Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about breech deliveries. Most of the people I know whose baby turned breech were scared into a c-section that they invariably regretted or wished they could change. I don’t think there’s enough information out there available to women whose babies are presenting as breech and I am hoping to change that by adding my knowledge on the matter. I have never given birth to a breech baby, but if my baby were presenting breech I would feel safe and confident in my body’s ability to birth the baby naturally and my babies’ wisdom on how to be born. I’ve read that it helps to be in a squatting position, or standing up; gravity works! I believe that breech is just a variation of normal birth and should not be made such a big deal of in the medical field and birthing industry.
There are three variations on breech positions:
1. Frank Breech- the baby’s bottom comes first, and his or her legs are flexed at the hip and extended at the knees with feet near the ears. 65-70% of breech babies are in the frank breech position according to recent research.
2.Complete Breech- the baby’s hips and knees are bent so that the baby is sitting Indian Style, with feet beside the bottom.
3. Footling Breech-one or both feet come first, with the bottom at a higher position. This is rare at term but fairly usual with premature babies.
Each presentation have the same protocol, hands off, remain vertical and push when your body tells you to. You will know when that is, it’s impossible to miss. Once the baby’s feet or bottom begin to exit the birth canal he or she should be born within 10 minutes to prevent suffocation. Most babies are born within 5 minutes of their heads, bottom or feet coming out. One MAJOR rule to keep in mind during a breech birth is to NEVER try to help pull the baby out, let the baby come out on his or her own time.
Breech birth is nothing to be scared of and I encourage you, my readers, to do your homework on this topic. Don’t get bullied into a birth you don’t want, but also be sure to follow your instincts. If you feel a c-section is necessary for you then go with that and know that it’s ok.
Possible reasons for a baby presenting as breech are having a short umbilical cord, the cord could be wrapped around your babies neck (which is fairly common), premature labor, too much amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, having twins (there’s less room to move around and turn head down), uterine fibroids, etc.
It’s fairly easy to tell if your baby is breech, if you feel kicking in your ribs or upper stomach region. I would recommend going to http://www.babymapping.com which is a wonderful resource that helps you figure out your babies position the easiest ways possible.
In the end, it’s up to the mother to decide if a natural breech delivery is for her of not, I just wanted to clear up some of the hype surrounding the subject and hope to be helpful in your birthing journey.