My original comment:
In a hypothetical scenario where every community had access to vaginal breech birth in a hospital, I might be more inclined to find Jonie’s proposal reasonable. But in our present situation, banning breech at home = forced cesarean for almost all women. This topic is particularly relevant to me, since I just organized a vaginal breech training workshop with a Canadian OB who has done 300-400 vaginal breeches and a Canadian midwife who has trained in a German clinic that does mostly upright (hands & knees) breeches. I was disappointed but not overly surprised that all participants were out-of-hospital providers. Unless some radical changes occur to bring vaginal breech birth back into the hospital setting, I think the future of breech birth will be at home. Interestingly the midwife we brought down was more hesitant about breech in a home setting (she has done them in both home and hospital in the past, but now only does breeches in hospital, in part to help train residents and OBs in the dying art) than the OB was.Dr. Fogelson replied:
So should the practice be continued at home even though there is no skilled provider present? Does attending a course give one adequate experience to provide breech birth?And I wrote this:
I think the political issue of breech birth availability should not be addressed by providing the service in a suboptimal environment. I feel the same about VBAC.
A skilled provider is obviously optimal in whatever setting a breech birth happens. I’m just saying that there are women who would rather have a chance at a vaginal birth even in less than optimal conditions (i.e., with someone who hasn’t done a large number of vaginal breech births), rather than be forced into surgery.Come join the discussion--especially if you've had a breech baby (at home, in hospital, by c-section or vaginally).
I don’t think anyone was expecting this workshop to be the only training they needed to safely attend a breech. You’ve got to start somewhere, though, and simulation training with an experienced OB and midwife is a good place to start. Many of the participants had attended surprise breeches at some point in their careers and wanted more training for when/if that happened again.
I would love to see vaginal breech birth become common again in a hospital setting. But I don’t think that banning it in a home setting is the right approach. (This will further drive breech birth underground, as women either go unassisted or hire unlicensed midwives to be able to have a vaginal birth.) I’d rather find a solution that expands, rather than contracts, choices and that doesn’t limit women’s autonomy.