Surprise Breech Baby and Overcoming Breastfeeding Struggles

Surprise Breech Baby

My husband and I decided right away to have a midwife attended delivery and chose the Hypnobabies birthing method. I also decided a water birth would be the most natural. Our daughter was head down for the last 8 weeks, and our last appointment was 3 days prior to her birth – still head down.

I labored for about 28 hours (she is my first child) and pushed for about 25 minutes. During the pushing phase I felt like her head was really wide, but being my first baby I had nothing to compare it to. I asked my midwife to apply counter pressure for me while I was kneeling and pushing, and at one point felt her start pulling a little. I knew she wasn’t pulling on my daughter’s head, though.

Then came time for another push. I felt a big sense of relief, looked down and saw feet! Yes! Then realized NO! There’s more?! One more push and out came her head. Our little Olivia was a surprise breech! I never really felt her turn, but she must have in the last 3 days before her birth, because I could tell her position had changed.

Everything was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better delivery. And best of all, because of weeks of perineal massage and counter pressure during my birth I had a breech birth without any major tears.

breastfeeding struggles

yeast when breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Struggles

Breastfeeding turned into another story. Baby and her mouth were tiny. Her latch was poor and things weren’t going well when I noticed a small hole in the side of my nipple. I had intense pain on both nipples and didn’t realize for a few weeks that I had yeast infections on both. Being a first time mom I didn’t even know that was a possibility. Before I knew it, the tiny hole was quite large and painful. It was getting larger by the day and my midwife, lactation consultant and everyone else I had talked to had never seen such a thing.

This began at 2 1/2 weeks and I began my 10 week fight to breastfeed. My dermatologist was quite negative. He said quit breastfeeding, she won’t hold it against you, you’ve bonded long enough. At one point I stopped breastfeeding on the left and only pumped, but experienced some bleeding so had to hand express. My midwife tried cauterizing my nipple (yep, I’m still in pain more than 6 months later) and no help.

I finally went to a plastic surgeon who is also a wound care specialist. And coincidentally his father had been a pioneering researcher on the health and bonding benefits of breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months! 10 weeks after I had initially noticed that tiny hole, I finally healed enough to breastfeed again on both sides. I had so many people and doctors encouraging me to stop, but the few who encouraged me to continue I could never thank enough!

I was determined to breastfeed for the first year of my daughter’s life and we are still going strong at 8 1/2 months. I just wanted to share my breastfeeding story in case there is anyone else out there who is experiencing the same thing. I found nothing relating to this on the internet and local healthcare professionals are still stumped. I think a combination of a poor latch and yeast contributed to the situation. Women need more support for breastfeeding as it is, and this situation was incredibly difficult to go through with so little support and no answers. I want other women to know you can heal and you can breastfeed. Never give up! Thank you for letting me share.



  • Debbie Harmon

    I love this story. I am a midwife and also have had a couple of surprise breech deliveries that did not result in a c-section. If you can push out a breech you can push out pretty much anything. Thank you so much for sharing your story..

  • Natasha

    Soooo happy you were able to birth your breech baby vaginally 🙂
    I have had thrush issues with both my babies & am expecting my 3rd any day now… It can be such a battle 🙁 your story is very encouraging! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Lisa

    Well done for persevering. With my 5th child, I developed a hole in my nipple when she was about 14 mths old, she too had always had a poor latch. It was agony and apart from telling me I had thrush within the breast hcp’s were stumped at the hole. It never did get diagnosed but I pushed through and after about 6 mths it started to get better. I continued to feed my daughter until she was 2 and a half. You’re doing a great job. Xx

  • Amanda

    Thank you for sharing. I feel empowered by your story and know that if you can go through that, I can successfully go through my stuff.

  • Christine

    Thank you for sharing this! I also had a laceration/hole right where the nipple meets the breast! I had to hand express for 2 weeks to heal, and like you, no one had any idea what to do…Extremely challenging situation! Good job for not giving up! It’s so worth it!

  • Megan Casey

    I also (for my 1st) had some nursing problems. It was my 1st I had read all the books, and did as my pediatrician said /showed me. But the way the doctor showed me caused a LOT of pain, slowing let down. Very quickly I had bleeding cracked, super sore nipples. So I started pumping and using a special “Boobie bottle”, which resembled a breast. The lactation/ WIC lady told me if I didn’t get her back on breast and nurse directly my milk would dry up.
    I tried, I tried and tried, I was so scared to dry up. I would cringe and cry so badly every time she latched. Of course she was opening the crack’s with every suck. Finally I just did my own thing. I realized doing it our way for a little while was better then suffering and me hating/resenting it fora longer time period.
    We took all the best of each paper, book, and pamphlet. We did our own positions, whatever felt right. My cracks healed quickly once I started my method. Just in case any one wonders that was : Only cotton bras!!! The synthetic fabric holds in to much moisture and heat.
    We also used a mixture of positions ,again whatever felt right.
    I up’ed my water intake much more then normal and made sure to eat a bit extra. No broccoli or cauliflower but onion and garlic were ok for my baby . I always tell new Moms to try and figure out their own baby’s tummy.
    I used a lanolin based nipple ointment, but neither myself nor her father were allergic to wool. And I used it to fill in the cracks.
    Finally I used a men’s white cotton hankie as a nursing pad. They let my skin breathe, and I could flip and fold if I leaked. The more they got washed the softer and more absorbent they got. One of my Mums tricks. We were successful at nursing until we weaned at 13 months. Which is when we felt it time to stop. After figuring these things out, I successfully nursed my 2nd and 3rd child with no cracking bleeding or crying. Listen to advice take it in then do what feels right, thats my advice.

  • Annie

    How did you resolve the thrush issue? I had a water birth with my 2 1/2-year-old son and we have another boy due mid-October. I had terrible thrush and my son had a poor latch. My thrush was not diagnosed by my midwife or lactation consultant, but I have a history of yeast issues and know that’s what was wrong, based on the agony I was in and white patches on my son’s tongue. I’m worried about the same problem recurring with this forthcoming little one! Any further details would be appreciated 🙂

    • Kate

      So sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier! My midwife diagnosed my yeast issue on the nipples. My daughter did not have thrush at all. So I know the problem was solely with my body. Prepregnancy I had yeast infections for close to 10 straight years, but that stopped when I got pregnant. After I developed the issue with nursing I was put on daily megadoses of diflucan for months but I also started a probiotic for vaginal health specifically. I also changed my diet, I cut out a lot of sugar, all dairy and anything containing yeast. My yeast issue was so bad I developed thrush in my mouth while I was on diflucan! Luckily with all the changes I made I was able to beat back the yeast. It’s definitely a hormone issue for me as we’ll, my yeast free pregnancy proved that to me. Good luck to you, I hope it’s going we’ll with your new little one!

  • tracie p

    i had it so rough too, but i didn’t have a hole in my nipple! so wonderful that you were able to persevere. i did too, makes you feel like you can do anything 🙂 also makes me wonder why so many of us have such a hard time. there are so many institutional barriers out there, maybe it will get better. maybe as more and more of us breastfeed (more of us from a generation of mothers who didn’t), subsequent generations will too.

  • Diana from Nanny2Mommy

    Beautiful! Way to triumph! My little one had a poor latch due to lip tie. I had little support. She self-weaned at 14 months! And we still both miss it at times. It’s amazing what your body can do. 🙂

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