Vaginal Breech

woman in white long sleeve shirt

Is having a vaginal breech birth an option for you?

Is vaginal breech a safe option? It may surprise you that recent research indicates that vaginal breech may be a valid choice for some mothers and babies.

A study published in 2003 with over 700 mothers examined vaginal breech births of a singleton (which is the name given for a pregnancy with just one baby as opposed to twins or more.) Reseachers found that having a breech birth did not increase complications. An abstract of the study can be found here.

Finding a Vaginal Breech Provider

Although this is considered to be a more complicated type of birth, there are providers in the U.S. who are skilled to deliver vaginal breech babies. Some will be obstetricians and others, midwives. Vaginal breech births may also take place at hospitals or in homebirths.

Typically the only option for a vaginal breech birth is one where the baby is in a frank breech (or bottom first with feet up toward head) position.

Here are a few helpful tidbits to assist you in finding a medical provider with training to perform a vaginal breech:

  • 1. Many of the physician providers who offer this skill work in large teaching hospitals and many of them are foreign-trained, (i.e trained outside the US.)
  • 2. Contact a birthing center in your area to see if they have local resources.
  • 3. There are also a handful of midwives who are trained in vaginal breech births.
  • 4. Very few providers advertise that they do vaginal breech births, so you will need to investigate by making calls, talking to anyone you know who works in labor and delivery. Very often the nurses in each hospital will be familiar with certain doctors or midwives who may be more comfortable or who may have expertise in doing vaginal breech births.Click here for an article in Mothering magazine written by Ina May Gaskin, a midwife from Tennessee known internationally for her skill with vaginal breech births.

For more information on turning breech babies, click here.

Are you considering a vaginal breech? What are your thoughts about this type of birth? Tell us on the forum!