The Breech Baby- Options, Stories, Possibilities


 I LOVE the topic of breech birth.  I was a planned home birth that became a hospital cesarean due to my breech presentation.  I always thought that cesarean was the only option for a breech baby, but it isn't.  And now, as a childbirth educator I have seen over and over women who are struggle for a VBAC with every birth because of a primary cesarean for breech.  
Not a lot of babies are breech- but they matter and so do their mother's.  That is why I was SO EXCITED to meet Lauren recently.  Her breech baby was a catalyst and she is on a mission to start a dialogue about breech babies and all the options available.  Read her stuff.  Check her out.  Send her your breech baby story (no matter WHAT kind of birth it was and even if that baby turned head down.)  I am excited to share her with you.  We can help Lauren make My Breech Baby a resource for women everywhere!  I am so excited!

My daughter spent most of her gestation kicking me in the cervix. She made a treadmill of my bladder. She was (and is) delightful. Yeah. There's a reason they're supposed to be head down.

In retrospect, I should have known all along. Maybe I did know. Somewhere along the way my midwife told me an amusing story about a woman in labor at home who found a big blob of meconium on her pad--a sure sign of a butt-down baby and usually a hospital transfer. This story, inexplicably, made me cry. Sometimes we sense what's going on, even if we don't want to know what's going on.

At 38 weeks, to risk me out of my own long-awaited home birth, I got sent for a sonogram and I watched out of the corner of my eye as the technician typed “breech” on the screen. That was the beginning of the end.

After a period of exhaustive and intensive attempts to turn her (affectionately known among my associates as “Breech Week”), I ended up with a scheduled cesarean at 39 weeks, feeling terrified of cord prolapse or head entrapment and very, very alone.

Like all ends, it was also the beginning of something new. The next day, I hobbled out of the hospital toting my 10lb baby and a serious desire to change the world. I set out to gather all the information I could find on breech babies and breech birth, and put it together in one easy-to-access place. I made the breech website I wish I could have found on the day of the fateful sonogram.

If I knew then what I know now, would I have agreed to the cesarean? Probably not. Do I regret my decision? I'm still not sure. I guess I did the best with what I had at the time, but it really wasn't good enough. There's no excuse for how much I felt in the dark, there's no reason I had to feel so alone.

As a woman with a breech baby, if you don’t want a c-section, are worried about having a vaginal breech birth, or are just looking into the options, you are likely to encounter a great deal of folk anxiety. There is a lot of nameless caution circulating around vaginal breech birth. For the most part, nobody will really say why, explain the mechanics, or give you any options. They just believe it is dangerous. Your questions, if you are able to ask them, may be met with indifference, impatience, condescension, or worse.

Breech mamas, you're not alone! And shockingly, you have options!

My goal is to create a landing place for parents of breech babies and the people that care about them. It brings together information, resources, and support. Primarily, I want people to know there are safe options for turning the baby, that vaginal birth is available and generally safe, and that they are not alone. The site already includes a slew of links to amazing breech birth stories of every kind. In the great tradition of Jill at the Unnecesarean, I hope to eventually include a list of breech-friendly practitioners and breech birth statistics by state or county, if not hospital.

I am trying to make a site that appeals to the masses, presents the array of information on breech, and helps people find what they are looking for. Would you help me?

Here are some ways you can help all the little butt-down babies:

  1. If you are a midwife or OB who attends breech births or you regularly help turn babies in any modality, please let me know so I can put you on my breech-friendly map. I can keep your name and contact information to myself and only give it when women contact me, or I can post it on my site under “Find a Practitioner.” If you know someone who fits this description, you can let me know their email or phone and I will contact them to ask about inclusion on the map.
    Please join the facebook group to help our breech community.
  2. If you have had a breech baby, no matter what the outcome, I would love to publish your birth story on mybreechbaby.org to help other breech mamas. And please check out our facebook group where you can meet and support others.
  3. If you have a look at the website, please let me know what feedback you have. I am just one woman doing this in the whine-free hours, but I do want it to be as helpful, accurate, and comprehensive as possible.
  4. Feel free to share, post, and list this site on your own platforms!

www.mybreechbaby.org
www.facebook.com/MyBreechBaby

Lauren at footlingmama@gmail.com

Comments

Tiffany said…
Oh, LOVE that this is happening! I've thought about doing something like this, but it's definitely not something I can fit in right now, but I would love to see more women supported in breech birth. I've had two breech home births, one (the first one) planned and the other was a surprise (and unassisted, though that was only b/c it was a precipitous birth). Both beautiful, healthy and complication free! I'll e-mail my stories as soon as I get a chance!
Breech Birth said…
Thanks so much for sharing your story Lauren. For people who are not aware there are several other breech communities in existence - all doing great work. The Coalition for Breech Birth (www.breechbirth.ca), started in Canada has been doing great work for several years now and now has USA, United Kingdom (http://www.breechbabiesclub.org) and Australian contingents (www.breechbirth.net). We all have Facebook groups and help support women to find breech birth options all over the world. Its great to find another great breech website out there - as a woman who has experienced the loneliness of breech presentation and trying to find information on the internet, the more the better!
What a timely post. Tomorrow I will teach single mothers about childbirth preparation and one of them has a baby in breech position. Thank you
Lauren McClain said…
Thanks for the encouragement everyone! "Breech Birth," I would love to work with the CBB. I was hoping to be a landing page for consumers in the US and would be thrilled to have the support of the CBB. Whatever will help these parents! Lauren
Melissa said…
My 10th baby was a double footling breech. I wish that there was abundantly more education for birth workers and much less fear-mongering regarding breech presentations. He would have been my first homebirth, but we made a mad dash for the hospital because my midwife had never attended a breech birth before and he went footling at the last minute. The ER/OB staff were horrified and scared to death, but they had nothing to do except watch as I delivered my baby boy in the ambulance in the ambulance garage of the hospital because he was half out by the time we arrived (we live a half-hour out of town). I have always been fascinated by birth and it's physiology and having delivered all ten of my babies vaginally and without drugs, it has proved beneficial for me to educate myself as much as possible in order to be an advocate for myself in hospital settings. I think it is pretty sad that it was my own research that kept my birth safe--most ob's and ob nurses have never seen a vaginal breech birth; they think the only option is c-section and are thus unprepared and unsure of how to proceed when/if a woman comes in as I did. Instead of being amazed at the miracle of birth they were horrified, disdainful, and terribly prejudiced about homebirths that end in transfer. I'm so very thankful for resources on the internet regarding breech birth and I highly recommend that every woman educate herself on the physiology of birth--including breech--because you won't find that information in a hospital.