How to know if you are a breech birth candidate
Everything has been going perfectly. You've been getting kicked in the crotch repeatedly, your ankles are swollen like you are permanently wearing snowboots and you've been dreaming about inventing a new flavor of Ben & Jerry's: Deep fried hot Cheeto with chocolate chunks. Typical week 34 of pregnancy. And then life completely turns upside down. Your latest ultrasound shows your baby is presenting breech. Suddenly, you have no resources, no information and no one to help you. What are you going to do?
We have been there. SO many of us have been there. While everyone around you discusses your options for surgery the dream of birthing your baby naturally seems like it's slipping away. And fast. HOLD UP. Before you resign to having emergency birth, let's look at the 5 ways YOU can determine if YOU are a candidate for birthing your BREECH baby vaginally.
#5 Your Birthing Team
Having a supportive and stellar birth team is every potential mother's dream. While there is generally an opinion that breech babies should be treated as an emergency situation, the reality is there ARE still birthing professionals who are trained, experienced and WILLING to help you deliver your baby vaginally. Finding a supportive, phenomenal team feels like a task you were supposed to have taken care of week 1. Here's a truth you aren't always told: you can change your team at ANY point in your pregnancy. So, 34 weeks is not too late to begin putting together the experienced breech birth team who will help you deliver how YOU want. Depending on your location, we may be able to help you find your team.
#4 Your Placenta
Nearing the end of your second trimester or sometime at the start of your third you may have an ultrasound where they will take a look inside you at your baby. During this ultrasound it is usual for the technician to determine where your placenta is. Your placenta is responsible for feeding your baby and is the organ that connects you and your little one. It takes everything you eat and ingest and filters what your sweet baby needs and passes it along through the umbilical cord. Sometimes these vital and beautiful organs can pick a tricky spot. Inside your uterus, the placenta is attached to the uterus lining. WHERE it is attached is the question. Sometimes it's at the top, or side, or bottom. If your placenta is in any way blocking your cervix then you are not a candidate for a vaginal delivery. It is important that your birth team is aware of your placental position.
#3 You Are Not A Quitter
With a breech birth, there is no quitting in the middle of the game. You have to be able to give it 100% and not back out due to anxiety or worry. Anxiety is no joke. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans and women are twice as likely to be affected. So, ladies, it's common. You're not alone. Hopefully if you are an anxiety sufferer, you are being supported by your health care professionals. Women who have to deal with anxiety should be supported unanimously. They should especially be supported in birth. Birthing out a human being is one intense and wild ride! In the middle of your birth you may experience feelings of being completely overwhelmed, in fact, you may want to throw in the towel and say "I QUIT!" Knowing generally how you personally respond in tough moments will allow you to move to the next criteria. It is TOTALLY ok to say, "You know what? I would probably freak out so I'm going to just stick with a different route!" We get you girl! If you think that you would most likely keep perfectly calm, move on to #2.
#2 You Can Handle Pain
There is no medication for a breech baby. Epidurals can cause an unborn baby to be sluggish and sleepy. They also reduce the muscular and physiological response in the legs, pelvis and lower body that mother needs for successful pushing. Therefore, birthing breech is a fully natural route. There are many successful methods for coping with pain that a mother can utilize to her advantage during birth.
#1 Your Attitude and Motivation
Breech birth is something you have decided you want to do and you are both excited and ready to prepare for it! Mental positivity that you and your baby are capable and will be successful is key. Many women have done it before you. Many women will do it after you. You can be a member of #breechnation by trusting your body and your baby.
This top-5 checklist should be used to discover whether or not vaginal breech birth is for you. Birth is never guaranteed. It is not a product you buy. It is not an event you attend. It is not a procedure or a promise. It is an incredible, mystical and mysterious act of the body to bring life into this world. Use this checklist as a guide to know yourself better. See if you have what it takes. Give yourself a break if you do not. You are enough.