I have a client right now who is 35 weeks pregnant with baby number two. Mom is healthy, educated, and financially stable. Mom trains smart two to three times a week, practices her HypnoBirthing ® during her lunch hours, and eats real food. Mom had a beautiful un-medicated, vaginal first birth with a midwife in a hospital.
Sounds like a dream, right?
About a week ago, this mother found out her baby is breech (frank breech). We have done the Webster technique plus taping methods and appropriate exercises. The mother has done inversions at home, during work breaks, and at the end of her day. She has also done acupuncture and moxibustion. The mother has even done the breech scripts offered by HypnoBirthing ®. The mother has done anything and everything on her end to encourage this baby to turn.
However, our society has failed her. Yes, the society we live, eat, and breathe in every damn day has let this woman down.
We live in Los Angeles where midwives do not deliver breech babies; there is one ObGyn that will deliver breech babies at home (Dr. Fischbein is a gem), one ObGyn that will entertain the idea but most likely opt for a cesarean birth last minute, and one ObGyn that will charge a pretty penny up front to deliver in a hospital connected to all the fancy, shiny tools.
This is Los Angeles and we have three options to offer this mother who has done her part! What the F***?!
I’m not writing this blog to give you advice on what to do when your baby is breech or seek out more advice. I’m writing this blog to inform you and educate you that some babies just prefer to be born breech. My mother gave birth to my breech presented brother vaginally. I’ve had a handful of patients that have opted for the breech homebirth route or paid the pretty penny for the breech hospital birth. However, a lot of women in our country don’t even have that option. This is not good.
When told their baby is breech, majority of the women in our country are not given the choice of a vaginal breech birth. They are coerced into having a major abdominal surgery. That is 175,000 women a year that are given NO CHOICE.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be apart of a small group that screened a documentary called “Heads Up.” This documentary gets right into the misunderstood subject of vaginal breech delivery. This documentary presents facts, interviews doctors, and even shows a beautiful vaginal breech birth.
Do you realize that until 2001 vaginal breech delivery was an option for women? However, in 2001 a Canadian study was published that concluded that breech babies have a small but statistically significant better outcome with surgical delivery. As a result, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommended that breech babies be delivered via cesarean delivery usually at 39 weeks.
The research and logic has since been proven faulty. In 2006, ACOG changed its mind to support vaginal breech delivery. However, the damage had already been done. Medical schools had stopped teaching the art of vaginal breech births and women are given extremely limited options when their baby is breech.
Heads Up is documentary that should be viewed in every medical school, chiropractic school, acupuncture school, and childbirth education courses. Couples should be presented with unbiased information such as this film so that they can make EMPOWERED and EDUCATED choices.
Please take a moment to take a look at the Heads Up crowd funding page. Go there NOW. Dr. Berlin and the rest of the team would like EVERYONE’S help to make this documentary available to all. Together, we all can make a change.
BIRTHFIT is a movement. And, movement is life.
-LINDSEY MATHEWS, DC
UPDATE: In the last 4-5 days my client's baby has since moved into the correct head down position. Now she can focus on the home birth that she's always dreamed about.