Frequently Asked Questions about Breech Birth
- WHAT IS A BREECH BABY?
- HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BABY IS BREECH?
- WHY IS MY BABY BREECH?
- HOW DO I SPIN MY BABY?
- WHAT IS AN ECV?
- CAN I BIRTH A BREECH BABY?
- WHO CAN HELP ME?
- IS IT SAFE?
- WILL MY BABY GET STUCK?
- WILL MY BABY HAVE LASTING BREECH EFFECTS?
WHAT IS A BREECH BABY?
Your baby can be three different kinds of breech: Frank Breech, Complete Breech or Footling Breech. They are born like this: Bum first, bum and feet first, feet first.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BABY IS BREECH?
Ultrasound is the number one way women find out about their baby presenting breech. There are skilled birth practitioners who are able to distingush a baby's position manually, externally. As well, some moms can determine fetal position through intuition and touch.
WHY IS MY BABY BREECH?
Ah. The ultimate question. Everyone will ask "why" in their life about something at least once. We demand answers and deserve answers. Why, breech? There are many reasons. One reason is uterus shape. If it is bicornuate and has a division or septum it is likely that baby will settle into a position at a certain gestational age and then not budge. The position may be a breech one and then there is no spinning that baby. Another reason is placenta position. If placenta previa is occurring then breech presentation is a good possibility. Thirdly, condition of the uterus plays a role in baby's position. If it is a first time mom, the uterus is often tighter and more willing to keep baby in one spot. One mom told me her baby was breech because of her connection to the universe. So, there you go.
HOW DO I SPIN MY BABY?
Spinning babies is a controversial topic. For many women it is empowering. Being in control of your body and having the ability to maneuver your child to prepare for birth can be satisfying and encouraging. Then there is the other camp. These are the women who stood upside down for days and shined flashlights at their hoohas and burnt moxi by their toes. And nothing budged. They experienced an opposing outcome from the first group. This group of women felt discouraged, disappointed and demotivated. Depending on uterus shape, uterus condition, placental position and pelvic position, a woman may or may not be a candidate for spinning their baby. Try it. If it doesn't work after a few days, STOP.
WHAT IS AN ECV?
External cephalic version. Also, simply called a version. Using their hands, the birthing professional will manipulate from the outside of the tummy and attempt to shift baby into a different position through coaxing and pushing. This manual exercise is carried out by professionals such as OBs, OBGYNS and midwives. The use of ultrasound to assess where the umbilical cord is located throughout the prodecure is sometimes included. A couple key notes for interested mamas: it is an uncomfortable undertaking, and baby may revert back to original position.
CAN I BIRTH A BREECH BABY?
Absolutely. It is just one variation of natural fetal positioning for birthing. Women have been doing it for centuries without complications.
WHO CAN HELP ME?
Finding a provider can be difficult depending on where you live. If you need help finding someone in your area who can assist you birthing breech, please contact us. We will do our best to get you helpful info YOU want and NEED.
IS IT SAFE?
Yes. It is safe and it should not be feared. As with any birth, under any circumstance and any fetal position, there are possible adverse outcomes. A head-down baby can present risks during birth. There are a few criteria you should look at to see whether or not you feel you're a candidate for breech birth. Some people are NOT. This website is not designed to give you advice on how to birth a breech baby unassisted. Having a breech birth professional present is a great idea.
WILL MY BABY GET STUCK?
Yikes. No one wants to consider this outcome. Many people believe it is the biggest danger for breech babies. The short answer is: your baby getting stuck it is highly unlikely. The key is chin flexion. When a breech baby's chin is engaged (or tucked in) then it is in optimal position for birthing. Most breech babies will have a fantastically tucked-in chin. Keeping hands-off the baby while they are birthing allows for this flexion to remain in place. Find a provider who delivers breech babies "hands off".
WILL MY BABY HAVE LASTING EFFECTS?
Yes. Your baby will be super cute. Oh, watch out for a delicious newborn smell. You must be warned about very snuggly tummies and sweet little toes. After your breech baby is born, if they have been Frank Breech then their legs may remain in the air for a few days. They will eventually come down as the baby stretches out. It is the cutest thing. The most lasting effect I have seen in my three breech babies is an sense of pride that they were born differently. They wear it like a badge of honor.