Midwifery Today, Issue 106, Summer 2013
Theme: Breech Birth

Issue 106: Breech Birth

Cover photo by Emily Robinson
Emily Robinson Photography

As UK midwife Jane Evans says, breech birth is unusual, but it is not abnormal. For many mothers, a breech baby automatically means a cesarean. What has happened to cause vaginal breech birth to be a disappearing phenomenon? In this issue of Midwifery Today, readers will be educated on breech skills, such as how to resolve obstructed breech birth by Gail Tully. Seven mothers share their own experiences in a special section dedicated to breech birth stories. Along with more breech information from experts like Michel Odent and Cornelia Enning, prenatal nutrition and the important topic of microbes will be discussed. Enjoy!


Poetry: Welcoming an Inuit Child
Jane Beal
Jan Tritten
The editor-in-chief of Midwifery Today magazine shares a few of her experiences with breech births and what she learned from them.
Marion’s Message: Studying Neonatal Mortality
Marion Toepke McLean
“For a midwife to study a baby’s death, to go over the pregnancy and labor in detail is, I believe, a healthy practice.”
More departments: Networking, Tricks of the Trade, Media Reviews, News, Classified Advertising, Calendar, Photo Album, Cards & Letters


First Twin: Breech
Gail Tully
Gail Tully, known for her work with Spinning Babies’ workshops, teaches us lessons on breech via a twin birth story.
An Introduction to Waterbreech
Cornelia Enning
German midwife Cornelia Enning shares why for more than 30 years she has assisted breech births exclusively in water.
The Disappearing Art (but Increasing Prevalence) of Breech Birth
Diane Goslin
With experience in more than 6000 births, midwife Diane Goslin shares why the incidence of breech babies has been increasing over the years. Goslin then goes on to tell a couple of breech birth stories that illustrate how to handle breech complications.
Mary Esther Malloy
A wonderful argument about the importance of not disrupting the first moments after birth, but allowing the mother to meet her new baby in her own way and on her own time.
Breech Birth: Abnormal or Unusual?
Jane Evans
“Babies, whatever their position, are guided by the internal structures, bones, muscles and ligaments of the mother’s pelvis, along with the movements both mother and baby make, working as a dyad from life in the womb to life in the outside world. These positions (ROA or OP) are unusual, not abnormal for birth and all are possible, though not necessarily optimal.”
Breech Presentation at Term: Beyond the Dominant Strategies
Michel Odent
French obstetrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent shares the importance of concepts, such as planned in-labor cesareans and the fetus ejection reflex, in regard to breech birth.
A Journey to Health during a Twin Pregnancy
Mary Cooper
What seems to be a precariously unhealthy start to pregnancy ends happily thanks to the dedication to health by a pregnant mother and her midwife.
Identifying and Resolving Obstructed Breech Birth: When to Touch and When to Be Hands-free
Gail Tully
An educational article that not only covers the signs of obstructed breech birth, but also teaches the skills that best deal with resolving the situation.
The Breech Index Scoring System
Rahima Baldwin Dancy
This article gives midwives a practical way of determining the feasibility of attempting a breech delivery.
The Birthing of a Midwife
A powerful account of how one woman found her way into midwifery.
Breech Birth in a Taxi
Lina Duncan
Set in the Philippines, this is an exciting story of a breech birth under not-so-ideal circumstances.
Breeching Protocol
Rebecca Kuder
A mother tells the story of how she gave birth to her breech baby in a hospital.
Surprise Breech from a Mother’s Perspective
Leah Laben
Though not quite the kind of birth she had envisioned, author and mother Leah Laben shares what she learned from her son’s surprise breech birth.
VBAC Breech Hospital Birth: The Story of Ezra
Bianca Rennick
Moments before a cesarean is to be performed, a mother is given the opportunity to push her breech baby out vaginally.
‘Never in My Wildest Dreams’: A Vaginal Breech Homebirth
Lindsey Nguyen
An unexpected breech presentation ends with a fairly quick labor and empowering homebirth.
The Best Dream Ever: Otto’s Breech Birth
Ezmë Gaze
An enjoyable story of a family’s amazement at the beauty of an unexpected breech homebirth.
A Surprise Breech at Home
ElizaBeth Whittington-Chambers
A mother tells the story of her son’s unexpected breech birth at home.
The National Birth Center Study II: Research Confirms Low Cesarean Rates and Health Care Costs at Birth Centers
Melissa Garvey
A new study shows the health and financial benefits of using a birth center as opposed to giving birth in a hospital.
The Microbiota Battle
LoriAnn Jones
“Without a doubt our arsenal of antibiotics has saved many lives, but with very limited understanding of our declared enemy, which is the vast pool of microbiotic life, are we creating terrible and dangerous beasts?”
Doulas: Action vs. Activism
Ricardo Herbert Jones
Author and Ob/Gyn Ricardo Herbert Jones discusses the doula situation in Brazil and his hopes of balancing political activism with thoughtful and appropriate childbirth assistance.
The Latest Research on Preconception and Prenatal Nutrition
Judy Slome Cohain
With plenty of research to back-up her claims, author Cohain provides a thoughtful look into the importance of exceptional prenatal care that centers on nutrition.
Kathi Valeii
An attendee of the recent Midwifery Today conference in Eugene, Oregon, Valeii shares her thoughts on the current situation in midwifery regarding the persecution many midwives face.
Gentle Methods to Prevent and Turn a Breech Baby
Allie Chee
Two traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are interviewed in this insightful article that provides a gentle option for mothers carrying breech babies.
Daisy C.H.A.I.N. Creating Healthy Alliances In New-Mothering
Jennie Hawthorn Mayes and Jaclyn Ann Mahoney
An organization that offers free breastfeeding and doula services shares how they organize their business and their philosophy behind it.
Family-attended Birth
Min Yi Su
Birth is an amazing event to witness—even for a teenage brother.