moms who delivered breech vaginally... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-27-2007, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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ok, any of you out there who delivered a breech baby vaginally, and safely? i am 38 weeks with a stubborn little guy who doesn't like th upside-down position. i have done everything including ECV without any success. i have an appointment for a second opinion from another doctor in the area who will deliver a vaginal breech (my doc wants me to schedule a c-section).

what kind of questions should i ask? any tips, advice, suggestions? on what to expect? should i really be as frightened as i am by the prospect of delivering vaginally?
i read a bunch of articles online comparing vaginal to c-section for breech and i have to admit, i am not feeling as good about it as i was before. there is always that "what if?" that comes to mind. they make it sound like it rarely happens for a woman to deliver naturally, yet i feel like i have heard of quite a few who have done it.
how did you make the decision to do it? were you scared you might make the wrong decision? my greatest fear is that something will go wrong and i will never forgive myself. although, i also think that with the prospect of a c-section.
i'm hoping i will get a good gut feeling tomorrow at the appointment on whether or not to do it. thanks so much! wish me luck!
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#2 of 9 Old 11-27-2007, 11:36 PM
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I didn’t...but, in the book "Pushed" there is a whole chapter on Breech vaginal birth and the importance of having a hands off birth. I remember reading that once you feel the urge to push that you should wait as long as possible to give your body the chance to fully dilate (although you may feel pushy because the feet could be birthed but there might not be enough room for the rest of the body). The author also talks about no touching AT ALL - even wiping poop WILL make you clench up. Try wiping yourself without squeezing your vaginia, it’s not possible.

She also talks about positioning and how babies "know" what to do. Once a breech baby is born he/she will instinctively lift his knees, which causes his chin to touch his chest (try it, we still have the reflexes too) and that this is the way to birth the head. I know a lot of doctors do corkscrew moves with the baby - but given the right environment he will do it himself.

I hope you get some advice from some BTDT mamas - check out that book even if just to read the breech chapter. Good luck!!!

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#3 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 12:42 AM
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I can't say exactly what happened, as it was soooooo quick, but my ds2 was a vaginal breech birth, and by that point, the drugs had worn off. But I wanted to offer anyway. It's awesome that you've found a doc that will deliver your little one breech! There are so many others that won't.

Oh, and FWIW, my son was born fine. They panicked - didn't realize he was breech before he was actually delivered - and demanded all kinds of tests and hip x-rays and such, but he is absolutely fine. I had to ask dh for clarification - ds was folded in half, feet up by his face, and came out face up. I don't recall pushing at all. I swear, he shot out on his own.
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#4 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 02:03 AM
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My sister was a vaginal breech in the hospital in 1961. She sustained a bruise on the right side of her neck (large hematoma) that required surgery when she was five years old. Apparently the neck muscles did not grow on that side while the hematoma healed, so the difference became marked as she matured. Newborns do grow a whole lot in the first few weeks. Other than that, no other problems; my mom went home four hours later as it was Mothers' Day. Even then, it was hard to find a doctor who would consider a vaginal delivery with a breech. My parents went through many doctors.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get - acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, allergies, diabetes, eczema, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, AFP, ASIA, CFS, GBS, JPA, JRA, LGS, LKS, MS, POF, POTS, RA, SJS, SLE, SPD, TPI, Henoch-Schonlein purpua, fibromyalgia, Retts Syndrome, encephalitis, Hughes Syndrome, neurological damage, coma, or death."

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#5 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 03:27 AM
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It's just a birth

Labour upright.
Warm room.
No one touch the baby till it's ALL born.

Beware of doctors saying they'll "deliver" your breech baby because that usually means epidural, on your back, stirrups, episiotomy, forceps. TOTALLY the wrong way to birth any baby let alone one that's breech.

It's just a birth, if you keep away from surgeons.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 02:18 PM
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hon, I fought and fought to get a vag breech birth, and failed. please go see my website - - there is a LOT of excellent info there including the actual research reports that prove vaginal breech to be as safe (or more safe) as caesarean. There are also many birth stories, although most of them are c/s. (Mine is Miriam Hannah) There are also many links to sites about birthing breeches.

ITA that what you need is a natural, hands-off birth. "managed" breech birth, if done by somebody very skilled, seems to still be safer than c/s but most true breech experts (including Michel Odent, Maggie Banks, etc) agree that not touching the baby AT ALL, ie a completely spontaneous birth, is safest, and that many if not most of the dangers of breech birth are actually caused by bad management by a caregiver who can't keep their hands to themselves.

If all you can find is an OB who wants to do a managed birth, my approach would be to smile and nod, and then do my own thing when push came to shove and just refuse to get on the table and put my legs in the air. They can't make you, no matter what you smiled and nodded to in his/her office. And make sure your DH has got your back because you'll be in transition and he will need to be able to look them in the eye and say, "she said NO."

Practice these words: "As long as everything is going well, I'm going to do this my way. If I have a problem, I will happily immediately comply with anything you want me to do. I'll let you know if I'm having a problem."

Now, my consult OB (whose junior colleague was on call when I went into labour) was very helpful and told me I could do anything I wanted in labour, but I was told I'd have to deliver in the OR - being in a regular room was the only thing he wasn't prepared to compromise on. So, I was prepared to do that, but be aware that it's not possible to kneel, change positions, squat, etc on an OR table so you would need to either insist that they bring a real bed and/or a birthing stool in for you to birth on, or be prepared to use the floor.

I also made a comprehensive birth plan for breech birth - let me know if you'd like to see it.

You can do this.

xo Robin
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#7 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 02:28 PM
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Are there any homebirth midwives in the area who will attend you? I'd be reluctant to give birth to a breech baby (or really any baby, barring a true emergency) in a hospital setting.

Best of luck with it all!
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#8 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 03:32 PM
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Best of luck to you!! I had a stubborn breech baby too - we tried everything and he never turned. At that time I could find nobody who would deliver him so I ended up with the c/s. (ACOG actually changed their guidelines 1 month after I had my son to indicate that the choice should really be up to the woman. Grrrr.)

I believe the key, from all of my reading, is to have a practitioner who has a lot of experience in delivering breech babies. There are some "manoevers" that are routine to help turn the baby in a way that will help him come out better. Chances are you have an older OB who is willing to do this (since these guys used to do it all the time in the 1970's) for you? I think a hospital birth is probably not a bad idea in this case *just in case* your baby needs a little extra help because of some birth trauma. But obviously do what you're comfortable with.

In any case, I think the OPs are right - this is just a BIRTH. Relax, move around, walk, squat, do what you need to do. As my mom, a CNM says, birthing a breech baby is sort of like delivering an ice cream cone, pointy side first. As in, the tough part will be at the end rather than the beginning, because the head is last and will not have molded much. Just have confidence in your body. I'm so jealous that you found someone... I'm currently planning my VBAC for June.

Mom to James (ribboncesarean.gif 5/2006), Claire (vbac.gif 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis. 

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#9 of 9 Old 11-28-2007, 05:38 PM
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What I would want in a breech OB would be someone who'd sit on his hands and leave me alone. No touching the baby, no medications for me, no controlling my positions or putting me on a time table.

Don't be afraid of the birth! Mine was really pretty easy, as births go. Not pain-free; it hurt and was certainly hard work, but I've felt that bad before, it wasn't the worst pain of my life or anything. I don't know if the breech position made things any harder because that's my only birth so far, but I was very happy with things the way they were.

I do have one piece of advice. I had read that some breech moms never get the urge to push, so when I asked the midwife to check me and I was nearly complete, I started pushing shortly afterward without waiting for the urge, just because I was tired of labor. First, I wouldn't allow any vaginal exams next time - they don't provide any really useful information, since dilation can change in seconds. They increase your infection risk, can be really disheartening, and can lead to things like what happened to me - I pushed for 3.5-4 hours. It wasn't a problem, but maybe I wouldn't have had to push so long if I had waited. So, I recommend waiting a good while, to see if your body starts pushing.

While doing your research online, watch out for the Term Breech Trial (I think that was its name). It's unscientific and poorly done, and has been pretty much discredited, from what I understand. Keep researching! I spent LOTS of time checking over all the facts I could find, and I feel confident that vaginal birth is best for the baby. There's no debate that it's the least risky option for YOU, of course - and another thing to consider is your future children, if you want to have any more. A c/s increases your risk in future pregnancies of miscarriage, placental abruption, etc. - plus many doctors will give you this same trouble if you want a VBAC.

Dealing with the what-ifs was the hardest part for me, especially when my family started worrying. I felt like everyone would blame me if something went wrong. But I KNEW I was doing the right thing, even though it was the hard thing. Plus, my midwife was Ina May Gaskin, and I had her statistics on the births she'd attended. Her statistics for breech birth were very reassuring - as I recall, the breech ones were better than the average I could find for hospital care in the US (all babies, not just breech).

The OB who did my ECV said he used to attend breech births all the time (he was older). They used to be just a variation of normal. He said he only stopped because of insurance rules at his hospital and the fear of lawsuits, NOT because he thought breech births were risky.

And just to add some more breech anecdotes - it runs in my family. My mom, her sister, my MIL, and her brother, were all breech. My husband was, too, and he was the only c-section. He was also the only one with a complication, since they cut his bottom during the surgery. He still has a scar.

You can do it! The waiting is the hardest part, but stay strong!

P.S. Here are my breech links. I haven't looked at them in a while, but hopefully they'll be helpful for you.
(I have more, but the seem to be down right now.)
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