Natural Living Des Moines


Breech Means C-Section? Maybe Not….. by sarahtar
November 5, 2008, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Birth, Personal Stories

Article Submitted by Dr. Heather Yost from Yost Family Chiropractic

A breech birth (aka “breech presentation”) refers to the position of the baby in the uterus.  These babies will be delivered buttocks first instead of the normal head down (vertex) position.  The risk of breech presentation is small, with research showing approximately 4% of full-term (38-42 weeks) pregnancies being breech.

In the 1990’s, some breech babies were still delivered naturally.  Beginning in 2003, almost all hospitals declared a halt to delivering breech babies vaginally and began using c-section 100% of the time.  But what about the woman who doesn’t want a c-section?  Is this the only way?

Chiropractic care, using the Webster Technique, may help prevent a c-section. This is a technique where specific chiropractic adjustments allow for balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce unnecessary stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments.  This makes it easier for a breech baby to turn naturally.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported, in the July/August 2002 issue, an 82% success rate of babies turning vertex (head down) when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.

Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends that women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to create pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.  Breech presentation may be avoided altogether, resulting in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.

For more information, contact Dr. Heather at Yost Family Chiropractic.  278-YOST.  Or visit us at www.YostFamilyChiropractic.com

Information submitted by Dr. Heather Yost, DC, FICPA, Webster-Certified.
Compiled using information from the following sources:

International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, http://www.icpa4kids.org/

American Pregnancy Association, htt;://www.americanpregnancy.org/

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 25, July/August 2002.

Breech birth – Wikipedia, htt://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breech_birth

Block, Jennifer. Pushed. MA: Da Capo Press, 2007

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note from the editor (Sarah):

During my recent pregnancy, my head-down baby turned Frank breech (butt down, legs and head up). There was no physical reason, and I had been under chiropractic care the entire pregnancy (with Dr. Heather). My own research showed me that breech delivery is really quite safe if you are with a skilled care provider who has experience with breech. Problem? There are very few providers with breech experience these days. Those who are skilled at breech often will not do it. In Des Moines, I found one OB who would “consider” taking me as a patient and one OB who would not make me have a C/S if I showed up at the hospital in labor with a breech and refused to consent to surgery. This man was experienced and skilled at breech, and comfortable handling a breech delivery, but would not take me as a patient knowingly planning a vaginal breech delivery. Phone calls to providers – OBs and midwives – across the state and into neighboring states turned up only one OB who would take me as a patient planning a vaginal breech delivery. This was an OB in Omaha.

It is SO important for women to educate themselves about their options and not accept No for an answer unless it’s what YOU want. In the case of a breech, it’s not enough to refuse surgery. You need to make sure you’re being safe – a care provider who doesn’t know what they’re doing can really cause a bad outcome with a breech.

I know the Webster Technique is among the most proven ways to turn a breech naturally. Acupuncture is another well-studied option. Neither choice will do any damage in any way – there are no risks. There are also no guarantees – I was one of those women for whom neither technique did the trick. We ended up doing an external version (which IS risky) and went on to have a wonderful homebirth with a head-down baby.


2 Comments so far
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Sarah – can you please tell me who the OB was in Omaha that would agree to a vaginal breech delivery? I live here and may be in the same situation and my current OB will not. Thank you!

Comment by Jennifer

Sure. Here are my notes from my discussion with him:

Dr Finley in Omaha: (402) 559-7200: He called back himself and we chatted for about 20 minutes. He is super nice. Older. Would absolutely take a breech vaginal delivery, no reservations. A first baby is “more challenging” but he would still take a patient delivering breech with their first. A second or more is usually no problem. He said they’re usually kind of fun, you just have to leave the woman alone. He would still recommend a C/S if the mom has labored for a while and the baby isn’t moving down, but that’s a recommendation that makes sense. You cannot augment a breech, and he feels a C/S is safer than pit if the mom’s been in labor for quite a while without making any progress. (and I agree from what I’ve read.) He works with many of the HB midwives in Omaha (HB with a mw is illegal in NE). If he feels he needs to induce someone, he has them take EPO for a week or so before hand and give them other labor-inducing suggestions, hoping to get them going naturally before having to interfere with medical stuff. He had some suggestions for me for keeping baby head down. He wouldn’t work for me if I were to end up needing him because he’s out of town again until November, but I would DEFINITELY recommend Dr. Finley for anyone else needing a breech provider.

Comment by Sarah




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