From Robin Guy, co-founder of the Coalition for Breech Birth:
Dear friends of CBB,
Well, here we are. Women's voices are finally getting heard -- the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada has issued new breech guidelines that above all, advise that women need to be offered the choice of vaginal breech birth. What is the most important about these guidelines is not the nitty-gritty of candidate selection and techniques of delivery, but rather that they have tackled the ethical issue of forced surgery and come down firmly on the side of not obliging women to have surgery they neither want nor need.
Here is a link to the new guidelines and commentaries (please especially read Andrew Kotaska's commentary).
For those of you not in Canada, this is a great opportunity to approach your own organizations and present this example of progressive movement towards recognizing women's autonomy over their own bodies and ownership of their birthing.
So one battle is won, but the next is beginning. The guideline change will offer those doctors and midwives who were willing to catch, but afraid of professional censure or litigation, the excuse they need to start catching openly and helping to train their colleagues. The SOGC is also launching training initiatives that will help the care providers currently in school to gain these skills and graduate competent to include vaginal breech in their practice.
However, as always, the real change must come from us. The real change must come from women and their families expecting better care. Expecting to be offered unbiased informed choice discussions and for our choices to be respected and supported. Expect referrals to competent attendants when our own midwife or doctor legitimately doesn't have enough experience to safely catch our breech babies.
Please. Tell your friends what has happened. Shout it to the rafters. Watch for the International Breech Conference registration announcement (it will be October 15-16, in Ottawa), and do whatever you can do to be here.
Let's make some noise.