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Why breech birth matters

02 April 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 4


Emma Spillane believes midwives and obstetricians need to acquire more skills and knowledge on breech birth—here's why

I was recently teaching a physiological breech birth training day for Breech Birth Network, CIC where I met a wonderful doula with a vast amount of knowledge on physiological birth and supporting mothers. Following the training day, she contacted me and asked if I would consider writing a book on why breech birth matters and put me in contact with the editors of the ‘Why Matters’ book series. This has got me thinking: why does breech birth matter? Why do I continue to ensure parents have choice in their mode of birth and teach practitioners to facilitate such births? Does it all really matter? The answer is yes, I believe it does.

I recently completed a questionnaire for a delphi research study on breech birth and one comment which really struck me was by a midwife who said she has come to the conclusion, during her time practicing, that there are two paradigms with regard to breech birth. The first is those who persist in their mission to dissuade parents from a vaginal breech birth and inform others that it is dangerous. The second is those who continue to support mothers' choice, teach breech skills and use the evidence to show others that breech birth is a suitable option. I sit in the second paradigm, to improve safety through teaching breech skills, supporting others to do so and support mothers who wish to have a vaginal breech birth.

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