Midwifery Today Issue 106

Issue 106

Summer 2013

Midwifery Today Issue 106

Theme: Breech Birth

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!

Cover photo by Emily Robinson—www.emilyrobinsonphoto.com. Emily is a lifestyle family photographer in South Florida who specializes in maternity, birth, newborn and family portraiture. Her work focuses on storytelling and capturing authentic emotional connections between people. When she’s not shooting, editing or obsessing over photography, she enjoys hanging out with her husband, their two young girls and zany dog, Sonny.

Pictured: Maia June with her father, Bradley. Her newborn session was shot very early in the morning when the light is beautiful. Maia recently celebrated her first birthday, and her family falls deeper in love with her each day.

Buy This Issue


  • Poetry
  • From the Editor
    The editor-in-chief of Midwifery Today magazine shares a few of her experiences with breech births and what she learned from them.
  • Networking
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Marion’s Message
    “For a midwife to study a baby’s death, to go over the pregnancy and labor in detail is, I believe, a healthy practice.”
  • Cards and Letters
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Media Reviews
  • Discussions
  • Classified Advertising
  • Photo Album


  • First Twin: BreechGail Tully
    Gail Tully, known for her work with Spinning Babies’ workshops, teaches us lessons on breech via a twin birth story.
  • Breech Presentation at Term: Beyond the Dominant StrategiesMichel 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.
  • An Introduction to WaterbreechCornelia Enning
    German midwife Cornelia Enning shares why for more than 30 years she has assisted breech births exclusively in water.
  • 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.”
  • A Journey to Health during a Twin PregnancyMary 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-freeGail 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 Disappearing Art (but Increasing Prevalence) of Breech BirthDiane 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.
  • 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—Anonymous
    A powerful account of how one woman found her way into midwifery.
  • Breech Birth Stories
  • 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.
  • Babies Are Born Where They Are Born: A Conversation with a Midwife about Not Handing Babies to Their MothersMary 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.
  • The Microbiota BattleLoriAnn 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 NutritionJudy 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.
  • Protecting the Sisterhood: Thoughts from Midwifery Today’s Human Rights in Childbirth Summit, April 2, 2013Kathi 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 BabyAllie 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.

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