Mom's Breech Birth Proves It Doesn't Always Have to Mean C-Section

Inspiring 74

baby feetThere 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

birth stories, delivery, labor & delivery, natural parenting


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SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I absolutely believe babies can be born breech. I would hope for a successful birth but I think over time people have discovered that complications can arise for both baby and mother. Doctors are not fortune tellers. They cannot guarantee your baby is delivered healthy that way, ie no brain damage, no damage to their bodies or severe damage to the mother. We cannot blame doctors for wanting babies to be born in one piece. Sure parents can take that risk but if this baby wasn't born completely healthy this would be a different article. It would be talking about how these parents went against doc advice and didn't have a c section, how selfish are they?! Vaginal births are ideal but sometimes c sections are necessary. That's probably the main reason it's extremely rare for women and babies to die in childbirth these days. What a revelation!!!!!

nonmember avatar Gretta

I agree with Suzy 100%.

Flori... Floridamom96

Suzy, I bet it would surprise you to know that it is not extremely rare for women to die in childbirth today. In fact between 1987 and 2010 maternal deaths virtually doubled. The maternal death rate in 1987 was 6.6 per 100,000 live births. In 2010 it was 13.3, dropping slightly from that to 12.7 per 100,000 live births in 2011. Although there are many factors contributing to this increase, unnecessary c-sections is quite a part of the problem.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Yes they can be. Drs are very quick to go to the knife. However the key is she had a crew that was skilled at this which is important, more important than "I am a strong woman, I can do this" mentality. The reason women have complications now days is due to the fact that so many providers are on a birthing schedule and start pushing interventions to have that baby in a timely manner that works for the provider not mom and baby. I am not anti-hospital, far from it. I just wish we had the Netherland maternity care system. They are doing something right.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Some mothers are so hung up on their birth plans and freak out when they don't go the way they wanted or envisioned. Just go with the flow and be thankful that you brought a healthy child into the world.

nonmember avatar Myturn

I think the key in this story is that she had skilled people who knew what they were doing in this type of delivery. And were comfortable doing it. If I had a breech baby and my doctor wasn't comfortable delivering vaginally, then I wouldn't be comfortable either. But if I had a team that was used to delivering in this kind of

situation then it would put me at ease.

I guess try (if you can) to find a doctor who shares your philosophies and is trained in what you want him/her to do. Then pray everything goes according to plan.

Liz132 Liz132

Good article!

nonmember avatar northernstar

I feel that this article is biased and misleading. Real life isn't this black and white. My breech baby would have died had I attempted a vaginal birth. Some babies are breech for a reason. Thankfully I trusted the professionals instead of "trusting birth" - an activity that has a high mortality rate without the help of modern medicine.

nonmember avatar cs

A lot depends on the position of the baby as well, Feet first may be able to be delivered and then a breech such as in butt first may not.. It also depends on the baby itself and the positioning of the cord. Maybe trusting a Dr is a good idea

cherylam cherylam

I trusted my dr, and I do believe 'trusting birth' can be very foolish.  Talk to the dr beforehand, find out how they feel, how many breeches they have delivered, how your baby is positioned, if it can be done safely, and the idea of having a surgeon standing by 'just in case' are really good thoughts.

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