Chapter 11: “Human Rights for Breech Mamas” by Marion Toepke McLean

Chapter 12: “Effective Alternative Treatments for Breech Presentation” by Julie Brill

Chapter 13: “Beautiful Breech Homebirth” by Anonymous in Albuquerque

Chapter 14: “A Difficult Breech Birth” by Marion Toepke McLean

Chapter 15: “Three Surprise Breeches” by Ina May Gaskin



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.

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