Breech birth

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Breech Birth is an issue very close to my heart. My first son Joshua was born via breech extraction in 1989 (you'll find a link to his birth story below). For me his birth was not a positive experience, not because Joshua was breech, but because I was not given the opportunity to make informed decisions about my care and I was not listened to or respected during labour or while giving birth. This had a profound impact on me as a mother and a woman (and it was this experience that set me on my path to becoming a midwife). What I would like to present to you here is research based information on breech birth - so you can make an informed decision about being pregnant with a breech baby and birthing a breech baby. Breech birth does not necessarily mean a caesarean birth. After reading as much as you can, discuss the risks and benefits of giving birth to a breech birth with your midwife or doctor. 

Jane Palmer

Web resources on breech babies and breech birth

Term Breech Trial

The Term Breech Trial , an internationally conducted randomised controlled trial, concluded that caesarean section was the preferred birth option, but this study has been heavily criticised because it has given conflicting results. In places where vaginal breech births are a common occurrence, there were good results for vaginal breech births. In those hospitals where breech babies were born almost always born caesarean , babies born as a vaginal breech during the trial had poorer outcomes when compared to caesarean birth. It has been suggested by independent reviewers of this trial that where the caregiver has not gained or retained skill of assisting at vaginal breech birth a caesarean birth is preferable to a vaginal birth. You can see the abstract of the trial at The Lancet

Term Breech Trial Links

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Jane Palmer is a mother, birth activist and midwife in private practice located in Sydney, Australia. With additional qualifications as a childbirth educator and lactation consultant, Jane works to improve pregnancy, birth and parenting options for families.
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