So what if…your baby is in a breech position before being born?? What is breech? According to Wikipedia, “A breech birth is the birth of a baby from a breech presentation. In the breech presentation the baby enters the birth canal with the buttocks or feet first as opposed to the normal head first presentation.” Can a mother birth her baby in this position?
This kind of birth is possible, but it can be risky. Ina May Gaskin, a Midwife who started the homebirthing movement in the United States, does an interview with the New York Times, May 2012. She has delivered thousands of babies in her life time, has written books, and continues educating woman around the world. Gaskin says regarding breech birth, “at first, we brought breech pregnancies to the hospital, but we found after a while that we could deliver them here just fine. Footling breeches, which are thought to be the most difficult, in our experience, they often just slid right out.” She later said,“The main danger with breech babies is that the head, the largest part of baby, is last to come out, so it may get stuck,” she continues, “If the baby has been delivered to the umbilicus, you have five or six minutes before hypoxia sets in, but you don’t want to pull on the head if you can’t see the neck for fear of injuring the baby,” Gaskin said. (Mommy Wars: The Prequel, by Samantha M. Shapiro, May 23, 2012)
The different positions of breech are in the pictures below:
A breech birth is not the ideal situation. I have often thought, if my baby was in this position, I would try everything I could to turn it to be head down. In my mind, having the head down is a safer way to birth a baby. If you feel this way too, here is a great site to give you guidance on how to turn your baby. This site has a TON of great info on changing the position of your baby in a safe, gentle way.
Some other ways to turn your baby:
If you are a mother who’s baby has not turned, you feel good about delivering breech, and your care provider WILL help you with this kind of birth-check out these amazing breech birth stories.
Birthing Without Fear published a birth story of a woman giving birth naturally, and her baby is breech. The mother shows an amazing amount of trust in herself, in God, and in her birthing support team.
A Footling Breech Birth-this one has some cool pictures
A Breech birth in Water