The Safest Kind of Breech
by Marion Toepke McLean
Copyright 2007 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 83, Autumn 2007.
My first hands-on breech delivery was a memorable experience. He was born on a summer day when my partner and I were expecting dozens of guests for a lawn party.
The baby had been breech all along. I can remember driving home from prenatals and thinking about the ballottable round ball up under his mom’s right ribs. She and I would feel that firm broad part, and then she would agree to my request for a vaginal exam. Each time I was clear on examination that the head was presenting in the pelvis. Or so I thought.
We were called to the birth before midnight. We tried to be philosophical about most likely missing the party, as she was a primip. She was also a bit overdue, so we joked about how the best way to get someone to go into labor was to schedule a party. We attended five to ten births a month in those days and choosing a date for a party was a challenge. Fortunately, our neighbors had a key to the house and would set things up and play hosts if we couldn’t be there.