There are times we need to thank goodness for c-sections. There are other times when we need to question whether or not they are really necessary. We trust doctors when they tell us there is no hope for a vaginal birth and that we must have major surgery to birth our baby. But sometimes we trust ourselves more. Trust our own instinct. This mother did just that.
Julie had a great pregnancy but baby was breech. She tried everything to get her little baby girl to flip -- acupuncture, a trick of putting frozen peas against mama's belly on the baby's head, and even doing a handstand in a pool in an effort to turn her. Nothing worked. On the day Julie's water broke, she and her husband Eli went forward with their decision to try a natural breech delivery without any anesthesia.
Julie and Eli had an expert team with them who have had success with breech births -- a doctor, midwife, and doula. There were doctors at the ready to perform a c-section if that became absolutely necessary. After nine hours of labor and no complications, Julie gave birth, vaginally, to a breech baby. The baby girl came into this world feet first, weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces. Beautiful! Congratulations!
She not only greeted her parents and skilled team who helped guide her here, there were many interns and residents watching and learning how a successful breech birth can be done.
Women are incredibly amazing creatures. We create life in our wombs, nurture those little beans to babies ready to be born. We need to trust birth. And trust we can birth a breech baby. But in most cases, we do need the support of our doctors, midwives, and doulas in order to do so. We need to not only trust ourselves and our own instincts, but the people who are selected to be with us during our delivery needs to believe in our power as well. Not everyone is going to, can, or wants to have a home birth. And a hospital birth doesn't have to mean a regrettable experience. It shouldn't anyway. We pay doctors for their services, for their expertise. And that expertise should include a chance for breech babies to be born vaginally instead of an OBGYN automatically pushing for a c-section.
As I mentioned at the start, there are times we do need to thank the stars for modern medicine and how many cesareans are very necessary. But they aren't always.
A friend of mine wanted to have a vaginal birth, but her baby was breech. The doctor scared her, made her feel that the only way her baby could be born was from c-section. She was scared. She didn't have the support of her OBGYN, the very person she needed to trust at that moment, the moment she needed to make the decision on how to birth her first child. She ended up having a c-section. Looking back on that moment years later, she feels her doctor didn't give her a choice, but didn't really explain why. Perhaps that doctor wasn't skilled in delivering breech babies, which is exactly why this story is so inspirational. That birth is proof it can be done. That birth was also witnessed by a team of experts, doctors in training. That birth could be one that helps many moms deliver their little feet first babies the way they want to birth -- vaginally.
Do you believe we can deliver breech babies vaginally? Do you think too many doctors automatically opt for c-section in this scenario when they should try and more importantly learn how it can be done?
Image via rumpleteaser/Flickr