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Midwifery Today Issue Number 106 (Summer 2013 ) Breech Birth
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Code: MT106
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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, you 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.

Articles include:

  • Thoughts about Breech Birth by 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.
  • Studying Neonatal Mortality by 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.”
  • First Twin: Breech. Gail Tully, known for her work with Spinning Babies’ workshops, teaches us lessons on breech via a twin birth story.
  • An Introduction to Waterbreech, by 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, by 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.
  • Babies Are Born Where They Are Born: A Conversation with a Midwife about Not Handing Babies to Their Mothers, by 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? by 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 by 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.
  • Identifying and Resolving Obstructed Breech Birth: When to Touch and When to Be Hands-free by 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 by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. This article gives midwives a practical way of determining the feasibility of attempting a breech delivery.
  • Breech Birth in a Taxi by Lina Duncan. Set in the Philippines, this is an exciting story of a breech birth under not-so-ideal circumstances.
  • Breeching Protocol by 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 by 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 by Bianca Rennick. Moments before a cesarean is to be performed, a mother is given the opportunity to push her breech baby out vaginally.
  • A Surprise Breech at Home by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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.
  • Gentle Methods to Prevent and Turn a Breech Baby by Allie Chee. Two traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are interviewed in this insightful article that provides a gentle option for mothers carrying breech babies.
  • Family-attended Birth by Min Yi Su. Birth is an amazing event to witness—even for a teenage brother.

View complete Table of Contents here.


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