photos by Maggie Ehrig
Selected term breech vaginal delivery is an evidenced based and reasonable option for many women. When attended by a skilled practitioner and when properly screened a woman and her family can expect a safe outcome for her baby and, when compared to cesarean section, a better outcome for herself and for her future pregnancies. I am confident in saying that laboring with a vaginal breech birth succeeds or fails for the same reasons that a head first baby succeeds or fails.
I am often asked if properly selected vaginal breech delivery is supported by the research then why are there so few doctors willing to assist women in the reasonable choice. And, further, why would I do it. First, I do it because I was well trained, have years of experience and have the patience and understanding of normal mammalian birth to trust the process. I also respect the right of true informed consent and refusal and the autonomy of the individual to make her own decisions without coercion.
Most practicing physicians no longer have the training and skill, or the will to learn, how to assist women with a breech delivery. Those that do know often prefer the more expedient route of cesarean section and cling to the false belief that it is safer. The current economics and legal aspects of medicine do not favor the ethical duty to alter this trend and return to respecting all reasonable choices and common sense.
Aurora's Beautiful and Inspiring Frank Breech Home Birth
When my husband and I became pregnant we planned to have a natural birth at home with midwives in Orange County, and my pregnancy proceeded normally and healthfully. However, at a routine appointment at 37 weeks, my midwife discovered that my baby's head was no longer down-- he was frank breech! We were referred to a doctor for a manual version, but after assessing the baby's position, he concluded that I was a poor candidate and my only option was to have a c-section the following week (due to the fact I was a first time mom). My husband and I were devastated. We had been working so hard to have our baby naturally and we were so close. After the meeting with the doctor, we met with our midwife who gave us hope. That's when we heard about Dr. Fischbein. My husband contacted Dr. Fischbein, who personally returned his call and provided the confidence we needed to explore a natural breech delivery.-- Read more of Hallie & Michael's Story