Creating strength and confidence in midwives and mothers: a breech birth.

Confidence and fear are both infectious. 

Living in a fearful world, we are all infected with fear. Pregnant families are often fearful. Medicine is a fearful culture. Midwives must exude confidence in order to spread that instead. After going with mothers every day along the beautifully normal journey of normal pregnancy and birth, midwives become confident. We absorb deeply the truth that miraculously life and birth work every day. 

Labor and birth worked their normal miraculous thing for Jenny. Here is her story. 

During the last part of her pregnancy we learned that her baby was in a breech position. She tried to help him to change his mind but he was stubborn. (Maybe he knew something that we didn't). Jenny thought about a Cesarean section which is how most breech babies are born these days. Knowing about what surgery entailed and knowing that babies come out all kinds of ways, she opted for a vaginal breech birth. 

All midwives who have been around for a while have attended a few breech births. It's going to happen. Either an error was made in palpating the position of the baby and we all get a surprise during labor, or a baby turns in labor and we get a surprise. That's how we usually get practice. But that couldn't be the best way to get practice. Knowing ahead of time is safer, more controlled. Scientific evidence is clear that vaginal breech is sometimes a safe choice. But learning to attend breech births takes the infectious confidence of success.

Jenny's confidence in herself and her labor and birth, so beautiful and so normal, infected me with a breech confidence for which I am profoundly grateful. I watched her gently and slowly ease her baby down, one chunky buttock at a time. I watched her baby's body turn, smoothly, knowingly allowing his legs to ease through. He waited until the perfect moment to turn just right so that his shoulders slid out, his arms comfortably crossed across his chest. Then he tucked his chin, and as his nose slipped into view, he started to cry.

"Hello baby" I thought, sliding him through his mother's legs and into her arms.

Strength, confidence and love filled the room.