Breech Birth is an issue very close to my heart. My first son Joshua was born via breech extraction in 1989 (you'll find a link to his birth story below). For me his birth was not a positive experience, not because Joshua was breech, but because I was not given the opportunity to make informed decisions about my care and I was not listened to or respected during labour or while giving birth. This had a profound impact on me as a mother and a woman (and it was this experience that set me on my path to becoming a midwife). What I would like to present to you here is research based information on breech birth - so you can make an informed decision about being pregnant with a breech baby and birthing a breech baby. Breech birth does not necessarily mean a caesarean birth. After reading as much as you can, discuss the risks and benefits of giving birth to a breech birth with your midwife or doctor.
Web resources on breech babies and breech birth
Term Breech Trial
The Term Breech Trial , an internationally conducted randomised controlled trial, concluded that caesarean section was the preferred birth option, but this study has been heavily criticised because it has given conflicting results. In places where vaginal breech births are a common occurrence, there were good results for vaginal breech births. In those hospitals where breech babies were born almost always born caesarean , babies born as a vaginal breech during the trial had poorer outcomes when compared to caesarean birth. It has been suggested by independent reviewers of this trial that where the caregiver has not gained or retained skill of assisting at vaginal breech birth a caesarean birth is preferable to a vaginal birth. You can see the abstract of the trial at The Lancet
Term Breech Trial Links
Articles and Stories on www.pregnancy.com.au
Anaesthesia Increases Success Rates of Turning Breech Babies
"In around 4% of pregnancies the foetus will present in the breech (head-up) position." This article talks about the impacts and successes of anaesthesia turning breech babies, and explains the use of the 'External Cephalic Version' for breech babies.
Women around the world unite to fight for the survival of vaginal breech birth!
Eight months after the traumatic and unnecessary caesarean birth of her breech presenting daughter Miriam, Canadian Robin Guy co-founded the Coalition for Breech Birth (CBB).
Breech Birth at WestmeadWestmead Hospital is fully embracing the philosophy of the 2010 NSW Health policy directive: Maternity – Towards normal birth in NSW. Midwife Michelle Underwood and Consultant Obstetrician Andrew Pesce are going a long way to achieving that objective with the establishment of the Westmead Breech Birth Clinic.
Term Breech Trial
The art of breech vaginal delivery has in some places been lost through the headlong dash of many obstetricians to the comfort of caesarean delivery. In 2000, Hannah et al published the findings of a randomised multicentre trial into planned caesarean section versus planned vaginal birth for breech presentation at term. More than ten years on the’ Term Breech Trial’ remains a prime example of how evidence itself can be put on trial.
The Natural Breech Birth of Remi Violet
When Tess discovered her forth baby was breech just like her third, she became determined to avoid the caesarean birth outcome she had experienced last time, confident both in her and her baby’s ability to achieve a natural birth.
Vaginal Breech Birth in Australia
If you have recently learned that your baby is presenting breech (when the buttocks or the feet are at the bottom of the uterus rather than the head), you are likely to be feeling upset and confused. first hand experience of the 'breech situation', having learned in the 32nd week of her first pregnancy that her baby was breech. She was new to Australia and had already established that her own understanding about the best way to approach childbirth conflicted with the highly medicalised system here.
Head held high!
My pregnancy went incredibly well, with very few ailments or illnesses along the way. Our biggest challenge occurred when Ali palpitated me at week 34 and said she suspected Baby was breech. I truly couldn't believe it, as i knew what this meant (caesarean at 39 weeks) and felt my dream for a natural vaginal birth slipping away.
Twin Breech Birth Story
For an unplanned pregnancy, we were certainly surprised when we discovered two little beings on the first ultrasound. We had initially planned a homebirth, with our midwife who had supported us at our daughter's birth at home one year ago. However due to the increased risks associated with twins, we decided to opt for a hospital birth.
Moxibustion for breech presentation
Moxibustion is a techniques for turning babies in the breech position. The technique uses a Chinese herb called Moxa, commonly known as ‘Mugwort’. Moxa sticks are lit and held over acupuncture points.
Breech and beautiful - Oscar’s birth story
Bub was still breech, but had moved his little foot and was know frank breech. I had a glimmer of hope for a natural birth. I had been having acupuncture before we conceived and turned once again to my therapist for help after getting to 36 weeks with no change in bubs position.
Maia's Birth StoryBirth Story
- Sarah Buckley's recounts the homebirth of her daughter, Maia who was an unexpected breech baby.
Breech Birth Woman-WiseBook Review:
Breech Birth Woman-Wise by Maggie Banks is the must have book encompassing all aspects of breech babies and breech birth. Maggie successfully draws together both midwifery and medical literature and combines the information in a way that is educational, informing and confidence building.
Breech Of FaithBirth Story
- Patricia birthed her breech baby in hospital after having planned a homebirth. This is a story of Patricia's faith, emotional journey and birth.
Joshua's Birth StoryBirth Story
- Jane Palmer's account of the birth of her first baby in 1989. Joshua was born breech in a highly medicalised and unsupportive environment at 35 weeks gestation.
Breech Babies: Breech BirthArticle by Jane Palmer
Though most breech babies will turn naturally before their due date, some remain in the breech position. It is then that the woman and her partner will be faced with choices on what to do regarding trying to turn the baby and what is the best way to give birth.