Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"At 31 Weeks, My Doctor is Already Talking C-Section"

We are currently enjoying our Spring Break this week, so I am behind on writing my weekly post. We are putting in a pool, starting a Birth Network for the Ft. Worth area, recording a new series of DVDs, and of course, running a regular series of live classes. Oh yeah, and keeping four children and a busy husband fed and clothed.

I've picked up some new readers since doing the interview with Progressive Pioneer, so welcome! One of those people commented here with a question about her current situation, requesting advice. I'm always happy to give advice! Rather than post it under the comments, I decided I wanted to respond in a post. A lot of women find themselves in similar predicaments.

"Hi. I'm wondering if i could get some good advice from you? i actually found your blog through the interview on the progressive pioneer blog, and I've been reading through your blog ever since.

i am 31 wks pregnant, and this is baby number 4. i had normal vaginal births with all my big babies (10.4, 8.5, 9.5) with no complications.

we are currently stationed overseas with the military , in Germany and my doc is trying to say i'm gonna need a c-section. apparently the baby is transverse. don't i still have time for the baby to turn down? its already turned around a couple times. what else can i do? should i try to get a doc that's gonna work with me and not try to give me a c-section? every American i know whose had a baby here off=base has had a c-section."

If you look at a graph of how many babies are transverse/breech at 20 weeks vs. 40 weeks, it's remarkable. Approximately 30% of babies are not head down at 20 weeks, but at term, only about 4% of babies remain that way. The difference in the two is that breech babies can often be born vaginally when you have a doctor or midwife who knows how -- harder and harder to find these days -- but a transverse baby really is one of those necessary cesareans.

Sounds like this baby is a mover and a shaker! At 31 weeks, your baby will very likely turn. In the 7 years I've been teaching, I've seen a number of moms come through class, worried because their babies are transverse. Only one of those babies did not turn. Same with the breeches. When moms wants to know what they can do, I usually tell them not to worry about it until later. 31 weeks is still early.

I would give it another couple of weeks before trying any techniques known to possibly help get baby in a more favorable position. Except one: If you are not seeing a chiropractor, start now! Even if your baby is in the greatest position, chiropractic care can relieve a lot of pregnancy discomforts and help "line everything up" for labor. Ask for recommendations and be sure they are very familiar with working on pregnant women. Ask if they are experienced in the Webster Technique, known for helping to turn breech babies. Ask for their success rate as well. I do believe that all pregnant women should see a chiropractor for at least the last trimester, but it's never too late to start.

There are a lot of different "tricks" a mom can try. There are probably too many to name here. Henci Goer's "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" is full of information on turning breech babies. Mothering has ran several great articles on turning breeches too. I should do a post on all the options, but I think that will have to wait for another day!

Back to what this woman's doctor said about needing a c-section... Interesting that all the Americans are having c-sections, isn't it? What's that all about, over there in Germany?! I'm so curious if he's German or American? Is this what they think American women want? Surgery?

Your body obviously has no problem birthing your babies! There is a very good chance your other babies were in the same position at 31 weeks, but no one ever said anything to you about it because it really didn't matter. I would most definitely get a second opinion as your date draws closer and he's still talking c-section. The weight of the baby is not an issue. It's all about the baby's position as far as a c-section goes, and it's a moot point right now. Your body knows exactly what it's doing. So does your baby. In my experience, my babies' personalities have been the same in the uterus as outside the uterus, so good luck with this one! He/she is keeping you on your toes! Please keep us informed about the rest of your journey.

Readers, feel free to share any tricks you have found successful in getting a baby to turn head down.


Anonymous said...

Hi! thanx for posting my question and thank you so much for your advice.
i did want to say that the doctor is German. american women are all seen in the German hospitals now.
AND since they made this new policy, i havnt heard of many women having natural births.
i think its just easier for them to give c-sections. maybe thats what the german women want.

Hannah said...

I am a big believer in talking to your body and your baby. Say exactly what you want. It is remarkable what your body can do when you ask it to!

Sarah said...

Donna, I have heard of "talking c-section" here in the U.S. for a transverse baby at 34 weeks. Baby was not transverse by the time they did an ultrasound (for that reason alone, which is odd enough, don't you think?), but what are they doing freaking mom out like that? And if baby had been transverse, I'm afraid she may have believed them and gone ahead and scheduled a section right then and there. Crazy.

Melinda said...

Another great resource is the website spinningbabies.com - they have tips for turning babies, but I agree that you don't need to worry about it yet.