Homebirth a breech baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 08-20-2004, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

This is my first post here--I felt the need for a good forum after finding out my baby is currently breech (I'm 32 weeks).

Our current plan is for a homebirth. We have a wonderful midwife. This is my second baby--Julia, my first, was born completely naturally in water at a birthing center here in Austin. Our plans are for something similar, only here at home rather than at a birthing center.

However, my baby is breech. Another midwife in town recently had a first-time mom who's baby was breech, and she ended up having a c-section because no experienced support could be found (perhaps because it was her first baby?). Neither my midwife, nor her regular support midwife, have any breech-birth experience, and I'm worried that no one else in the area will be willing (or able) to work with me either.

I really, really do not want a c-section, and I'm a little freaked out at the moment--I'm considering taking steps which are probably all together too extreme, like going to The Farm in Tennessee to give birth. I hope there is a natural, simpler, closer to home option for me.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Does anyone (I know this is rather a long-shot) know of a Dr. or midwife in the greater Austin area (or DFW even?) who is experienced with natural breech births?

I would also love to hear from other moms who had breech babies--who ended up giving birth either as a c-section or naturally. (BTW, I am also doing extensive research on how to turn a baby, and will be pursuing those options fully. I'm just nervous that they won't work, and I want to be prepared for the possibility that I go into labor with a breech baby.)

Thank you for your reponses.
Karen
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#2 of 41 Old 08-20-2004, 08:35 PM
 
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I think the odds are highly in your favor that your baby will be head down by your due date. It's not uncommon at all to have a 32 weeker breech.


(that probably doesn't help when you want to plan for what *might* happen, huh?)
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#3 of 41 Old 08-22-2004, 12:04 PM
 
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You still have plenty of time for baby to turn. www.breechbabies.com has been the best online resource for me. www.unassistedchildbirth.com has some great uc breech birth stories as well. I am 38w2d with a frank breech baby. We are planning a homebirth. If your baby continues breech and you are planning a homebirth be prepared for a LOT of negativity from family/friends. We weren't planning to tell anyone we were continuing our homebirth plans with a breech but the family grapevine has amazing hearing! One plus I have found with carrying a breech baby is it is my most comfortable pregnancy ever!! No bladder pressure, no debilitating sciatic pain, dh says I don't even walk like a pg lady!!

Best wishes!!
Sarahb
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#4 of 41 Old 08-22-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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I have had the breech conversation with my midwife. She has delivered breech, once. She's willing to do whatever we need to do to turn the baby, and says that if the baby is frank breech, the pressure on the cervix is almost the same as if they're head down, so you do dilate, and it is possible. However, some of the other breech positions you don't get good dilation, etc etc.
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#5 of 41 Old 08-22-2004, 01:40 PM
 
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My second baby was breech. I did end up having a c-section after trying to turn her twice, hanging upside down, homeopathic pills..you name it I tried it. She was complete breech and her head was not tucked with her chin to her chest (it was straight up). There was one doctor who would consider delivering breech and she would not do it with her in that position. I will be having my second VBAC in March.
My daughter didn't budge from about 27 weeks on! She squirmed of course, but never moved her head (right under my ribs...ouch!).
Hang in there. I certainly feel for you. I remember the feeling of just having no control. It was hard. I definitely would recommend the versions though!
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#6 of 41 Old 08-22-2004, 06:51 PM
 
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i dont know if you have tried this method yet but i read a very interesting article in motherings july-aug mag. the article i am talking about is the one on mixibustion i think that is what it was called. the women who had it preformed seemed to be very happy with the results and it resulted in a head down baby within a few days if i rember right. i think that you generally have to call a acupuncturist to have this procedure done. anyways goodluck
Jessica
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#7 of 41 Old 08-23-2004, 10:27 AM
 
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Hi, Karen! I'm glad you're getting good advice!

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#8 of 41 Old 08-23-2004, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to those who have shared their stories. It is good for me to hear about others who have gone through/are going through similar experiences.

Particularly, it's nice to hear what I've been feeling said out loud--without control. Since reading that, I've realized I think a lot of my feelings surrounding this breech baby of mine are that it's not expected, and ultimately, it's not something I have control over. And that's scary. So I've decided to re-focus my mama-energies where they belong: remembering that this parenting thing isn't about me, and therefore it isn't about me being in control. I try (and think I succeed) in remembering that with Julia, and perhaps being breech is this baby's way of reminding me to release my (false) sense of control with her/him too.

I'm feeling more at peace now. Thanks again. I would still love to hear more stories of breech babies if there are more mamas and papas out there willing to share.

Karen

BTW, JuliaCat, you're a trip. Ease back on the icons, girl.
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#9 of 41 Old 08-24-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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I will certainly be praying for you that your baby turns. When I was breech at 36 weeks they were talking about c-sections in childbirth class and how no one plans on having a c-section and I thought "well that is nice for the poor soul that is going to have one because it certainly won't be me!" Looking back I wouldn't have done anything different. I think I made the safest decision for OUR situation. No two are exactly alike
I will say my daughter is spunky, stubborn, and appears to be a lefty. Very interesting! Keep us posted.
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#10 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 12:02 AM
 
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PLEASE consider finding a chiropractor who is familiar with the Webster Technique! It is a very gentle and effective approach to helping babies turn vertex (head down). A good resource is www.icpa4kids.org, or www.subluxation.com to find great chiropractors who are familiar with this technique. I studied under Dr. Webster and have found this to be 75% effective in my office! Good luck!
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#11 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 12:50 AM
 
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bs"d

If I had a breech baby and felt I wanted a birth attendant, I *would* go to the Farm. It is close to impossible to find a birth attendant who will attend a breech birth these days. I hope your baby turns :, but the farm or UC sounds better than a c-section. Make a vacation of it if need be, lol.
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#12 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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Hopefully your baby will turn, keep trying all the things others have said, chiro webster technique, accupressure, moxibustion, exercises, in pool handstand, hypno. At least you got sometime on your side. Get the Mothering mag that just had an article on it. Ask your midwife if she knows of dr who will do a version or call hospital based midwifes that work with dr who would know dr who might do the version or breech vag. if baby doesn't turn. In my situation I was planning a homebirth (4thbaby) and baby turned breech within a few days of my due date. My nurse midewife isn't allowed to do them so I found a hospital based midwife who works with a dr who did versions and would let me do vag breech if baby didn't turn the only catch....I had to stay her patient and deliver in hospital though she did let me go into labor naturally even though I was 2wks past due date. The reason I had to stay her patient and not go back to my midwife even though version did turn the baby---her malpractice insurance, even though she would want me to use my midwife. Also, if you do go the hospital route make sure to have a doula and birth plan. Was your first baby a homebirth or hospital birth? It was so hard for me to have the birth I wanted in the hospital thinking and worrying and fighting the staff. Next time I might just go to a lay midwife who was willing to do breech or the Farm if I had the money. I wish you the best. Let us know how it goes as you get farther along.

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#13 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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You might find you have difficulty finding an OB trained in breech delivery. There just isn't as much training for this procedure anymore in the residency for obstetrics. They do get quite a bit of training in c/s.

Injuries to the fetus in a breech delivery are much more common than in a vaginal delivery. Entrapment of the head, nerve damage, organ injury, spinal cord injuries, fractures, hypoxia are all very real risks. William's Obstetrics quotes a study of 1016 breech deliveries where the overall mortality rate was 25 percent for breech births and 2.6 percent for nonbreech deliveries. This was for all births including preterm but when that is controlled, there is still a two-fold increased risk for the infant delivered as a breech compared with the overall population.

When OB's (or rather their malpractice insurance carriers) read the studies that come out in their medical journals and read the recommendations from ACOG (their advisory group) they aren't willing to do the breech vaginal delivery. They aren't willing to risk getting a lawsuit over something that they know can cause defects in babies. They get sued enough over things that were not their fault. This leads to higher malpractice rates so they either charge patients more or get out of the business. (Hence why there are women who have to drive more than 3 hours to find someone who will deliver their baby either vaginally or c/s.)

The OB's aren't willing to accept those risks.

I looked into all of this last March when my DD turned from vertex to breech at 35 weeks. She turned on her own by the time of our next appointment at 36 weeks. I got into a knee-chest position for 15 minutes twice a day. I tried the "Lay on an ironing board, head down, while on the stairs." Please don't attempt this as I thought it was quite dangerous to be positioned that way. It's a fall risk.

My SIL's baby was a footling breech so she didn't have an option for a version. She didn't think the c/s was that bad especially that afternoon she was holding her beautiful son. He was here and does it really matter how exactly he got here?

McLisa

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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#14 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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A good read on this is The Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and another book by her can't think of the name now. It has an excellent chapter on breech.

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I'm getting sick of this world, I may need to live on a commune some where! I miss nursing!!!
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#15 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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I have a couple "cyber buddies" who had vag. breech birth, and my mom did it too.

My brother (15 years younger than me) turned DURING LABOR from vertex to frank breech and nobody caught it until it was pushing time. Mom just pushed him out. The doctors kinda freaked though, rushed her to an OR and had an anesthesiologist come along "just in case" and all.

After that, I for one thought my mom TOTALLY ROCKED, and for another I was immune to the general paranoia about breech birth. My #4 was all over the place during the last few weeks. Head up, head down, the only time I worried was when he went transverse for a couple days. That I didn't like. He ended up turning right around the middle of week 38? He was born head first, anterior, optimal birth positioning and easy labor.

Definitely give the chiropractic and other natural turning methods a try. I wouldn't touch a hospital ECV with a ten foot pole myself. Too risky. I'd do vag breech birth unassisted at home first, but that's just me LOL!

Kathryn
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#16 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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Definitely give the chiropractic and other natural turning methods a try. I wouldn't touch a hospital ECV with a ten foot pole myself. Too risky. I'd do vag breech birth unassisted at home first, but that's just me LOL!

I seriously doubt that there is less risk between ECV and an unassisted home breech birth. Controlled studies have shown that it is risky to do a breech delivery with an experienced medical provider (who actually knows the proper delivery techniques and special forceps). It would be even more risky for mom and babe to be unassisted at home.

McLisa

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#17 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 11:06 PM
 
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Hi
My first child was breech (footling breech to be exact). Anyway back then I accepted that what the dr said was always right - I had a Cesarean. On doing some reading years later I realized that there are other options. The book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Dr C. Northrup is a good start to read up on breech birth (and lots of other things). Accupressure or bioenergetic breathing is some suggestions.
Good luck!
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#18 of 41 Old 08-25-2004, 11:14 PM
 
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My good friend had her first baby breech at home. She loves to tell the story! Their baby was bottom-down with one foot down and one foot up by the head (doing the splits, she says).

She birthed in her kitchen between two chairs, and says it was her easiest birth. She says it didn't hurt, and I have heard that said of a lot of breeches for some reason!

There are other moms my MWs have delivered breech at home, but I don't know them personally.
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#19 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

Thank you again for your stories and suggestions. I had an appointment with my midwife this evening, and am here to update anyone who's following.

Pip (our gender-neutral name for the baby, not the name we will actually use) is still breech--but twisting and turning in there for all s/he is worth. Changed positions completely a couple of times while the mw was here.

So here is what she wants me to do: take 200c of Pulsatilla twice a day for three days (no one has mentioned this yet--anyone have any experience with this remedy?) and do some inversion techniques, along with swimming if I can manage to get to a pool sans-toddler. At our next appointment, in two weeks, we'll check positioning again. If Pip is still breech, we'll have a sonogram to clear everything up. At that point we would probably do accupuncture and manual manipulation here at home with our mw and her back up. If STILL breech, we'll discuss turning options at that point.

However, if I go into labor with Pip still breech (and that's where my real fears were), my mw tells me there are three mw in the area who do frank breech births at home, and there are several drs. in the area who will do vaginal breech births in hospitals. (Ahh, one of the pleasures of living in Austin I guess. ) My mw is going to start contacting the few others in the area who do breech home births to see if any of them are willing to work with me--which she suspects they would be, particularly given that I'm a second-time mom and my first birth was unmedicated.

I will not, however, attempt an unassisted birth. I am willing to do almost anything to resist a c/s--but only if everything I am doing is considered safe. (Clearly, for a given value of "safety" since driving in a car is unsafe and having major surgery is unsafe, so the c/s would necessarily be "unsafe.") Given what she has told me of her opinions, I consider my mw to be an expert in judging the safety of a birth, and will take her advice on what is the best course of action for me and Pip.

Thanks to everyone again. I'm loving the conversation.
Karen
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#20 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 10:39 AM
 
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It sounds like you have a great plan in place. Are the doctors Clive Polon and Mikel Love? I have heard great things about them. Just out of curiousity who is your midwife? My homebirth was with Susie Terwilliger and I just attended my best friend's home birth, her midwife was Marimikel Penn.

I have heard that pulsatilla works so hopefully that will help Pip decide to stay head down.
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#21 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 10:47 AM
 
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I am so relieved that, if need be, you'll have access to doctors and midwives who will do a vaginal breech birth! I know now that you'll only have to have a C-section if you REALLY need one, and that's a big weight off my shoulders.

Good for you, sweetie! You're going to do great!

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#22 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 03:09 PM
 
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hi
it sounds like you are doing everything possible to cover your bases
it is fantastic that there are midwives in the area who will attend breech births at home
as long as one of them can attend you, i see NO reason to go to the hospital just b/c there may be an md who will let you try to deliver there

my twins were both transverse most of my pregnancy
and even when i went into labor
i got to about 8cm and then labor stalled - no presenting part to dilate me
i took a nap and then baby A presented breech
i finished dilating and pushed her out - no big deal, pushing was 6 minutes
i read as many breech birth stories as i could find while i was pregnant b/c i knew i would probably not have head down babies
look on birthstories.com
i read enough stories to feel really confident b/c i had given birth before, have a fast pushing stage, and know my midwife really well - and trust her to the end
anyway, the stories helped me a lot when most people around me are caught up in the idea that breech is automatically a reason for a csection

wish you all the best
and i think you'll do great
at least if you do end up w/ a c
you will know that you did everything possible
and hopefully will feel good about it
--and of course the baby still has plenty of time to turn

e
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#23 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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Our 4th was breech, and we didn't know better at the time when our OB said it was dangerous to deliver a breech baby. Drs are taught nowadays that breech = c-section. Most have never seen a natural breech delivery. We had a c-section and the 2 births since then have been unattended home births. When we planned our first UC, one book we read said to have a picture of a head down baby where you will see it many times a day. I know know if the visualization thing acutally helps, but it made me feel better! And, as has been said, there's plenty of time for Baby to turn.

~Laurie,
Wife to Rusty,
Momma to
hospital birthed ds 11, ds 10, dd 8,
c-section birthed dd 7, and
UC birthed dd 22 mos, and ds 10 mos.
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#24 of 41 Old 08-26-2004, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, Dr. Polon and Dr. Love are the drs in the area who do vaginal breech births at home--they're also the drs who do back-up for all the midwives in town. It's actually a pretty good deal--they work pretty exclusively with high-risk mamas (multiple births, older moms, etc.) in their practice, so pairing up with the midwives, who take all the lower-risk mamas just makes sense. (And I think, since they deal with such high-risk cases generally, the midwives probably don't send their insurance skyrocketing higher as it might with other drs. Not sure on that, though.) My midwife is Christy Tashjian, and she's just delightful. I highly recommend her.

I started taking the homeopathic remedy this morning--going to wait on the other things until tomorrow, as Robert has a bit of a tummy ache tonight and isn't up for helping me. Lots of twisting and turning in there today, but no indication of a total flip. I'll keep everyone updated. And in the mean time, keep those breech birthing stories coming! I'm loving them.

Karen
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#25 of 41 Old 08-27-2004, 03:56 AM
 
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I took Pulsatilla, but remember, my baby didn't budge for about 16 weeks! Pip sounds squirmy and that is GREAT!
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#26 of 41 Old 08-30-2004, 04:25 AM
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even as a multipara, I was told by my midwife that here, the BC college of physicians and surgeons and the BC college of midwives won't do a "vaginal breech birth" and that the standard of care was c-section.

Stupid Hannah Study. It should be BANNED!

Try moxibustion and a chiropractor.

---------------------------------

Gotta love it when your midwife steals your Mothering Mag (I told her where to get one for herself!) because it has Ina May's article on breech births!
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#27 of 41 Old 08-30-2004, 06:56 AM
 
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Denying women a natural birth for a breech has been around a long time. My mom had a breech in 1961 and had a hard time finding a doctor who would deliver vaginally. But she did. And she signed out within four hours of the birth. this was her 5th of 9 children. The rest were born at home, UC.

It was Mothers' Day!

In those days, women stayed in the hospital for a week after the birth of a baby.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#28 of 41 Old 08-30-2004, 09:48 AM
 
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Will they really come to your home?! I thought you'd have to go up to St. David's. Doesn't sound like you'll need them at all anyway!! I'm writing down your midwife's name to interview for next time. In few years.

Here's another breech home birth story, http://www.birthlove.com/free/september.html I post with the mom on another board. Edited to say that the entire article used to be free, now you have to join the site! Suffice it to say, the birth was beautiful and everyone was/is healthy.

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#29 of 41 Old 08-30-2004, 10:12 AM
 
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I had my first naturally and unmedicated. So I wanted to try the homebirth thing with my second. Well she was breech. The midwive said she would not deliver a breech if she did not turn. The backup doctor said he had delivered breeches vaginally before so I was set up for the hospital and hopefully another natural if not more difficult delivery. BTW they tried everything to turn her but Ms. Deidre was stubbborn from day one. (She is 20 years old now and has not changed one bit lol). Well on the day of labor I went in and they took an Xray to see the presentation. They knew she was breech and needed the pic to see how to deliver. Well she was a footing breech and looked like she was praying in my womb. Well you know the rest of the story and emergency C section. Poor me. I was totally unprepared for the surgery and called my mom first crying like a baby myself. Came through it OK. I tell you C sections are tough. Took me months to feel like myself again. But the end is about a healthy baby. There are no failures in birth stories IMO. We had a great nursing relationship from the get go as she was my second and I was experienced. I just put a pillow over my C section and placed her on top. I won't lie. The recovery was very painful for two weeks and I took pain pills at night or there was no sleep or relief for me. Amazingly it did not seem to affect Deidre. She got up every three hours to nurse and was not lethargic so there you go. I wish you a safe and healthy delivery.
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#30 of 41 Old 08-30-2004, 11:25 AM
 
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"William's Obstetrics quotes a study of 1016 breech deliveries where the overall mortality rate was 25 percent for breech births and 2.6 percent for nonbreech deliveries. This was for all births including preterm but when that is controlled, there is still a two-fold increased risk for the infant delivered as a breech compared with the overall population."

What were the parameters of this study, though? There have been some nutty ideas about delivering breach in the past... I have to wonder whether the majority of problems caused were iatrogenic in nature.

"He was here and does it really matter how exactly he got here?"

Not to your sister, apparently, and that's fine! But it does matter to some people. It would matter to me. There are many benefits to vaginal birth (for both mother and baby) that are lost with a c-sec. The most important thing, of course, is coming out of it with a healthy baby, but that doesn't mean that the negative parts of a birth (if there are any) shouldn't be acknowledged and grieved, you know?
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