Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ECVs and Breech Whisperers

I woke up early (not on purpose! what is going on?!). I was dreaming about my alarm not going off on time and I dreamed I woke up and checked the time and I was suuuuper late...and then I woke up from that dream to check what time it was. Only 5 am!

My day started early with a ride from a lovely, enthusiastic OB who was the first to bring upright breech to Hungary several years ago. He attends vaginal breech births, water births, etc. Our next stop was to pick up Andrew Bisits, aka the "Breech Whisperer," who is visiting all the way from Australia and who will be co-teaching with us.

We drove out to an old Cold War era hospital outside Budapest, built in the 1960s during the worry that the Cold War would become hot and that Budapest would be attacked. This hospital was strategically placed far from the city center (aka, a bit in the middle of nowhere!). There was definitely nothing very warm about this cold war hospital in the main areas.

But the obstetrics department is doing some amazing work, despite the challenges of being a public hospital that is underfunded and understaffed. This is the only hospital in Hungary to openly offer and support vaginal breech birth. They had a team of 7 or 8 OBs come to Wroclaw last year for training. Now they support primip or multip frank breeches and really want to also support complete/incomplete...they're working on their colleague's fears because breech itself is already so radical!

Andrew was invited to teach the staff and some visiting physicians from the Semmelweis clinic how to do ECV. He has a unique one-handed technique and they were keen to learn. They had two ECVs, one a primip and one a G3, both frank breech. He did the first one and talked one of the visiting doctors through the second one, both successful and quite quick.

We then got a tour of the maternity department. It has 4 birth rooms, each with a big tub and lovely artwork and birth affirmations. They say things like "My body is opening like a flower" or "When I think I cannot do it anymore, it means I am very close to meeting my baby" or "I can do this." One of the doctors told me that this artwork is very radical in Hungary.

One of the rooms had a huge birth swing contraption, which apparently has only been used once because the mothers find it both unstable and uncomfortable. Apparently the fathers use it a lot, though!

I enjoyed having some time in the car with Andrew--I was able to ask him about what's going on in Australia and ideas for revising his BABE course. He thinks the future of vaginal breech birth in Australia should be midwife-led. The OBs just don't want to learn it or do it, while midwives are generally very keen and very enthusiastic. He thinks midwives should lead breech services and have the OBs as backup for in-labor C-sections. (My paraphrase, but I think I have the gist of it!)

I came home, cooked myself lunch, and worked on video editing. And then I crashed for a bit when I took a break to read. I got through just a few pages and then zzzzz...

After an early dinner, also at home, I decided I had to get outside even though I didn't really feel like it. It was cold today, 7 C, which is about as cold as Nice ever gets. I put on all of the layers I had and wished I also had gloves!

I walked to the St. Stephen's Basilica and then to the Parliament building, coming home along the Danube until the walking path ended. Then back to the Basilica and home.


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