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Can you be made to have a c-section

(41 Posts)
rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:26:53

Am 30, nearly 31 weeks PG so I have a bit of time but i want to be prepared

baby is breech (moved from transverse)

Consultant has told me that options are:

ECV at 37 weeks

if that doesn't work, an c-section

there is nothing in between apparently

i do not want a c-section if i can avoid it all - can you not "birth" a breech baby?

can i ask them to consider a natural delivery if baby stays breech?

not quite sure of my rights and would be good to be armed with plenty of info

(Alos, am well aware baby could move in the next 5 weeks or so)


Meglet Wed 29-Jul-09 14:30:38

I am sure you can birth a breech baby (there's a photo in one of my baby books) but how much higher the risks are and whether the hospital are able to provide enough support is another thing. I suspect a lot of it comes down to the extra monitoring that you might need, and they may not have the staff. Not ideal reasons though.

Our hospital won't let women with breech babies give birth naturally, I doubt they are forced to have a cs, but I suspect the hospital make it quite clear they don't want to risk it.

I'm sure a midwife / doula with proper knowledge will be on shortly to help.

whomovedmychocolate Wed 29-Jul-09 14:32:05

You have every right to have a natural birth although obviously you wouldn't want to do that at the risk of your baby's life. But no, they can't force you to have a caesarian. Even if the baby is in danger they can't force you, the baby has no legal rights or protection until birth.

Mine were both breech till the last minute. It's ridiculous to be prepping you for a caesarian this early and I would tell them so. You can also birth breech though it is more risky and needs a skilled midwife in attendance throughout.

AnnieLobeseder Wed 29-Jul-09 14:33:20

Well, of course they can't make you, and it is possible to birth a breech baby. But on the whole I think the NHS will fight you tooth and nail. I've only heard of one person having a vaginal breech birth (though I'm sure it must happen loads), and she did it at home with an independent midwife.

Try speaking to your MW and see how sympathetic she is to your cause. And do as much research as you can to back up your case when all your HCPs start arguing with you!

Good luck! If either of mine had been breech I would have tried to have them vaginally so I really know where you're coming from with this.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Wed 29-Jul-09 14:34:14

You can certainly ask to deliver a breech baby naturally.

The problem nowadays is that breech is so often delivered by c-section that many midwives lack confidence in even trying.

When my baby was undiagnosed breech in labour 4 years ago I was given a 'choice' to have a csection or deliver vaginally but it will be "very traumatic for you and the baby".

I've since been told by my midwife for this pg, that if it happens again then I should be allowed to try to deliver vaginally.

It seems mixed messages and policies all round in the NHS.

lal123 Wed 29-Jul-09 14:34:42

they can't FORCE you to have a c section and although it is possible to birth a breech baby would you really want to in a hospital where they have made it clear that they are not happy with the risks involved? I think that if you were intending to have a natural birth and baby is breech you need to find a hospital with staff with the skills to deliver.

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:35:23

thanks very much for the info so far smile

i wouldn't do anything which could endanger my child's well being but i find it hard to accept a c-section is the only potential option

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Wed 29-Jul-09 14:38:06

I understand what you mean ruby slippers. It feels so black and white. But sadly the skills seem to have been lost because c section is now so routine for breech.

It's starting to happen with delivering twins vaginally too.

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 14:38:26

yes, you can ask for vaginal delivery. esp if baby is bottom down breech. would not really recommend with footling breech.

you cannot be made to have a c.s

your consultant can advise you, and you can accept or decline any or all of his advice

teh fact is you delivered one baby vaginally, without intervention, your pelvis is 'proven'

a breech birth should not be augmented or induced however , a breech birth that starts spontaneously should be allowed to continue at it's own pace, provided all is well with the baby

there is a big difference between birthing breech baby and a breech extraction

google mary cronk, she is the breech expert

should your trust get funny about a breech delivery. contact AIMS as a matter of urgency

MWs do know how to deliver breech babies, they have to in case of undiagnosed breech. but you might be told you are not allowed or no-one is experienced enough to help you

if that is the case, ask teh hospital to provide you with an independent MW who can deliver you at home if they cannot provide the care you require.

you can also contact the supervisor of midwives for the area, especially if the supervisor at the hospital is not helpful

the other thing oyu can request, is a planned c.s with a presentation scan on the morning of the c.s and if baby is head down , an induction of labour.

the other thing to bear in mind though, is if baby keeps flipping from transverse to breech, then the c.s might be the only option or the planned c.s /induction route as unstable lie is not a good thing.

AnnieLobeseder Wed 29-Jul-09 14:38:36

I think a lot will depend on where you live and what sort of midwifery care you have. Perhaps a mellow MW team at a small birth centre would be more happy for you to try a vaginal birth than the stressed out understaffed team at a busy city hospital.

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:39:59

Meemar - am reading Sheila Kitzinger's book at the mo about Childbirth and she makes the same comments about Midwifery skills (such as delivering breech babies) being lost

which is a shame IMO

piscesmoon Wed 29-Jul-09 14:41:50

I would always go with medical advice-I don't think it worth the risk. I had the same and it was suggested that if I sort of lay upside down it gave more room to turn! I used to lie on the bed with hands on the floor each day because I didn't want a c-section. He actually turned when I was sitting down one day, at around 37weeks-so the acrobatics didn't help!However it is possible your baby will turn.

posieparkerinChina Wed 29-Jul-09 14:41:51

I think if they feel your baby is at risk they can insist that you have a section.... I would hope so anyway. They should be advocates for the baby and you.

Curious as to why, with a more risky delivery, you would want to oppose a safer delivery????

posieparkerinChina Wed 29-Jul-09 14:42:38

PS.... I've heard you have to have named the baby before you can get what you really want winkgrin.

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 14:44:06

they cannot make or insist a woman has a c.section , they can strongly advise

a c.section has risks too

it will be riskier for Ruby as she has a blood clotting disorder

all the risks have to be taken into account

i don;t think implying she is putting her baby at additional risk is right or fair , actually.

<<big sister emoticon>>

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:45:51

lots more comments

i want to give birth vaginally, if i can, because a c-section is major abdominal surgery which has a longer recovery time

it will mean a longer stay in hospital

i have a history of DVT and being immobile for any length of time is not good

i have a 3 year old toddler and would like to not be incapicated or unable to drive/move freely for up to 6 weeks

however, if there is a major risk to the baby then i wouldn't decline a section - i am just trying to gauge what options i have

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:47:20

x post with lulu there

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 14:48:30

have you read my big post smile

i met the chair of AIMS last year, I;m sure she'll remember me (!) , i can drop her a line .

CarmenSanDiego Wed 29-Jul-09 14:49:22

The website has some advice on encouraging a baby to turn.

I'd really want to pick my midwife well if I was having a breech baby to make sure I got one who was experienced. The problem with NHS is you don't know what you'll get and neither consultants or midwives may be experienced in breech delivery, even if they have the training. I think Annie's suggestion of a birth centre was a good one.

It's a hard decision but still very early days so you may not have to make it.

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:50:21

yes thanks Lulu

I would apprecuate it if you could smile

i have no continuity of care - i see a different MW and consultant each time i go for an appt

posieparkerinChina Wed 29-Jul-09 14:52:13

Lulu, Questions are out of curiosity not accusing.....

I am pretty sure that a breech vaginal birth is more risky for mother and child than a planned section.

The first port of call is an obstetric consultant, I would insist on a meeting and quick. This is not something you want to worry the next 8-9 weeks about.

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 14:52:16

will do so later.

the other thing to do is to insist on an appointment with the consultant MW and the supervisor of MWs

what do you feel about the planned c.s/presentation scan/ induction compromise?

also, bear in mind the baby could well turn.

have a look at optimal foetal positioning

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 14:54:25

the big study into c.s for breech rather than breech birth was majorly flawed and the results shaky

LuluMaman Wed 29-Jul-09 15:00:29

have emailed AIMS. will let you know the response and advice. x

posieparkerinChina Wed 29-Jul-09 15:07:02

I hope you are mning on all fourswinkgrin.

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