If your baby is in the breech position, you can choose whether you want to give birth vaginally or whether you want to have a caesarean section.
This is often a difficult decision because both choices have drawbacks. For this reason, as midwives, we always first ask you to consider a version to attempt to turn the baby. If successful, the latter would allow for a safer vaginal delivery.
Children in the breech position who are born by caesarean section often have fewer problems during and after delivery than children in the breech position who are born vaginally.
However, research shows that after two years there is no difference in development and health between children who are born with caesarean section and children who are born vaginally. The difference during and after birth also disappeared after 2 years.
With a caesarean section the mother faces more risks of complications compared to a vaginal delivery.
There are also more risks for mother and child after a caesarean section during a subsequent delivery than after a vaginal delivery.
You will be closely monitored during a breech delivery. Your child’s heart rate is registered with a heart film. In addition, the strength of your contractions is closely monitored and the speed of dilation must be good.
If the delivery is not optimal, this increases the risk of complications. For this reason, it may then be decided to perform a caesarean section.
Risks during a breech delivery are:
- The chance of admission to the incubator ward is slightly more common.
- The chance that your child will be born with a lower Apgar score is slightly higher.
- There is a greater risk of a nerve or muscle strain in your child’s neck or shoulder.
- The chance of a caesarean section is higher.
When choosing a caesarean section, the time of the birth of your child is planned. If contractions commence earlier, a caesarean section will be performed at that time.
Risks during a caesarean section are:
- A higher chance of an infection with the mother.
- Your child is more likely to have an infection.
- The recovery time for the mother after a caesarean section is longer than after a vaginal delivery.
- There is a higher chance of excessive blood loss.
- There is more chance of bladder and bowel problems.
- There is a greater chance of complications during a subsequent delivery.
- This is due to the scar in the uterus. Because of this scar, there is a higher chance of the placenta growing incorrectly, excessive blood loss and tearing of the uterus.
- This in turn will increase the risks during the birth of a next child.