Thursday, March 5, 2009

Breech waterbirth

The topic of breech presentation has been coming up for me lately from a few different venues! Someone asked me today what I would do if I had to make the choices of whether to attempt an external cephalic version to turn the baby, whether to schedule a c-section. I know that I would avail myself of acupuncture, chiropractic techniques, somersaults in the pool...every gentle way I could think of to turn the baby! I would have to weigh the risks and benefits of a version, as I would of a c-section.

One of the challenges I would be weighing, though, is how hard it can be to search and fight for the right to vaginal delivery for breech. Even in New York City, where I used to live, doulas would trade around the precious names of the few doctors who did breech deliveries. That's in a city of millions! Upstate, I knew a woman whose midwife wouldn't deliver her breech at home, but helped her find a doctor who would. He was from an African country, and thought breech was perfectly normal. He was happy to deliver her breech baby as he had many other babies in his own country. But you have to be hardworking and lucky to find a practitioner who is experienced with, and willing to do, a breech birth.

And finding a practitioner, of course, depends on you knowing and feeling confident that a breech birth is even possible. I absolutely believe that many people - even those carrying breech babies - do not know that vaginal birth and breech are not mutually incompatible.

Thinking about all this, I started rummaging around on the internets for breech info. I came across this video, and was struck by how beautiful and simple the births were (and exemplify "hands off" breech!) You're able to see breech babies emerge very clearly because of the unique birth tub used, and then you can watch them swim around a little before they're brought up to the surface! The little box that pops up at the beginning says this is in Belgium. I wonder if vaginal breech is common in Belgium, or only at this hospital. I'd certainly feel more comfortable choosing a vaginal breech delivery, though, if I had a great place like that to deliver! And this is proof that vaginal breech can indeed happen, under the right circumstances.


Sally said...

Your blog is so fantastic, Rebecca! I'm in awe that you have the energy to keep this up, but I'm grateful. So much great information and I'll be sure to let folks know! Thanks!

Anonymous said...