Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vaginal Breech Birth vs. Cesarean Section

I just finished reading Breech Birth by Benna Waites. She is a British clinical psychologist who birthed a breech baby vaginally. She wrote the book analyzing all the research studies done on breech birth, both vaginal and cesarean to help other women who find themselves with a breech baby at term. Rixa of Stand and Deliver Blog write a review of this book as well as New Zealand midwife Maggie Banks' book Breech Birth Woman-Wise. Since both my babies have been breech (one born by elective c-section and the other born vaginally after a successful External Cephalic Version, the topic of breech is close to my heart. To say that I "chose" to have an elective c-section with my first implies that I felt I had options which is not how I felt. I didn't feel like I had any other good and reasonable choices. Considering the fact that supposedly only 3% of babies are breech at term and I have had two, I feel that I need to prepare to deal with breech in future pregnancies as well.

I am going to order Maggie Banks' book plus an extra copy for my doctor as well. You have to order from her website or bookstores in Australia/New Zealand so I want to have it well before I get pregnant again. Also, book of these books are good to have in my library since breech doesn't become an issue until the end of pregnancy when you don't have a lot of time to order books and make decisions.

Benna Waites' book is a must-read for a those who find themselves with a breech baby. If vaginal breech birth is something you might be interested in, the analysis of the studies and different approaches to managing breech will be extremely helpful and confidence-building to making your decisions. While there are no clear-cut answers, there are important considerations such as provider experience/confidence and managed vs. hands-off approach to vaginal birth. Additionally, measures to turn a baby are also covered along with the potential benefits and risks of planning a c-section but waiting to operate until after labor starts on its own.

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