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Anyone attempted a natural/vaginal breech birth?

(8 Posts)
Annie75 Sun 05-Aug-07 08:08:39

I've one imminent (due on Friday) and just wanted to gather up some experiences to take with me (good or bad). Mine is a planned vaginal breech, at the hospital, with bailing out points if labour doesn't progress or if the baby is in distress.

Does it feel different giving birth to a body first? Did you find it more painful?

Am v excited about it now

scienceteacher Sun 05-Aug-07 08:37:40

I have done this - no problems at all. I wouldn't say that the pushing out felt any different.

Annie75 Sun 05-Aug-07 08:50:46

Ooh, thanks, Scienceteacher! Can you tell me more about it if you don't mind? Were you at hospital or home, were you diagnosed breech during labour or before, what sort of support did you get from the midwife/docs?

Also, did it take longer than you expected, were there any probs with the body descending before you were fully dilated? Sorry to be so specific, but I haven't heard of many others' experiences and would be really keen to hear it from the horse's mouth! Thanks

HermyGrain Sun 05-Aug-07 10:50:44

This is really interesting am I'm chuffed to hear that people do still deliver vaginally for breech - I was breech and my mum had me normally but when I was expecting my 1st my mw thought she was breech and immediately spoke about a cs. Fortunately she was normal 'cos I was adamant that if my mum could do it so could I!!!!!

scienceteacher Sun 05-Aug-07 12:51:35

I had a good idea that the baby was breech in the week or so before labour. I didn't tell my midwife, and didn't let her examine me. This was in the US, and they are not big on abdominal palpation anyway.

I did tons of research on the internet, and found out that if it is a frank breech, there shouldn't really be any problems. If it was a different kind, then the chances are labour simply would not progress. The key thing is not to intervene at all, unless it is clear there was to be no progress, in which case C-section is the safest option.

I would say the only noticeable things in labour is that the contractions didn't get on top of each other - they pretty much stayed at 2-3 minutes apart, but did increase in intensity. The other thing, I had backache during contractions only, and not the whole time as you'd get with OP. This was manageable by going on all fours.

When the baby emerged, there was fresh meconium as the bottom was squeezed (not a sign of distress). The midwife was surprised to see this bottom and then made an emergency call for an OB. Meanwhile, the baby more or less slipped out about 2 minutes ahead of any help arriving.

There was no damage to me, and breastfeeding was fine. The one problem with the baby is that she had a dislocated hip (CDH) - this would have been caused by lying breech rather than the actual delivery. By 12 weeks, everything was fine with her (she was monitored by an orthopaedic surgeon).

I'm not sure what the hospitals are like here, but in the US, the normal thing would have been to go for a c-section without considering any other factors. If I were to have fought for a breech delivery, I would have had to do it in an operating theatre until the full pressure of the medical system. I probably would have had to be on my back for the continuous monitoring, and therefore not been able to cope with the pain on my own. That would have meant and epidural, synto etc - which increases the risks substantially of something going wrong - moreso in breech - it is much, much safer to have a c-section than a medical vaginal breech. For that reason, I kept quiet about it, but was very vigilant of the warning signs myself.

I recommend you google around for 'Mary Cronk' - she is a recently retired independent midwife who specialised in more complicated home births - breech, vbac, twins etc. She is very empowering and encouraging.

Annie75 Sun 05-Aug-07 15:43:05

Thanks so much Scienceteacher - I really appreciate you posting back so fully. I admire your confidence in your body's ability to labour naturally and that you did your research and knew what to look out for re lack of progress.

You chose to take the same route as me - I intend to resist medicalisation but was offered a standard package of epidural, episiotomy and lithomy position (back) to facilitate breech delivery - none of which I have any reason to believe I will need. I have done lots of reading around and spoken to Mary - you're right, she's v empowering - but I suddenly felt that I wanted to hear it from other women who might have attempted it as this is what will probably stay with me during labour. I'm frank breech too, and figure that as a fit and healthy woman I stand a good chance of having a natural labour. Fingers crossed

scienceteacher Sun 05-Aug-07 16:34:39

That's really cool that you've spoken to Mary!

All the best to you

MarsLady Sun 05-Aug-07 17:06:12

Let us know how the birth goes Annie!

I went to one of Mary's study days. It was so enlightening. I'm still hoping to get to see a breech birth in RL as opposed to on video!

Anyhoo........ all the best to you and well done for standing strong!

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