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Friday, January 8, 2010

Washington Post article on breech birth

The woman featured in this article who had two cesareans for breech and then went on to have a breech VBAC is an ICAN chapter leader!

Breech is near and dear to me since a young woman contacted our chapter a year and half ago desperate for help with finding an OB to deliver her breech baby. I was at a loss. I knew of none at that time, except for homebirth midwives, who would or could. To tell this woman I couldn’t help her prevent this cesarean was devastating and I will never forget it. Fortunately, she went on to deliver vaginally in a hospital.

When I heard Canada was reversing its policy on breech it gave me hope. If other countries are changing their policies on birth, we may someday too. Every woman should be prepared. Breech is not abnormal, it is just another way for a baby to come out. So because of this, I do have hope that the US will practice more evidence-based medicine with birth in the hospitals. That one day the VBAC rate will be over 50% and the c-section rate well under 20%. We will see healthier moms and healthier babies, we all know that. It starts with us, trusting our bodies and choosing a professional who does as well, and who is skilled in more than just the knife.

Next post: Jamie's Breech Birth story!


SheGotHipsLikeCinderella said...

Great post Heather!

Jamie said...

I see all over the place in articles with a bias against breech birth about the biggest fear being the birth canal not opening enough. Yes, it IS a very real risk if the person attending the birth does not know what he or she is doing. It's best if the mother holds back the urge to push or only pushes a little bit, giving enough time for the baby's head to open up the birth canal, to stretch it over a period of time. Of course in a hospital setting, the time needed would be considered "failure to progress". Or the woman winds up in a situation like me where I was basically forced to push my daughter out in just 10 MINUTES! Gosh, if I knew then what I know now...

The biggest risk is not vaginal delivery itself, nor is it the risks surrounding breech for first time mothers. The biggest risk is that doctors lost the art of breech delivery through ignorance based on the bogus "Term Breech Trial". ARGH! I could write a book. I should, huh?

Veronica said...

A friend of my sister's was doing her rotation through OB in upstate New York. They were roudning on a mom who was there for preterm labor, and they were unable to stop her labor. It turned out baby was breech, and they didn't find out until feet were out. Because nobody at that hospital knew how to deliver a breech baby, sadly, baby died. One month later, same town, different hospital, very similar situation, this time the chief OB was able to come an and taught everyone how to perform a breech birth. This time, baby was fine.
These skills can not be lost!!!!

Jamie said...

Veronica, that story is a perfect example of why we cannot allow this art to be lost. Had I been in my right mind at the time, I'd have requested that as many students as possible be present in the room simply to learn. Of course, my doctor did not attend the delivery according to the best way to deliver a breech, but I digress.

It's like in the Term Breech Trial, a doctor without experience was allowed to participate int he trial. Baby was born to the umbilicus and became stuck. Rather than calling on knowledge of a change of mother's position, the doctor PUSHED BABY BACK IN, performed a section and, of course, Baby died. The outcome would have been VERY different had the doctor in question been trained.

It's almost a terrible thing to wish upon myself, but I almost hope a future pregnancy of mine results in a breech baby again so I can do it all over the right way!