Is Natural Breech Birth “A Dying Art”?

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Do you know anyone that has had a natural breech birth?

According to Homeland star Morena Baccarin, it is “a dying art.”

The actress, 34, and her husband Austin Chick welcomed their first child, son Julius, last week in LA.

Despite being breech presentation, Morena delivered her baby boy naturally with the help of Dr. Ronald Wu at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. In fact, Dr. Wu is the only doctor in the Los Angeles area who offers expectant mothers the option to birth a breech baby in a hospital.

“I’m so happy I was able to deliver with Dr. Wu,” the actress told PEOPLE. “Breech delivery is a dying art and he gave me the birth experience I wanted.” 

While 97% of babies are head down by the time labor sets in, the remaining 3% are breech presentation and most commonly delivered via planned C-section.

Vaginal breech childbirth has health benefits for the woman such as a faster recovery and less postpartum pain, as well as a better chance of having a natural childbirth in the future

That said, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states the “risk of harm to the baby may be increased in a vaginal breech birth.”

One of my three children was frank breech. My first child, now 7-year-old son Gavin, was delivered via C-section due to breech presentation. While discussing birthing options, my midwife explained that only one hospital in my city (Vancouver, B.C., Canada) will attempt natural breech births. However, she warned me about the risk of numerous medical interventions that typically ensue (e.g. episiotomy, epidural, etc.).

I opted for the caesarean section — and am thrilled to say that I later had two successful VBACs for my second and third children.

Would you deliver a baby via natural breech birth?

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  1. We have a situation whether the sister in Pakistan delivers a breech vaginally and the older sister, who has had 3 babies delivered through her birth canal in England, is not given any option, other than to have a Caesarean section for her 4th baby because baby is breech. When I was training in 1988 I was present at breech normal deliveries by birth canal. The Registrar reassured me that should baby’s head fail to slip out, as the uterine contraction eases off, baby slides back into mum’s pelvic cavity, baby is gently pushed back into mum’s tummy and a Caesarean section performed. He was not at all stressed by attempting to do a breech delivery through the birth canal. The Royal College of Obstetricians should provide mothers this choice under NHS Choices, whether there is a specially trained Obstetrician who only does breech deliveries by birth canal and is driven to the hospital where mum is labouring with a breech and has asked for a trial of birth by birth canal. Mums have given birth to their breech baby for years. Yes there is an increased risk of the breech baby having a dislocated hip, but this can be picked up before baby attempts to walk by going an ultrasound scan, so no harm comes to baby.

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