• Your baby is full-term and frank breech presentation
• A midwife or doctor trained and experienced at breech birth will be present
• Anesthesia is available and cesarean delivery can be performed on short notice
• Nothing to make giving birth vaginally more risky
You'll be advised to have a cesarean if:
• Your baby is premature
• Your baby is footling breech or kneeling
• Your baby weighs more than 8 pounds, 6 ounces or less than 4 pounds, 6 ounces
• An ultrasound shows your baby's neck tilted far back
• You've had a previous cesarean birth
• You have a low-lying placenta
Delivering your breech baby vaginally offers benefits to you and your baby.
• Less blood loss
• Less risk of infection
• No complications associated with surgery
• A faster, less painful post birth recovery
• Babies born vaginally have less risk of breathing problems
• Passing through the birth canal exposes your baby to healthy bacteria
In a breech birth, the baby's head is the last part to emerge. Sometimes forceps are used to guide the baby's head out.
If your baby's buttocks are not securely engaged, the umbilical cord can get squeezed as the baby moves toward the birth canal, slowing the baby's supply of oxygen and blood.
Because cesareans had been previously recommended for all breech births, health care professionals may not be as familiar with how to perform vaginal breech delivery. You might have difficulty finding an obstetrician who has enough experience to offer breech delivery.
Have you had a breech birthing experience? What's your story?