thought of this question a lot too. My first baby was breech, born vaginally in a hospital, naturally with no complications. My next three babies were born at home with a midwife, headfirst. My first OB encouraged me to try vaginally, and was very supportive. I don't know what I would have done if one of the others were presenting breech, because I've never heard of anyone else who would encourage or even "allow" a vaginal breech birth. I think our Ontario midwives are required to transfer care of their patients to an OB with a breech birth.

So I've thought often that I would probaby try to have the baby unassisted at home, while trusting that my instincts would let me know if I did need some extra assistance or if something felt wrong. We weren't living very close to hospitals for our home births, so if my baby was breech, I would probably try to find a place closer to a hospital to birth my baby.

But I do believe in a woman's body to naturally give birth successfully to breech babies...I did!
post #36 of 36
I gave birth to my first child at home unassisted and the baby was breech. I would like you to know that I knew the baby was breech when I chose to birth unassisted. It was not a surprise breech. I realize that this was an unusual choice in that I had an "untried pelvis" and I am petite. The doctor noted on my records that my pelvic measurements where inadequate to boot(so this measurement is a guideline for what seems to be adequate not what is in fact adequate). As well, finding an attendant who has experience in vaginal breech birth is difficult and they generally are not hands off enough. My mother gave birth to a breech baby in a hospital in a rather traumatic birth experience that entailed a length recovery.
The attendant should never touch the baby or mother, especially during a breech delivery, unless the baby needs to be broken down or the head has not delivered and the infant is deprived of oxygen for too long. But, an attendant is a risk factor in that they often jump the gun and pull on the baby or intervene with damaging results. Most attendants can't keep their hands off, even well meaning midwives/doctors. And it is hard for an attendant to sit on their hands in a situation like this. The risk of birth injury during a breech birth is much greater and is as Dr. White said, " At the hands of their would be rescuer."
An attended breech birth carries risks, as does a c/s. I you are properly prepared, able to remain calm during the birth, the infant is full term, and the head measurements(if known by u/s) are normal, I would not do it any other way, but UC.
I do think that you should read up on breech birth. Do not let anyone touch you or the infant(unless absolutely necessary and make a calm decision here not a rash one fueled by fear), and know the time constraints for delivery of the head once the umbilicus is birthed(but again do not let this dictate hasty action without due cause). And this is a big one IMO and difficult since breech birth often is accompanied by unusually uncomfortable back labor(worse than my posterior baby even), do not push with your contractions(to the best of your ability). This allows the cervix time to fully dilate before the presenting part(butt or feet) enter the birth canal. I only gave one push to birth the baby's head and only after DH tried to gently apply pressure to my perineum to "unhook" the baby's head(the chin was resting on the perineal skin). If you are want you can pm me for more info. Also, I had my next child sitting breech up until just before I started pushing. The baby chose an uncomfortable time to turn with contractions coming so close, but again that is a possibility. I assumed after that(and midwife friends have said as much to me) that sitting upright in my pelvis is simply more comfortable for the baby.
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