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Anyone any experience of a Mary Cronk style (hands off) breech vaginal delivery?

(9 Posts)
LittleCatA Mon 09-Jun-14 19:55:17

With a few weeks to go DC4 is currently breech so I am exploring options...I am/was planning a home-birth. If DC4 is still breech at full term then the MW's are happy to deliver in hospital using the hands off method.

I was wondering if anyone had delivered like this? What was it like? Or did you choose in the end to have a c-section?

DIYandEatCake Tue 10-Jun-14 00:29:54

You're lucky to have enlightened midwives - I was hoping for a vaginal breech delivery with my dd but was told that at my hospital it would involve epidural, being confined to the bed in stirrups, episiotomy, probably forceps to the head... They might have been trying to put me off but it worked, I didn't fancy a fight, especially as a first-timer. Had someone offered the hands off approach I would have gone for it - as it was I opted for a c section and part of me always regrets it (I had an amazingly straightforward vbac with ds - he was head down though!) though I know that in the circumstances it was probably the safest thing for dd. As a 4th baby you know you can give birth, you'll have more confidence, if the midwives are confident too then if it was me I'd go for it. Good luck!

LittleCatA Tue 10-Jun-14 11:29:50

I would have done the same thing in your position DIY, especially for a 1st baby. If on the day there are no MW's who will do the hands off approach then I think I would rather have a c-section too.

januarysnowdrop Tue 10-Jun-14 22:12:32

I've had one, at home, but it was totally unplanned. They had no idea dd3 was breech until the very last minute, but fortunately I had two experienced midwives who had done hands-off deliveries before.

I was high on gas and air and not fully aware of what was going on (other than a general sense that there was a state of panic in the room and that two ambulances had been summoned to an 'obstetric emergency') but it was absolutely horrible for dh. Dd's legs came out first and she was left hanging while they waited for the next contraction for her head to be released, and when she was born she was completely grey and floppy, and with an apgar of 2.

Fortunately everything went well from there on: she was resuscitated on our kitchen table and recovered to have an apgar of 9 by 5 minutes, and while they put her in special care once we arrived at hospital, they couldn't find anything amiss. Thank heavens.

Obviously you wouldn't have the state of panic, since you know your dc is breech, but as you can probably tell, I wouldn't recommend the experience! I was a bit like you - I'd had more than one child before (both straightforward), I wanted a home birth, and I suspect if the breech presentation had been diagnosed in advance I might have been interested in exploring my options for a vaginal delivery. So I totally understand where you're coming from!

From my own point of view, and given how things turned out in the end, I'm kind of glad she was born in the way that she was - an undiagnosed breech birth would have been a hideous experience in hospital too. But if I was in the same situation again, but knowing the baby was breech in advance, I would definitely choose a C Section. For dh's sake as much as for my own.

LittleCatA Wed 11-Jun-14 07:04:35

Wow, what a birth...thank goodness everything went well afterwards. Your experience is definitely food for thought, thank you. The MW's did mention that breech babies can be a bit shocked when they first come out.

I'm worried that if I sign up for a vaginal breech delivery and the birth does not progress then the hospital will want to induce and use stirrups/forceps etc which is what I definitely don't want. I don't mind having a c section as such, it's the fear of the unknown and the recovery afterwards with 4 DC's to look after that worries me.

januarysnowdrop Wed 11-Jun-14 19:04:50

I guess the issue would be with the midwives: as mine told me, hands-off breech deliveries are so rare these days that a lot of midwives have never seen one, let alone carried one out themselves. So presumably the midwife you spoke to would be confident to carry one out, but you don't know who you're actually going to get on the day (or night). In a funny way, I was lucky with the home birth because I had two confident and experienced midwives there with no option for stirrups or forceps or anything else like that (although they were seconds away from doing an episiotomy when dd3's head finally came out).

My midwives told me that if I'd been in hospital and the breech position had been diagnosed so late in the day, I would probably have ended up flat on my back with my legs in stirrups with every other midwife in the building standing round to watch and it would have been generally really gruesome and horrible. I can totally understand why you'd want to avoid that.

HamAndPlaques Thu 12-Jun-14 09:54:38

A friend had one but she did say that (with her consent) the room was a bit packed. They are so rare that a lot of staff wanted to observe!

CarCiKoTab Thu 12-Jun-14 10:09:08

I have no experience with breech births but I think if the midwives are prepared to adopt the hands off method and labour hasn't been induced in anyway I would stick with natural birth. If the midwives choose to artificially bring the labour on I think I'd opt for a c-section.

LittleCatA Thu 12-Jun-14 11:17:54

Thats where I'm at with the thought process CarCiKoTab the ultimate would be a birth with no induction/forceps etc. I'm seeing the consultant soon and my suggestion/plan/request will be to go for a natural birth with the option of a c-section if things don't progress.

I'm not surprised that your friend had an audience HamAndPlaques!

If I got my one of the HB MW's January then it would be great, they have dealt with surprise breeches at home and done hands off in hospital, they would be prepared to come in with me to do the same...lots of what's and if's though atm!

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