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In Their Own Words: Annika's Story

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (52)
April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  As such, the blog topics this month will focus around cesarean birth journeys, and options that cesarean birth warriors have for subsequent pregnancies.  

If you would like to submit your story for our In Their Own Words series, please send your submission to krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com.

Here is Annika's story of her primary cesarean, and her VBAC journey with her second child:

When you are pregnant with your first child you have all these wonderful naive concepts about birth…well, at least I did. Not to say I had a traumatic birth with my first child, but I would say it definitely was a sobering lesson for my husband and I.
 
Our plan was to have Landan in a birthing center with minimal intervention and in a birthing tub. The entire idea of a water birth and a welcoming atmosphere to me was literally heaven and I would dream about it almost daily. At our 39 week check up our midwife seemed a bit puzzled when she was examining my belly and feeling around for Landan's position and promptly concluded after a ultrasound that he was in fact breech and very comfortably nesting in my right rib cage. So with a referral in hand and a last minute appointment with Dr. Medchill we made our way to his office for another ultrasound to determine if I was a good candidate for an external cephalic eversion (aka, external flipping or rotating of the baby).
 
Much to our delight, Dr Medchill concluded that there was sufficient fluid surrounding Landan and the umbilical cord was not wrapped around his neck. So off we were to the OB Triage at St Joe's to attempt flipping Landan with our bags packed "just in case." While the idea of externally having my baby flipped was not appealing, I really didn't have a whole lot of time to really understand the gravity of what I was about to experience, nor do I think I would have cared to be honest.
 
I had my mind made up that this was going to work and I was going to get my beautiful peaceful water birth I had been dreaming about for 9 months. With my husband sitting at my head, Dr Medchill on my right side pushing Landan's head and upper body, and a head resident pushing Landan's legs and butt, they attempted 4 times to flip Landan with no avail. My son was perfectly comfortable where he was at, and no one was going to convince him to move otherwise. At this point, my husband and I had been dealing with this ordeal all day and both of us were so incredibly burned out. I was shaking thanks to the muscle relaxers they gave me so they could perform the procedure and I didn't even want to dare to think about how sore my belly was going to be once the pain medication wore off. So, seeing our exhaustion, Dr Medchill offered to perform a cesarean birth within the hour.
 
Looking back on it now, I am actually very grateful for his willingness to help us in the midst of our exhaustion. Let me be clear, he was not pushy by any means and if you have ever encountered Dr. Medchill he is the most kind, but honest, human being on this planet. In his professional opinion especially since I had showed no sign of labor, my cervix was completely shut, minimal effacement, and Landan was definitely not going anywhere from his comfy spot, the chances of my body kicking into natural labor and Landan flipping and descending through the birth canal was really minimal.
 
Since I had never had a vaginal birth to begin with, I also had what the medical community deems as an "untried pelvis," which essentially means no baby has ever passed through. Which can diminish your chances of having a successful natural breech birth even farther.
 
So, my husband and I decided to go for the compromise and I was prepped for surgery before the ink was dry on the consent papers. Looking back on it now, I'm actually incredibly grateful for how quickly they moved as my husband and I weren't really given the chance to think too much about what was going on. The cesarean birth, from what I remember, was rather uneventful. I remember being extraordinarily cold, and feeling very alienated being so exposed on the table, but the staff was really pleasant and made me feel comfortable.
 
Once Landan was born he was quickly cleaned, weighed, and swaddled, and brought over to me where we snuggled our heads together for a fleeting moment. My husband was allowed to take him from there to the OB Triage area to have skin-to-skin contact while I was being put back together. Granted, I would have loved to have that contact with Landan myself, but stepping back from that, it really was a special time for Danial and Landan. They definitely formed an unbreakable bond and for that I am absolutely thankful for. That was such a special gift that Danial was able to have with Landan and I wouldn't take that away from him ever.
Fast forward 5 months and we were a busy family with a new(Ish) baby still taking over our house. Since having Landan I hadn't really thought much about his delivery or the ordeal much as I was happy to have my son earthside safely. It was when I found out I was pregnant with our second child that month that my feelings and emotions about Landan's delivery and my upcoming delivery would soon start to bring to the surface all sorts of emotions.
 
Luckily for us, we decided to stay with Dr. Medchill and continue care through him as he was most familiar with us, and our previous experience with him was really outstanding. He didn't hesitate when I asked if I had the option of attempting a normal VBAC and said that I was a really good candidate and that he actually would encourage me to at least try.
 
Let me tell you, that was music to my ears! But at the same time, the question in my head was "what exactly am I going to expect?" I couldn't have the water birth that I had fantasized about during Landan's pregnancy, and I was definitely not going to get a very birth center like atmosphere in the hospital, so what exactly COULD I expect?
 
That's where getting involved with the ICAN chapter in Phoenix really helped me wrap my head around my options but also internally deal with some unresolved feelings from Landan's delivery that I didn't even know I had. Also, getting involved with ICAN really gave me confidence to ask questions that I didn't even know were subjects I could ask!
 
For example, I had no idea that I could ask to have intermittent monitoring which would allow me to get in and out of the shower along with walking freely without being attached to a machine all the time. So armed with information, my husband and I navigated the months leading up to Adaline's birth with optimism and trust in our care provider that we could have a fair trial of labor.
 
I'm not going to lie, while we had an amazing support group around us from our care provider, to our doula, to our family, there was some SERIOUS fear in me of the entire process. No matter how you look at it, the incision is always going to be there. It doesn't go away and that doubt of whether or not that area will be able to withstand labor and birth is constantly lingering no matter how many statistics you look at of the success of VBACs.
 
I can say with confidence that there were MANY times where I just wanted to schedule a cesarean birth and go with what I knew and could expect. That is so much less scary then embarking on the marathon of labor and delivery where you have no idea what to expect. But, there was a really large part of me that just really wanted to experience the beauty of labor and be able to say that I could do it on my own.
 
So, I stuck to my guns and kept drawing from my support group of my husband, my doula, and my care provider. Much to my delight, on October 1, 2014 my water broke (which is definitely not a glamorous experience like Hollywood claims it is!!) and labor started with gusto about an hour later. My husband, doula and I made our quick exit to the hospital as my contractions were coming on with force and relatively quickly.
 
After a marathon of 17 1/2 hours of hard, active labor, my daughter was born on October 2, 2014 and was the most beautiful VBAC baby I could ever ask for. She absolutely made me work for my VBAC and I truly couldn't have done it without my doula and my husband, who stayed up with me the entire night going between the shower, birthing ball, holding the puke bin between contractions, making sure I drank water, and listening to me when I was so tired that I could feel my body giving in after 15 hours and asking for an epidural simply so I could take a 30 min power nap.
 
I have clients that ask me all the time how I was able to get through that VBAC and it’s really plain and simple to me. There is no part of me that hesitates when I say that I absolutely drew from the strength of my husband and my doula the entire time. Having my support group really helped me get through the toughest parts of that labor and then also being at peace with getting an epidural and taking a nap. When it boils down to it, that's what my body needed and having my support group there allowed me to listen to my body.
 
There is nothing I regret from Adaline's birth and in a way it was so healing for me and resolved so much self doubt from Landan's birth that I didn't even know existed in me until I was faced with the option of having a normal VBAC.

Now we are weeks away from meeting #3 and my husband and I feel so comfortable and armed with such confidence that we do know our options and are going into this second vaginal birth. I know, and for the first time, feel absolutely confident in my body; that it knows what to do and I also know how to listen to it as well. We have moved to a different state so having to switch providers was nerve racking until my husband and I really sat down and realized that we were completely confident with the criteria that we wanted and were setting for ourselves and also that we would find a care provider who was just as amazing as Dr Medchill was.
 
Luckily for us, we did find an amazing care provider and he is definitely on the same page as we are with this delivery. My hope and prayer for every single mother going through her VBAC whether it be after one or multiple cesarean births is that you really find your voice and find your support. I know that's what helped me navigate this incredible journey that I've been on the past 3 1/2 years and I only can hope that every single mother finds that strength as well.

Photographer Name: Allie Hannah Photography

Henna: Pheobe Sinclair 

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
 Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


 

Q&A with SPB: Breech babies & childbirth classes

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Can we prepare for a natural birth even if our baby is breech?

The answer is yes!!  The statistics are in your favor.  Only 4% of babies remain in the breech position at the time of labor and birth.























Notes from today's video:
Even if you end up with a cesarean birth after exhausting all your options, by preparing for a natural birth, you can still take advantage of the information you learned in your childbirth class:

Consumerism and informed consent: can help you negotiate to allow your labor to start naturally and then (if necessary) head to the operating room after a trial of labor. Babies have been known to turn vertex (head down) during labor - you may decide it's worth trying. At the very least, you will get some of the benefits of the hormones that you are meant to get during labor if your labor happens according to your body/baby's schedule.

Relaxation techniques: can help you be present and intentional during your cesarean birth.  HERE is a post we have done exploring the options around a gentle cesarean, also known as a family-centered cesarean.

Exercise and nutrition: Our students who have cesarean births in order to preserve their Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby birth plan often report that their recoveries are vastly different from their friends who did not take Bradley classes.  The physical aspect of their recoveries are easier and shorter thanks to the fact that their body that was physically prepared for the act of birthing.

What are some of your options?  Find 3 full lists of ideas plus a visualization script HERE

Here is a short list:
External Cephalic Version (medical solution)
Webster Protocol (chiropractic technique)
Acupuncture
Moxibustion
Inversions
Swimming
Music
Hot/Cold compresses
Light
Visualization
Prayer

Links For More Reading

SPB posts
5 Point Plan for Breech Babies: http://goo.gl/2WYf4n
 
Our Breech Story:  http://goo.gl/EP6F9V

Gentle Cesarean: http://goo.gl/xeixuI

Turning the baby:
External Cephalic Version: http://goo.gl/FSaFLV
 
Dr. Ross on Webster Protocol (chiropractic technique): https://youtu.be/A3762xOCMcs

Spinning Babies ("Natural" ways to encourage optimal fetal positioning): http://goo.gl/oHyHm

Breech Tilt: http://goo.gl/A6r9zV
 
Studies about Breech Babies
Statistics on the 3 different breech presentations: http://goo.gl/fJ0yxW

Acupuncture and Moxibustion: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280133
 
Long term outcomes the same for vaginal and cesarean deliveries of breech babies: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23197237


Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Info Sheet: External Cephalic Version

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:26 AM Comments comments (0)
External Cephalic Version for Breech Position
 
*Definition of the procedure/test
External cephalic version, or version, is a procedure used to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying (transverse) position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. Your [practitioner] will use his or her hands on the outside of your abdomen to try to turn the baby
Source ~ Quoted from: 
http://www.webmd.com/baby/external-cephalic-version-version-for-breech-position
           
Image Source: 
Scott & White Healthcare http://bit.ly/1eyZCgI
 
*History
External version has apparently been practiced since the time of Aristotle (384 to 322 B.C.), who stated that many of his fellow authors advised midwives who were confronted with a breech presentation to “change the figure and place the head so that it may present at birth.” However, external version eventually fell out of favor as a result of several concerns: its high rate of spontaneous reversion (turning back to breech presentation) if performed before 36 weeks of gestation, possible fetal complications, and the assumption that an external version converts only those fetuses to vertex that would have converted spontaneously anyway.
 
Studies have documented the success and safety of external version. The authors of a recent literature review of 25 studies on the efficacy of external cephalic version calculated an overall success rate of 63.3 percent, with a range of 48 to 77 percent. Most of these studies used the currently accepted protocol that is discussed in this article. These studies documented minimal risks, including umbilical cord entanglement, abruptio placentae, preterm labor, premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) and severe maternal discomfort. Overall complication rates have ranged from about 1 to 2 percent since 1979. In another study, fetal heart rate changes occurred in 39 percent of fetuses during external version attempts, but these changes were transient and had no relationship to the final outcome. Importantly, the literature provides overwhelmingly reassuring evidence regarding the risk of fetal death. Before 1980, four fetal deaths from external cephalic version had been reported. All of these deaths occurred in association with attempts at external version using general anesthesia. Since 1980, only two fetal deaths have been reported with external version. Both occurred without the use of fetal heart rate monitoring or ultrasonography in preterm infants in Zimbabwe.

A recent study reported a success rate for external cephalic version of 69.5 percent. Noteworthy was the fact that among fetuses undergoing successful version, the incidence of intrapartum cesarean section was 16.9 percent, a figure that was 2.25 times higher than that in the control group. The high rate of cesarean delivery resulted from a significantly higher incidence of fetal distress and labor dystocia in the group receiving external version. Results of this study demonstrate that even after successful version, a higher rate of intrapartum abnormalities may occur.
Source: Quoted from American Academy of Family Physicians 


Image Source:
WHO Health Education To Villages http://bit.ly/1eyZWfv
 
*PROS
  • External version success rate is 63% at term (37 weeks or more gestation)
  • Researchers have found that having an external cephalic version decreased the risk of breech birth by 54% and decreased the risk of C-section by 33%
  • If a baby is in the “complete breech” position (buttocks down, with the legs folded at the knees and the feet near the buttocks) this increases the chance that the version will be successful.
  • Version is also more likely to be successful if the placenta is posterior (on the back side of the uterus) and if there are normal levels of amniotic fluid (an Amniotic Fluid Index >10)
  • The most common risk is a temporary change in the infant’s heart rate (4.7%); serious complications are rare (0.24%)
Sources ~ Quoted from: 
 
 
*CONS
Potential Risks include:
  • Twisting or squeezing of the umbilical cord, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the fetus.
  • The beginning of labor, which can be caused by rupture of the amniotic sac around the fetus (premature rupture of the membranes, or PROM).
  • Placentae abruptio, rupture of the uterus, or damage to the umbilical cord. The potential exists for such complications, but they are very rare.
  • 1 urgent C-section for every 286 versions. Recommended that a version should take place in a setting where an urgent C-section could be performed if necessary.
Sources ~ Quoted from:
  

Links with other options to explore 
 

Alternatives for turning breech babies


5 Point Plan To Turn A Breech Baby

Posted on January 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)
We have had an interesting phenomenon in our Fall Bradley Method® class.  Three of our couples had/have breech babies – 30% of the class!  Interesting since the overall statistic ranges between 1-4% babies being breech at term – it depends which information you are reading.

In this post I will describe steps to take if you find out you have a breech baby at any point in your third trimester.  These are all ideas that do not involve the physical manipulation of the baby.  To read more about that option, click HERE.

1.)  Set your whole intention on turning your baby.
Focus your thoughts and your energy in every moment that you can to  turning your baby.  Envision that a non-breech baby is going to be your reality.  Devote time every day, whether it be 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 50 minutes, or more, to positive visualization.  We are also spiritual people, so we asked our family to pray for us.  I know that both of our parents put us on their church prayer lists and prayed for us to have the best birth possible for Charger.

2.) Webster Protocol.
The first thing we recommend to our mamas is to find a chiropractor who knows how to do the Webster Protocol.  To be clear, it is not a turning technique.  It is a series of checks that is done to make sure that the pelvis is stable to allow for the baby to feel safe in a head-down (vertex) presentation.  Babies that are going to turn will do so when the torsion is taken out and they can safely place their heads in the pelvis.

3.)  Take action and make a plan with your care provider.
There are two files that I am sharing as part of this post.  The first one is a compilation of ideas that I gathered and took to our care provider.  We went through the list together and she checked off all the things that she felt were safe to try.  This list is now three and a half years old – I encourage you to do your own research and come up with your own list to take to your care provider.  

The second is a script I wrote to play and meditate on every day.  I read it out loud so I could tape it and play it back.  This allowed me to focus on deep breathing and the intention of the words as I visualized our baby turning.  I listened to it when I was doing an inversion.
 
4.)  Do inversions.
When we found out Charger was breech, we were told by our nurse practitioner at our obstetrician’s office and a midwife who did a phone consult that inversions were the “old fashioned” way to turn breech babies.  The two most common inversions are the chest-knee position and the “ironing board” inversion (also known as the “breech tilt”).  The goal of these is to use gravity to prevent the baby from engaging into the pelvis in a breech position, and to encourage the baby to tuck their chin and encourage them to turn.  There are a lot of other techniques, and "everyone" has opinions about what is effective, so choose the positions that make sense to you.
 
  
    








Knee-Chest position
Breech Tilt Picture From

5.  Make Peace.
  If you do all of these things (or more) and your baby stays breech, know that you have done everything possible and allow yourself to open up to other options.  Do you want to try an external manipulation of the baby?  Do you want to find a care provider who knows how to manage a breech delivery?  Do you feel that you want to be allowed a trial of labor so that at least your baby chooses their birth-day before you agree to a cesarean birth? 

Believe that you and your baby will have the birth you are meant to have.  Your baby is not just a passenger in this process – they are a pilot – they know how they are meant to be born.  It is our responsibility to find the care provider who will inform us objectively and support us as we make the decisions that need to be made.

As parents, we are the only ones who can be the voice for our child(ren) before they are born.  Read, read, read.  Ask questions.  Make the decision that works the best for you and your family.

Want to know how the story ended for us? 
HERE is our breech baby story.

Do you know anyone with a breech baby story?  How did it go?

Link List:
External Cephalic Version
http://www.webmd.com/baby/external-cephalic-version-version-for-breech-position

Dr. Ross on Webster Protocol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3762xOCMcs

Breech Tilt
http://www.spinningbabies.com/techniques/242-breech-tilt

Studies about Breech Babies
Acupuncture and Moxibustion
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280133

Long term outcomes the same for vaginal and cesarean deliveries of breech babies
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23197237





Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


Chiropractic Care for Moms and Babies

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM Comments comments (51)
I admit it - I was one of those complete skeptics about chiropractic care.  I used to call them "chiro-quackers" and felt 100% sure that I would never let one touch me or my back.

Then our third child, Bryan, was breech at 32 weeks.  And he stayed breech - at our 36 week ultrasound, there was definitely a bottom where there should have been a top!  Desperate to avoid a cesarean and willing to try any natural measure I could, I asked my natural momma tribe if they could recommend anyone for the Webster Protocol - the three with answers all sent me to the same person: Dr. Kevin Ross.

We invite him to speak to our students because we feel that his care is one of the keys for our whole family to continue along the path of natural living that ties into our passion for natural birth.  He is passionate about chiropractic care and the benefits for mom, baby and the nursing relationship.  As an added bonus, he is also a Bradley dad® and can speak directly to the families coach to coach.

Today's post is short on written words - I will let Dr. Ross' videos speak for themselves.  You will see a title and a synopsis; click on the videos to learn more about the topics.  Enjoy!

The topics are:
- What is chiropractic care?
- What is "interfering" with the body's natural processes?
- What is "adjusting"?
- Chiropractic and Pregnancy
- Chiropractic and Babies
- The Webster Protocol explained

For Part 2 of this post, which is Coaching Back Labor click here.

What is chiropractic care?  
Dr. Ross introduces the concept of chiropractic care to our students.




What is "interfering" with the body's natural process?
Chemical, physical and emotional stressors interfere with the body's ability to heal itself.  Good chiropractors don't "fix" things - they clear the way for the body to do the work.


What is "adjusting"?
The common understanding of chiropractic care is a lot of pops and cracking.  Dr. Ross explains the different ways of adjusting - and there are many ways to adjust without "cracking".


Chiropractic and Pregnancy
Chiropractic care can help ease some of the physical discomforts of pregnancy.


Chiropractic and Pediatric Work
Babies can also be safely adjusted - do your research and find a chiropractor trained to do pediatric work.

The Webster Protocol
Guess what - it's not a turning technique!  It is actually stabilizing the mother so that the baby can safely turn head-down.

What do you think?  Have you considered chiropractic care as an option during pregnancy?

About Dr. Kevin Ross: 
Dr. Ross has been in practice for 20 years in Tempe, Arizona. His passion and love is pediatric and pregnancy care but his office cares for people of all ages. He is certified in the Webster Protocol for malpositioned babies.  If you would like to contact Dr. Ross, you can reach him at 480.730.7950, or visit his site at www.rechargeyourlife.com


Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
We are now enrolling for our Spring Series
March 5, 2012 to May 21, 2012
 
For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected]

How we turned our breech baby

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 6:52 AM Comments comments (4)
Bradley Method® baby - turned from breech to vertex at 36 weeks
I am sharing this because I am hoping this will allow other mommies-to-be with breech babies avoid a cesarean section in the hospital.  One of our students is working at turning their baby right now, so I thought it apropos to share this online today.

Journal: July 19, 2009
Bryan's Estimated Due Date (EDD): August 14, 2009
     As advocates of natural childbirth, and after two amazing birth experiences, I wanted the same for our third child. We found out in early June that he was breech, but didn't give it much thought at the time since we figured we still had time left for him to turn head-down.
      When our ultrasound at the beginning of July showed he was still breech and we already had a guess-timated seven pound baby, red-flags started going up. I was willing to try anything and everything that would safely encourage him to turn to a head down position.
      My thinking was very clear as we started these alternative therapies to an external cephalic version in the hospital: I would do everything in my power to help the natural process along, and knowing that we had done everything we could, accept a cesarean section if that meant we had a healthy son in our arms at the end of the pregnancy.
      Here is what we did to turn him - YEAH! And we are now praying he will stay that way until delivery day.

1. Talked to the baby: Every quiet moment, I would take the opportunity to send my thoughts to him, sometimes speaking out loud. I would tell him to move towards the exit, that I was taking long, deep breaths that were making room for him to turn, to tuck his chin and move towards the exit that was his safe entry into the world, that we, his family were eager to meet him and wanted him to be born naturally.

2. Visual imagery: I visualized him turning down and tucking into the right position. Now that he is turned, I am visualizing him staying there!!

3. Inversion: Method 1 - Prop an ironing board or similar object against a couch or ledge 12-18 inches above the ground. MAKE SURE IT IS SECURE!!! Lay back on it with your hips higher than your shoulders. Do this twice a day for 10-15 minutes.
     Inversion: Method 2 - Knee-Chest position - You begin by getting into a hands and knees position. Slowly lower your shoulders to the floor or bed, resting your head in a comfortable position.  You can try to move your knees further apart, causing your bottom to lower slightly while widening your pelvis.  You should look like you are in a frog position. Keeping your bottom higher than the shoulders while widening the pelvis may give the baby more room to turn.
     While I was in either of these positions, I also did some deep breathing, talked to him and visualized him turning.

4. Play music near the "exit": it is believed that babies will move towards music and light. I put my phone between my legs when I am in the car and play music that he responds to. I also read that light would work, but didn't try that one. The idea there was to shine a light at the top of the abdomen and then move it down, or just shine it at the exit point.  Since then I have read that some babies move away from light - so glad I did not try it.

5. Acupuncture: There is a specific therapy for turning a breech baby. In the doctor's office, they placed five needles in my head and one at a point in each inner ankle. Then they would apply heat (moxibustion) at the outer edge of my pinkie toes. This created a "turning" energy - more than any other therapy, I felt baby responding to this. He was active every time heat was applied to the toes!! We would do the moxi at home before going to bed on the days we didn't have acupuncture. Now that the baby is turned, we are not doing this anymore.  (We did have a couple more sessions with acupuncture only to help ease the labor.)

6. Webster protocol: Done by a chiropractor who is knowledgeable in this protocol. It is about aligning the pelvis, making sure it is open and "sublaxation-free" to receive the baby. This felt the best - after my first adjustment, the excruciating back pain I had felt on my right side was gone. We will keep checking the "Webster protocol" three times a week until delivery to make sure the pelvis is a safe place for baby to hang out.

7. Since he is a summer baby, we are lucky enough to use the pool.  Swimming is thought to help because it relaxes the abdominal muscles and the horizontal position in the water removes the gravitational pressure.  If nothing else, it felt great to have the pressure off my pelvis for a while.

     There are many more ideas on-line if you google "turn breech baby". The respected website is: www.spinningbabies.com.  No matter where you get your information, make sure you review any turning techniques with your care provider before trying them.

     Add again - lots of prayer.  We asked grandparents to put us on their prayer lists at church that Bryan would turn if that was God's will, and we also asked our friends to be in prayer for us. 

Journal:  August 15, 2009
     How the story ended and Bryan’s life "outside" began:  After 46 hours of labor, Bryan Victor Bowman was born on July 30, 2009 – 11 days after he turned. We had a vaginal birth and he was 9 pounds and 3 ounces. His cord was wrapped around his neck – maybe from turning?  I do not begrudge him the time he took since we are so grateful he is alive and well.

If you are in the Phoenix area, here are the doctors we used:
Dr. Deng – Accupuncture/Moxibustion
480-970-0000
164 East Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282
You can save money by having him do the consultation and then having his students execute the treatment plan.
 
Dr. Kevin Ross – Webster Protocol
480-730-7950
2405 E Southern Ave, Ste.4
Tempe, AZ

     Looking back, Bruss and I agreed that if the natural techniques did not work, we would not do an external cephalic version (ECV) because we were not comfortable with the risks, which include
  • Premature labor
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • A small blood loss for either the baby or the mother
  • Fetal distress leading to an emergency cesarean delivery
  • The possibility the baby might turn back to the breech position after the external cephalic version is done
  • Placental abruption - the placenta separating from the implantation site before delivery
 
     The more I learn about birth through reading, observation and listening to our students birth stories, the more I find myself agreeing with Jay Hathaway, one of the founders of the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.  He did a presentation during our teacher training about breech presentation.  His philosophy is that babies are not merely "passengers" in the labor process, instead they are "pilots".  He believes that a baby knows how they need to get out, and they have an ability to control their position in the uterus.  If they choose a breech presentation, then it is for a reason that they know about, and it sometimes becomes apparent after they are born why they were in the breech position.

     I am so glad we were not faced with saying no to an ECV and waiting for labor to begin naturally so we could be wheeled into an operating room.  However, in a conversation with a doctor today as I researched doctors in the Phoenix area who do vaginal breech deliveries, she had an interesting analogy.  If you consider turning techniques on a ladder, the natural techniques are ranked at the lower rungs - and you work your way up the ladder to techniques like ECV.  If you want to avoid a cesarean, her advice was to work on the natural techniques and try an ECV at 38 weeks.

    I will close with my Bradley teacher mantra:  it is up to the parents to take responsibilty, do your research, and arrive at a decision that you agree is best for mom and baby.


Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.