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Anyone given birth vaginally to a breech baby?

(28 Posts)
SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sun 16-Sep-12 18:12:13

Baby is breech, argh. Luckily I'm only 35 weeks so there's time for baby to turn around but noises are already being made about ELCS (I won't consider having the baby turned manually).

Has anyone had a breech baby and a vaginal birth? If you knew about it before labour, how did you decide against an ELCS? How did it go? Anything I should bear in mind?


Ruthchan Sun 16-Sep-12 18:34:55

I gave birth to DS naturally. He was breech.
I knew he was breech throughout the pregnancy. He actually turned at one point, but turned back.
He was my second baby and my first had been delivered naturally with no problems, so my doctor was prepared to deliver him naturally.
It partly depends on your medical history, whether you've had children before and on the baby's exact position.

I didn't want to have a Csection if I could help it and was glad to be told I could deliver naturally. They never tried to turn him, although I know that would have been a possibility.

One thing to note is that if delivering a breech baby naturally, you shouldn't push. You try to relax through the contractions and let the baby slide out on its own.
However, for the head you need to push hard!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sun 16-Sep-12 18:38:23

Thanks, this is DC2 in a frank breech position. Useful to know about the pushing!

Ruthchan Sun 16-Sep-12 19:05:42

Yes, my DS was also in the frank breech, at which point my doctor said she was prepared to deliver him naturally.
He then changed to a complete breech position, at which point she apparently decided that I'd need a C-section, but didn't tell me.

You need to discuss all this with your doctor and midwife.

AliceHurled Sun 16-Sep-12 19:05:55

Do you know about the spinning babies website?

diyqueen Mon 17-Sep-12 18:23:22

I had an elcs for my breech baby (very reluctantly); but I did seriously consider vaginal birth. Just posting to advise making sure you really ask questions at the hospital about how confident they are with breech births, how many they do and what their approach would be. The consultant at my hospital said that for my breech birth they would expect continuous monitoring, epidural, episiotomy and possibly forceps depending on the doctor who was delivering... not the calm low-intervention birth I'd planned. I know that I could refuse some of these interventions but I didn't want to have to fight the people looking after me, or feel that by refusing I might be risking dd's health/life - the hospital's attitude combined with my concerns about the things that could go wrong (dd is my first baby) led to me agreeing to an elcs. I was gutted (and terrified!) at the time, but we got through it, dd was born perfectly healthy, the experience wasn't as bad as expected and I'm keeping optimistic for a vbac next time.

Hope it all goes well for you, whatever happens. I can well remember the sensation of having my ribs headbutted from the inside for the final few weeks!

BeccaJB Tue 18-Sep-12 12:10:33

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BeccaJB Tue 18-Sep-12 12:20:51

I am told that c-section is becoming the prescribed norm by most obstetricians since a report was published re APGAR scores, and given that more and more, the art of assisting a breech vaginal delivery is becoming lost.

Important to note: obstetricians are not taught anything about normal physiological birth and therefore many do not understand it or trust it or realise how obstetric birth interferes with the natural hormones of childbirth that influence bonding, social behaviour & more. Adverse effects of interfering with birth must be weighed up against APGAR scores. It must be acknowledged then that they are making decisions that are not fully informed decisions.

It is vital that, if you want to try to birth a baby in breech position vaginally, you must believe it is possible, you must really want to do it, & you must have a midwife attending who is comfortable & experienced with this. Otherwise, you will be in the hands of people who don't trust it and are fearful of getting sued if anything went wrong. Their agenda need not be your agenda. Good luck!

elfycat Tue 18-Sep-12 12:34:55

I witnessed one as a nurse a few years ago and it was calm and safe although not intervention free as the baby needs monitoring for being distressed and an episiotomy is usually needed. (they're not the worst thing I now know from personal experience with a vontouse delivery).

The staff you have must be experienced and confident otherwise there will be a level of stress that no-one needs in the delivery room. This experience is getting rarer as the c-section option is taken up.

Be prepared to be flexible about the c-section thing at the time, as we all should be anyway. My birth plan had a PTO which said 'emergency c-section if it all goes squiffy' so if I had needed one it wasn't against my plan.

Plenty of time for junior to turn. At night I did quite a bit of visualisation about baby being head down and coming out and being welcomed.

Thumbwitch Tue 18-Sep-12 12:44:10

I haven't had one yet but may do in the next 4 weeks! Although I realise that may be completely unhelpful to you.

Baby is currently oblique transverse with unstable lie at 36w; head under each side of my ribs, depending on how it feels. hmm However, I also have rather a lot of amniotic fluid, so despite being 36w, baby has plenty of room to keep moving.

Current moves are: reflexology (self-done) to attempt to turn the baby; next step is to contact an acupuncturist and have that and/or moxibustion done; using some of the positional techniques on the spinning baby sites; hoping and praying.

I have told my doc that an ECV is out of the question and he accepts that. I have agreed that, if the baby goes breech properly, then we will try a VB in that position - but if it remains unstable, I'll have little choice but to have a CS.

The obgyn seemed quite confident that a breech VB was possible (within a certain set of parameters - position makes a huge difference of course) and explained that if we do attempt it, then no exernal interference will be used - so no gel pessaries, no syntocin drip, no other attempts to induce or otherwise speed up labour. Any loss of progress will --> CS.

I'm still hoping that the baby will decide to go head down though.

Pourquoimoi Tue 18-Sep-12 12:44:42

I haven't given birth to a breech baby but DS2 went breach at 36 weeks. I went and had acupuncture to try and turn him back, whether it was that or not when I went for another scan at 38 weeks, he had turned and was no longer breach.
By the way i didn't feel him turning either time, and he wasn't small at 10lbs at birth so would have been 8lbs ish at the time!
Good Luck!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 18-Sep-12 16:59:30

Thanks for the advice & offers of help smile I can't tell a bum from a head so hopefully baby will have turned by the time I see the consultant at the end of the week. I've picked up lots of tips from the spinning babies website.

Scroobius Tue 18-Sep-12 18:03:12

I know my mum did 24 years ago, no chance of cs as they didn't realise until she was very far along. She had an epidural though, which does make me wonder what theyre talking about when they say women are too far in for it!
My mum and sister were both fine, think my sister had to have a minor op on her hips though due to something breech babies are routinely checked for.

Ruthchan Tue 18-Sep-12 18:18:44

I honestly think position is one of the major factors in these cases and also the doctor's experience and being happy to let nature take its course.

To be completely honest, my DS ended up being born at home on my sitting room floor. He came very quickly and was almost born in the loo. It was an unplanned home birth and I had neither drugs nor medical intervention.
Luckily his position was good and there were no complications.
I can vouch that a completely natural breech birth is possible with minimal/no intervention.

AdiVic Wed 19-Sep-12 08:43:24

The spinning babies website is good, and my baby turned at 36 weeks. Also, moxibustion has an 80% success rate compared to the success rate of manual. Some NHS mat units are now offering moxibustion instead of manual. Its very unobtrusive and painless.

BionicEmu Wed 19-Sep-12 09:45:06

I haven't given birth to breech baby myself, but just wanted to add that it will probably depend on your hospital too. I'm lucky enough to live near King's Mill Hospital in Mansfield, which I understand are one of the most experienced hospitals for breech births in the country. A good friend of mine's baby was breech at 35 weeks a couple of years ago. She was originally booked into Derby who flatly refused to entertain a vaginal birth. She then transferred her care to King's Mill and they said a vaginal frank breech (as hers was) was not a problem, and she had her breech DS vaginally there with no problems.

Good luck with everything!

VikingLady Wed 19-Sep-12 16:17:07

Another one saying to check what your hospital says, and whether they will help you whatever time of day/night you go in. I ended up with emcs for breech, as my local hospital only has one consultant who has experience in vaginal breech birth. I do know other hospitals where it is absolutely no problem at all (and I will use one of those for future births) but you do need to feel supported.

Good luck!

confuddledDOTcom Wed 19-Sep-12 16:52:16

I'm thirding spinning babies, they also teach you to know which way around your baby is.

If you are "tested" (you've already had a vaginal birth) you have a much better chance of getting a breech birth. Tell them you want a Trial of Labour. If your consultant isn't too thrilled with the idea, ring up triage (I found the simplest way to do it) and ask to speak to a Supervisor of Midwives, tell her what's going on and that you would like to meet to discuss your options for a VB. The other option is getting a Doula if you're able.

I knew a lady who had had an ECV and they make you sign a consent form before they do it as you may need a crash after it so it saves time to sign before hand. It failed and a few days later she went into labour. She argued her case with the staff that she was not having a section! In the end she walked out saying she was "going for a fag" knowing that it would wipe out the next 3 hours. They sent her back up to the ward and she spent the time walking the stairs. All the MWs on the ward were coming to her and telling her well done and stick to her guns. Eventually they took her back down as she was going well. She said the room was full of everyone wanting to watch so she told them all but the MW assigned to her and the student who had been on the ward were to leave! She did it with just the two (DH "baby sitting") and was up walking around on the ward as soon as she got back up.

My biggest piece of advice would be if you are going to have a section then negotiate with them that they wait until you are in labour, two reasons - one that baby has every chance to turn and two it means that baby has as long as possible inside.

Asmywhimsytakesme Thu 20-Sep-12 23:14:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScariestFairyByFar Thu 20-Sep-12 23:20:58

Don't have much to add as I had a elcs for breech dd who despite trying everything moved no where, don't know what your reasons are for not trying ecv but it's really not that bad.

Thumbwitch Thu 20-Sep-12 23:27:11 Risk of placental abruption --> potential death of baby. Good enough reason not to do it, IMO. Especially as I know someone in RL who this happened to as well.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 21-Sep-12 10:48:13

^ That's why. I'd prefer to have a c-section than an ECV.

Well, baby was breech yesterday but is head-down today, phew. I did ask the consultant what the standard practice at this hospital is for breech babies and it is routine c-section. Apparently if I went for trial of labour I'd be the first in years but that would still be my #1 choice for a frank or complete breech.

Ros1979 Mon 24-Sep-12 13:40:16


I had a breech birth earlier this year. It was my first baby, and only found out it was breech at 38.5 weeks. My bump was very 'neat' and they did try turning it, but gave up pretty quick as there didn't seem to be any chance that it was going to flip.

Natural birth or ELCS were both given to me as options, and the consultant talked me through how he would want the labour to proceed if I did go for a vaginal delivery (labour starting naturally, progression in later stages of 1cm per hour, preferably no epidural). After much stressing over what to do, I decided that I'd go for a vaginal delivery if the baby was on time (ish) but booked in for an ELCS for a week after my delivery date. The consultant then essentially put himself on call until I'd delivered (even within the same hospital, some of the consultants won't proceed with breech). My daughter was born 2 days late, bottom first, gas and air only. All worked out fine!

Glad to hear that yours has turned though, didn't enjoy the extra stress of trying to decide what to do.

confuddledDOTcom Mon 24-Sep-12 14:45:35

They can't deny you a TOL but they don't always tell you about them, it has to be your idea. It is your choice, everything is until they section (mental health, not operation) you. New data is showing that VB of breech is the safer option but the problem is for so long they were CS that we now don't have the skills ready for it. All they need to do though is keep their hands to themselves!

Ros, well done!

Ros1979 Mon 24-Sep-12 21:29:41

Thank you, but can't really take the credit - had a very good consultant, who essentially made me feel like it was not a big deal at all. Also, I had a friend who'd gone through trying to have a breech delivery that had gone to a C-section who was willing to answer lots of my questions (interestingly, she was also at The Friarage, Northallerton - I was at Darlington Memorial Hosp).

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