Breech Does NOT Equal C-Section

by Birth Without Fear on February 28, 2011

I have written before how a breech baby is another variation of normal. Having a breech presentation does not mean you automatically need to schedule a c-section. Remember, our babies are wise and know just how they need to be for birth. Most of the time, babies will turn, even late in pregnancy and labor!!!  You can read my other post for more thoughts, support and ideas here.

I want to share a few breech birth videos for inspiration. My first baby was breech and everyone I talked to said, “Sure, you can have a vaginal breech birth, but if it goes bad, it will do so fast.” Not very encouraging. I had no where to turn to for POSITIVE support. I bet you can guess what happened. I had a c-section. Would I now for a breech presentation? No way. Not automatically. I’d give my body and baby the chance to birth vaginally.

So, if you are finding yourself pregnant with a breech baby that is not turning, you have my support and the support of all the BWF mamas on Facebook!

Edited to add this new video. I can not comment on these techniques as I’m not a midwife or doctor, but it is definitely an very interesting breech birth video! If any OB’s or midwife care to comment, please do.

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Another new video to add. An OB attended home birth of a breech baby.

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Enjoy these beautiful videos and remember it is YOUR body, YOUR birth, YOUR baby!

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

catharine February 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

Thanks for the recommendations for turning, one of my few anxieties about this first pregnancy is a breech. I live in CT and both the midwife and the doula (the best in the state by far) have said there aren’t any CNM’s or hospitals that allow vaginal breeches, I pray that baby’s head is big and heavy like his/her daddy’s and is face down. The thought of being cut open when I know women CAN, meaning I COULD deliver a healthy breech if it came to it, is just horrifying. What bothers me most is I know the baby will be in ITS best position for birth and I feel the c-section due to breech position just negates that, it’s taking ALL trust out of the birth process, thanks for writing about it, send me heads down thoughts! :-)

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Amber January 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

How did it go for you? I have a friend who lives in CT, is 32wks, and baby is in breech position. She is going with a midwife currently, but is affraid they will not allow her to have a vaginal home waterbirth like she planned. Any advice would be wonderful. Thank you

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Soshanna February 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

Wow, another fantastic post with amazing videos that I simply must share! Thanks again. Also, there is a wonderful hands off twin breech birth in this video not sure if you have it. http://www.facetofind.com/video?w=MTE0MzMwNTgxMDc0#downloading

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Mrs. BWF February 28, 2011 at 9:25 am

Thank you Soshanna! And yes, that is my favorite birth video ever! I always cry when the woman laughs after birthing her baby!

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Michaela March 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

I can’t see the video :( It says Chrome could not find it. Anywhere else we could watch it?

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Terri February 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Thank you for posting about this topic! I too had a breech baby and I too had a c-section. My birth center wasn’t allowed to deliver breech babes, and when they told me to go to the hospital I obeyed. I really wish I’d looked more into a last minute home birth, though!

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Sheila February 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I attempted a VBA2C with a footling breech baby at a free-standing birth center. I labored at home for 2 days and then went to the birth center. I was only 4 CM and midwife was talking cord prolapse (my waters had been broken for over 24 hrs and I was GBS +) so she gave me the option to go home and come back once I’m 5-6 CM or go to the hospital. I was not comfortable laboring without medical profession at that point, so I choose to transfer and had my 3rd cesarean. Ended up that he had a very short cord, and it was wrapped around his neck twice and once around his body (explains why he was not descending and also why the 2 versions did not work). I accepted his birth and it was my ONLY necessary cesarean. Breech birth should definitely always be an option, anywhere!

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Renee February 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I have seen all these videos before, but one thing I do wonder is why is that person in the middle video, pulling on the baby and tilting it upwards and such? Are you not supposed to just let them be while coming out?

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Mrs. BWF February 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Yes, you are usually supposed to leave them be. Which is why if you listen close there is a male voice saying something like, “Don’t pull on him! Don’t pull on him!” over and overa again!

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Carissa March 1, 2011 at 3:56 am

That 38sec birth (the last one) is fantatsic!!! What an amazing thing to see! y first son was breech and I had a caeser, Mrs BWF I wish I ‘knew’ you then!!!!!

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Viera Cervena March 1, 2011 at 5:35 am

Thanks for posting such beautiful videos. However, I have a question – does the baby in the second video have some health problems? Why do they rub her with the towels and then separate her from the mother?

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Mrs. BWF March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

Viera, I think that baby just needed a little more help to get going. I posted it to show different scenarios possible. :)

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Rebecca March 1, 2011 at 7:54 am

WOW…thank you for that amazing journey! I don’t cry at every birth I attend any more – but I did for that first one there! Awesome!

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Emma March 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

My 3rd birth was going to be a home birth like my 2nd, then 2 weeks before I was due, midwife says I think you are a bit too big. So went in & had an ultrasound & there was 2 ! My husband was not content to labour at home so we found a perinatologist who was willing to take me as I was “high risk”, as “NO ONE” had seen me & both were breech. So to cut a long story short… he told me how dangerous breech twin births were…& he wanted an elective C sec, I was none the wiser so we booked in. Then I went home & got on the internet & found out that breech births are just another way that babies choose to come out…. so I went back “armed to the teeth” & told him I was going to labour naturally. He was supposed to be the best Dr in the local twin cities that had delivered over 4,000 breech twin births (… don’t worry they were all C-sec’s except for 2 births where the mothers came into the hospital with one already birthed & one almost 1/2 birthed). Anyway I went into labour on my due date, 40 weeks, went into the hospital, my midwife came as my doula. The Dr informed me that if I labored & had the twins breech naturally that one would be born a quadriplegic, the other one a retard, & I would hemorrhage & die ( his exact words).. I smiled & told him told him I was going to birth naturally, my husband was told to “bring his wife” under control, & that I was risking my life & the lives of his 2 babies…. there was a lot of tension.. midwife counseled husband that he should support me & my ‘instinct’ & ‘peace’ that all would be o.k. So hubby was then supportive to me & said go ahead & to the Dr, we are going to go through with this labour ( I had to sign all these papers that said I would not sue the hospital ra ra ra etc)…. 8 hour labour, beautiful breech twin birth, 47 minutes apart. Two girls that were 6.8 lb & 6.5 lb. After the birth of the placenta the Dr kept making me push & push, but not one drop of blood, he stormed out muttering to himself( no congratulations!!!), I said to the the nurse “what’s his problem?” & she turned & laughed & said Oh don’t worry he’s just mad you didn’t hemorrahage!!! So inspite of the Dr’s predictions… today I have 2 healthy lively 6 year olds running around my house!!!!

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FutureMama March 2, 2011 at 3:27 am

You are amazing for sticking to your guns! That doctor will never forget that! Wow!

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Laci October 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

WOW your story is absolutely inspiring, Ii am so glad you stuck to your intuition and that your husband supported you like that! AWESOME!

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CPMonkey March 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

Wow, this is fantastically empowering! This pregnancy, I’ve been afraid of finding out it’s twins because my first was a preemie (27 weeks via emergency cesarean due to footling breech presentation and placental abruption – unfortunately an all-too-necessary cesarean), and given that twins often come early on their own or are taken too early by overzealous OBs, combined with the fact that my birth center doesn’t handle twin births, yeah… the idea scares me. However, reading this story is so empowering! It’s great to know that you were able to fully practice informed consent in spite of such an unsupportive practitioner! :-D

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Kayla-Marie March 5, 2012 at 2:57 am

Twins don’t always come early. My girlfriend is a twin and she and her sister were born a month and 8 days past their due date.

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Chelsea August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

I’m glad it all turned out okay. In defense of the dr., however, because medicine has been turned into a business, it is very dangerous and opens him up to liability should anything go wrong. So most doctors feel obligated to prevent any potential dangers by forcing their patients to go the least risky route. It’s not their fault that for every good experience like you had, there was another one that didn’t turn out so well and they lashed out at the dr. and probably sued him for malpractice and now he’s covering his butt for every future scenario… I know websites like this enjoy painting the medical profession as uncaring and forcing women to get elective procedures they don’t need, but if they don’t, then they get sued…

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Amanda May 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

What an inspiring story- I am 34 weeks with twin breech boys. My hospital doesn’t do breech twin deliveries and I am not sure what to do. My first daughter was born at home peacefully and I cannot imagine having a c-section because of their position but I don’t know what to do. I admire your courage and determination. Wow.

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Jessica @ Clothdiaperingmama March 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Wow, you are such an inspiration! I love your FB page and I love your pure honesty and trust in your body. I wish I had seen this before I birthed my 9 month old. I had a 90 minute L&D, natural, but a little hectic at the hospital. A think a home birth will be in my future if we conceive again. The videos you’ve included about breech birth are both intense and amazing, they show the strength and honor that these women give themselves and their babies/partners.

Thank you for being so confident and helping others to empower themselves with your words and your pictures.

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nicola March 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm

omg u had me crying! and that last baby was super fast! wholy heck it can be done, i was taught labour is nothing but very painfull and with a breach baby there is no way it can be a vaganel birth

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FutureMama March 2, 2011 at 3:30 am

I’m not even pregnant or trying, but I love watching these videos. Thank you so much! I have one question I’d love answered; why is the partner in the second video tweeking the mama’s nipples?

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Mrs. BWF March 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm

They were trying to bring on another contraction so mama would have the urge to push the baby the rest of the way out. :)

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FutureMama March 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

Does tweeking nippples cause a hormone release?

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Debbie May 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Yup.

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Vis Feminea March 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm
Alyssa March 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

I wish I had been more educated five years ago when I had my first baby who was breech; maybe then I wouldn’t be facing UC with a VBA3C baby…..No care provider will touch me with a ten foot pole! Over the course of this pregnancy, my husband and I have learned to trust my body and let it do what it was designed to do!! God has given us peace about this decision, but I can’t help but wonder what would have happend if I had took the initiative all those years ago and learned that breech babies can be born vaginally….like they say, hindsights 20/20!!

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L March 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Love the videos of how these breech babies! I do have one question: Why do they leave that last baby underwater for so long?

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Debbie May 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Same question here.

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Jacqueline June 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

My gf had an under water birth and if I remember correctly a baby won’t take it’s first breath until it’s face is exposed the to air. So long as it is still attached to the plancenta it’s getting air. WHY they left it their could be as sinple as because they weren’t worried about it and were letting the little one take it’s time adjusting to life out of the womb

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sarah June 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I was wondering the same!! I was starting to panic screaming in my head get that baby out of the water!!

Why did they do that?

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Kimberly March 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I went through that last October. I went to see an OB who had a flare for turning babies. However, I have an heart shaped uterus and there was a very strong wall keeping the babies head on the upper left side of the my abdomen. I was not a candidate for turning. He would not be able to turn on the way out either. My doctor said that they could do breech vaginal births and they are starting to come back…..but, did I want to be the first ones to do it when no medical professional has done it in over ten years. My answer was no. I scheduled the c-section when my son was 38.5 weeks. That was the OB’s magic number. Term baby and low risk of going into labour. My son was born quickly, the surgeon was very talented and I had a doula taking care of me while my husband went skin on skin with my son 5 minutes after he was born. It was not the birth I had planned for, but it was the safest option for me and my son.

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Lola May 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Kimberly, I had a very similar experience, minus the doula (in hindsight it would have been nice to have one)! They would not have been able to turn my kids due to my defect and my cervix is also divide by a septum.

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Autumn May 8, 2011 at 1:49 am

As a direct-entry midwife, nurse, homebirth advocate, and a mother who had my first baby at home breech; I feel that the second video is slightly misleading. The birth was beautiful, however the video does not show the baby recover. The baby was taken from the mother because it was white and did not appear to be breathing; leaving me in suspense about how long it was before that little one decided to breath. Vaginal breech births can happen and should happen; but that said, there are still risks and people should take them into consideration when considering a breech birth.

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Mrs. BWF May 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Interesting. That is actually WHY I put that video on. To show that sometimes help is needed.

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Michelle June 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I’m surprised the midwife in the second video was so hands on immediately. Isn’t the umber one rule for breech birth to not touch the baby?

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Jennifer June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Mrs. BWF, I have been thinking a lot about what happens if your baby is breech when its time to deliver. I am actually pregnant with my fourth child. (yay!) But its a secret from my friends and family for now… so here’s hoping they don’t read your blog ;) So what are the real risks about breech birth? Is there a safe place to read about them without the fear and hype? My home birth midwife said that she will deliver breech babies at home and has in the past but I want to be fully informed in case my baby ends up in that position.

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serenity August 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Any info on breech and uterine anomily? I have a uterine didelphus, and my first child was breech. After getting preeclampsia at 37 weeks my Dr got the c-cection he was pushing from the beginning. Makes me wonder seeing all the breech stuff if it would have been fine with the right support, even with the anomily. Any other info on uterine didelphus would be nice,

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Serina November 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Fantastic!! Thank you for this reminder !!

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Alicia September 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Oh my goodness. These videos are amazing. Thank you for sharing. I am pregnant with my second baby and am contemplating a water birth this time around. These videos have opened my eyes!

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Lori October 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Glad I found this website. I am attempting my 2nd vbac breech birth. All 3 of my children have been breech. I had a c-sec. with my first because I knew nothing about vaginal breech births and I would have been too scared to try it anyway. After having 1 c-section I decided I did not want to go through that again unless I absolutely had to. (Recovery was terrible). My 2nd one I had a successful vbac, no complications. He was born one foot first. Now I am 38 weeks pregnant with yet another breech baby. I tried everything (chiropractic, ECV, inversion exercises, etc.) and nothing has been able to turn any of my babies. I figure this is just the way I’m made. I am lucky to have a doctor who is skilled at breech births. I have been feeling a little nervous about this next birth even though everything went well with my last one. I feel alone here since I have never met another woman who has had a breech birth vaginally, or had all her babies in the breech position. I get such negative reactions from other people when I tell them my baby is breech and I am planning on another vbac. It gets discouraging. I hope more women will not just settle for a c-section because their baby is breech. I try to tell people my story and get the word out there that it can be done and it is safe as long as you have a doctor or midwife who knows what they are doing.

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Milenas December 21, 2012 at 2:48 am

Can someone tell me what vbac stands for?
I really like to read your blog, but i’m from germany and i don’t know these shortcut.
Thank you!

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Mrs. BWF December 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

VBAC is the abbreviation for vaginal birth after cesarean. :)

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Melody May 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

I am just now seeing this post. My daughter was a breech baby and I had a cesarean. I was very sick with HG and gallstones, on top of that, the closest doctor who delivered breech was over 4 hours away. A homebirth was out of the question for my husband and I was too sick to research all of my options/convince him otherwise. These videos are absolutely amazing. I ball my eyes out watching any birth whether it is cesarean, vaginal, or breech. But breech births ignite this amazing feeling in me and I sob like a baby, they are beyond beautiful. Love these videos, so so so much! I am much more educated and trying for number 2, my husband is also now on board and trusts my decision for whatever birth I feel comfortable doing. Hoping for an easy VBAC/HBAC! Also hoping that baby will be head down, but I have this overwhelming feeling that whenever I become pregnant again, our baby will be breech again too. Only time will tell! Thank you for sharing! Truly amazing!

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Lena July 27, 2014 at 6:07 am

Thank you so much for getting this information out into the world. I wish I would have seen this site at the time of my first pregnancy. I have so much regret about having a C section. It was a horrible experience and I was heartbroken that I “had to” have one. I wish I would have researched more and stuck to my guns. I honestly am crying right now. Its just not fair that doctors push C sections on us. If I had known more, as a first time mommy, I would have chosen to go for the natural vaginal birth even though my daughter presented breech. My mom was born breech and vaginally back in the day. That’s just what they did! I have so much regret about this, I can’t even tell you. I feel like I was robbed, like I robbed myself of the experience. My 2nd child was also C section b/c #1 no Drs in my area will do VBACs and #2 I was concerned about if I would rip open b/c the births were only 18 months apart. Thank you again for getting this out there. If I ever get pregnant again, I’m going to find a way to have the baby naturally, no matter what anyone says. My body was built for this!

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