Updated: Mar 27
My name is Luana, I’m thirty-four years old and a first time mum. I wanted to share my birth story with you. 3–4% of pregnancies will have a breech presentation, I was part of that percentage three years ago. This is how it unfolded.
It turned out around 34 weeks my baby was breech & I had Gestational Diabetes (diet controlled). Saw an obstetrician around 36 weeks, I begged him to let me be on Midwife Led Unit but his concern was that the baby was breech (my concern was wanting a vaginal birth). I was like “don’t worry I trust this baby will turn”.
Was given three options:
1. ECV (External cephalic version), where they manually turn baby, has a 50% chance of working and I found out later it could be a painful procedure
3. Vaginal breech birth (he said they had one specialist in my hospital)
Automatically my obstetrician booked me in for ECV at 37+3, he mentioned he’d be away before then (how convenient for him). By the way, I don’t recall agreeing to it on the spot, I didn’t even know what it was yet. Their fear rubbed on me. I started to worry (which made my GD readings high). I looked into Spinning Babies desperately trying to make my baby turn. I just remember doing an odd inversion in my living room and I never felt more stupid. So I got up, researched stats. Joined Breech Birth U.K. Facebook group and to be honest it was the stats that made my decision clear. Essentially, perinatal mortality is 1/1000 ceph, 2/1000 breech, 0.5/1000 CS. I finally understood that whatever option I chose there was always going to be risks and deep down I didn’t think they were too far off each other. At the final scan I had, I remember clearly saying to my husband. “I’d rather have a VBB than do an ECV” I decided to stop trying to force my baby to turn, because I trusted they were the one inside who knew the best way out.
I was ready to decline ECV but my baby beat me to it.
Arrived spontaneously at 37+2, the day before the appointment!
Of course, the breech specialist wasn’t there when I went into labour. After they saw my birth plan they told us “the doctor on call is not confident delivering breech” I asked to talk privately to my husband, we looked at each other “if they’re not confident, we’re not confident” so we asked for an elective c-section. They came back in saying, “oh we didn’t mean to scare you, we can support you” but as a first time mum I got scared. The thing is, breech is not an “emergency”. In fact, breech births tend to be a bit faster, (they probably thought as a FTM it’d take ages, but all the hypnobirthing techniques I learnt helped me progress very efficiently) my slot kept being delayed due to real emergencies and I ended up fully dilated.
Once I felt the foetal ejection reflex, my body started to push on its own. That’s when I realised I didn’t need them to be confident, because I was. All the positive birth affirmations I practised became true “my body knows how to birth my baby, my baby knows how to be born, my body is designed for birth” it wasn’t just wishful thinking, those affirmations made me believe and my body proved in that moment. Next thing they said “we’re ready for your c-section” but I declined. The second stage was my favourite part of birth, I was so excited as I felt my baby descend. I was smiling, humming lullabies and drinking water between surges. Baby and I were so in sync, she knew all the hypnobirthing scripts as well as I did.
So… she was born vaginally bum first in the labour ward, as a first time mum.
Luana Thomas loves all things pregnancy, labour, birth and motherhood. Founder of www.getoffmyback.co.uk a platform to help parents-to-be to reduce anxieties and fears around birth. On a mission to change perspectives on the subject. Find out more: