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Spiritual Meaning Of Breech Birth

The word breech means buttocks, and it goes on to mean “the rear part of the body between the hips and the knees.” That is what breech birth actually refers to—referring to birth when the buttocks first emerge from the vaginal canal for your baby or child.

Breech birth is a challenging topic for many couples when they are expecting their baby. If a breech baby remains in the breech position after 37 weeks of gestation, a cesarean section delivery may be necessary. Additionally, in some cases, if a baby is not head down by 36 to 37 weeks, the healthcare provider may start to discuss scheduling an induction or cesarean section.

The spiritual meaning of breech birth

As it is known, a breech birth is when the baby’s lower half (including the legs) comes out first at birth. It is not uncommon for this to happen in the modern world, but in ancient times, it was viewed as a sign of great respect and power. In fact, some cultures believed that breech births were a result of divine intervention.

Here are some examples:

In ancient Greece, if a baby was born breech on the seventh day of pregnancy, they would be considered blessed by the gods. This was because they believed that babies born on the seventh day had been conceived on that day by their father’s spirit and mother’s soul, thus making them more intelligent than other children who were born on other days.

In ancient Egypt, if a pregnant woman dreamed she gave birth to her child’s head first—which symbolized strength—she would have a boy who would grow up to be king. If she dreamed she gave birth to her child’s feet first—which symbolized weakness—then she would have a girl who would grow up to be queen.

In ancient China, if a woman delivered her child’s head first and then its feet, this was seen as good luck for both

A breech birth is a childbirth in which the baby’s buttocks or feet (rather than the head) emerge first. This is a rare occurrence and occurs in about 3% of all births.

In most cases, it is not necessary to perform a cesarean section for a breech birth, but you may need to have your doctor manually rotate the baby so that they can be born headfirst. This process is called an external cephalic version.

The significance of breech births lies in their spiritual meaning to many cultures around the world. In many cultures, breech births are considered to be good luck (especially if there is no medical reason for them). It is also considered good luck because it means that the mother will have an easy delivery and healthy baby.

The Spiritual Significance of Breech Births


Breech births, where the baby is positioned feet or bottom first instead of head first, have long been associated with spiritual meanings in various cultures around the world. While modern medicine may view breech births as a complication that requires careful management, many cultures have held onto the belief that these births are actually a sign of good luck and blessings. Here are some spiritual significances of breech births:

1. Symbol of Resilience

In some cultures, breech births are seen as a symbol of resilience and strength. The baby’s ability to navigate a more challenging position in the womb and be born safely is believed to mean that they will have the strength to overcome obstacles in life.

2. Connection to the Spirit World

Breech births are sometimes seen as a connection to the spirit world. It is believed that babies born breech may have a stronger connection to their ancestors or spiritual guides, bringing wisdom and guidance from beyond.

3. Sign of Divine Intervention

In some religious beliefs, breech births are seen as a sign of divine intervention. Just as in the Bible, where stories of miraculous births such as that of Isaac or Samson show how God can intervene in the birth process, a breech birth may be seen as a special blessing from a higher power.

4. Alignment with Lunar Cycles

Some cultures believe that breech births are aligned with specific lunar cycles or celestial events. The positioning of the baby in a breech presentation may be seen as a reflection of the alignment of the stars and planets at the time of birth, influencing the baby’s destiny and personality.

One Bible verse that reflects the idea of divine intervention in birth is Jeremiah 1:5, which says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” This verse highlights the belief that each birth is a divine and intentional act, regardless of the circumstances.

Overall, the spiritual significance of breech births reminds us of the mysteries and miracles of childbirth, and the belief that each birth is unique and blessed in its own way. Through cultural symbolism, stories from religious texts, and a connection to the spiritual realm, breech births can be seen as a special and meaningful event in the journey of bringing new life into the world.

Definition

Breech birth is the delivery of a fetus (unborn baby) in a bottom- or foot-first position. Between 3 to 4 percent of fetuses start labor in the breech position, which is a potentially dangerous situation.

Description

Throughout most of pregnancy the developing fetus is completely free to move around within the uterus. Between 32 and 36 weeks, however, the fetus becomes so large that movement is restricted. It is much harder for the fetus to turn over, so whatever position it has assumed by this point is likely to be the same position that he or she will be in when labor begins.

For reasons that are not fully understood, almost all unborn babies settle into a head down, or vertex, position. The fetus is upside down in the uterus, and the head will dilate the cervix (or vaginal opening) and lead the way during the birth process.

Some fetuses, however, present in a breech position. There are three breech positions: frank, complete, and incomplete. In a complete breech, the buttocks lead the way out of the uterus, and the legs are folded in front of the body. A frank breech baby also has his buttocks down, but his legs will stretch straight up with his feet by his head. An incomplete breech, also known as a footling breech, presents with one or both legs down so that the feet drop into the birth canal at delivery.

Of course, many babies are safely delivered from the breech position. There are certain factors that make a breech delivery more likely to be Successful; if ultrasound (a technique that uses sound waves to visualize the fetus) shows that the fetus is in the frank breech position, the fetus’s chin is tucked on its chest, and the fetus is not big, it is more likely that an uncomplicated breech delivery is possible.

The biggest part of the fetus’s body is usually its head. If the head fits through the mother’s pelvis, then the rest of the fetus’s body should slip out fairly easily. In addition, when the baby’s head comes first, the soft bones of the skull “mold” to the shape of the birth canal during labor (which is what gives newborns that cone-headed appearance). If the fetus is born bottom first, it is possible that the body will fit through the mother’s pelvis, but the baby’s head will get stuck at the level of the chin. This condition, known as a entrapment, has the potential to cause serious injury to the fetus, and surgical intervention may be required to complete the birth.

There is also a possibility of umbilical cord prolapse with a breech birth. The baby continues to get its oxygen supply from its mother exclusively from the blood in the umbilical cord until the head is delivered and baby breathes on her own. In some cases of breech birth, part of the umbilical cord enters the birth canal before or with the baby’s feet or buttocks and pressure on the cord cuts

Approximately 3–4% of babies will start labor in the breech (buttocks first) position. While this is a potentially dangerous situation, many full-term babies can be safely delivered from the breech position.

(Illustration by Electronic Illustrators Group.)

off the blood and oxygen supply. This situation is known as cord prolapse.

Demographics

Breech presentation occurs in 3 to 4 percent of all births, and up to 95 percent of women with a breech fetus choose cesarean section for birth. The earlier a birth occurs in pregnancy, the higher the chances are that the fetus will be in a breech position. Twenty-five percent of premature infants born before 28 weeks are breech.

Causes and symptoms

The cause of breech birth is not known. Women with multiple gestations (i.e., twins or more) are more likely to have at least one fetus in a breech position simply due to space constraints in the womb. There are generally no identifiable symptoms of a breech fetus. However, some women may be able to detect the position of the fetus by where they feel the fetus kicking.

Diagnosis

A healthcare provider can often tell the position of the fetus by feeling it through the wall of the mother’s abdomen. Another clue to the position is the location where the heartbeat is heard best. If the fetal heartbeat is best heard below the level of the mother’s navel, it is likely to be positioned head first. On the other hand, if the heartbeat is best heard above the level of the navel, it is likely to be breech. The most accurate way to determine breech position is using ultrasound.

Treatment

If a fetus is in the breech position in the last weeks of pregnancy, there are three possible courses of action: cesarean section (or c-section), attempted external cephalic version, or vaginal breech delivery.

Some women choose vaginal breech delivery. This should only be attempted if ultrasound shows that the fetus is in a favorable breech position. The frank breech position is the preferred position for successful vaginal breech birth, and the majority of breech fetuses are in this position. Most babies will do very well during a breech delivery, but there is a risk of fetal injury. Some providers may use forceps or a vacuum extraction device to help a breech baby out of the birth canal, a procedure known as assisted breech birth.

During an external cephalic version (also known as version), the obstetrician attempts to turn the fetus to a head first position before labor begins by manipulating the outside of the abdomen. The obstetrician places his or her hands on the mother’s abdomen to feel the location of the unborn baby’s buttocks and head. The buttocks are lifted up slightly and the doctor pushes on the baby’s head to encourage him to perform a sideways somersault. It may take several tries before the fetus cooperates, but about half will eventually turn.

A version should only be done in a hospital, with an ultrasound machine used to guide the obstetrician in turning the fetus. The fetus should be monitored with a fetal monitor before and after the version. The mother is given medication to relax the uterus, minimize discomfort, and prevent premature contractions.

A version is not appropriate for every fetus who is in the breech position at the end of pregnancy. It can only be tried if there is one fetus in the uterus, if the placenta is not lying in front of the fetus, and if the umbilical cord does not appear to be wrapped around the fetus at any point.

Cesarean section is the most common way to deliver a breech baby and is the method recommended by the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics if a version has failed. A c-section is performed by an obstetrician, who makes an incision in the lower abdomen through which the baby is delivered. Like any surgical procedure, c-section carries a risk of infection and hemorrhage. Postpartum recovery is also longer with c-section than with vaginal delivery. However, in difficult breech presentations, or in cases where there are multiple fetuses and one or more are breech, it may be considered the best option for delivery.

Prognosis

Version is successful in turning a breech baby approximately 50 percent of the time. However, some babies who are successfully turned will turn back to the breech position after the procedure is done, particularly if version is attempted too early before the onset of labor.

Manipulations to deliver an entrapped head or stuck shoulder or arm can cause injury to the baby. Both entrapment and cord prolapse can be potentially fatal to an infant if delivery is delayed.

Among breech babies born after the full nine-month term, smaller babies usually do better. The exception to this is premature babies. C-section is generally the delivery mode of choice for premature babies due to the other risks these infants face (such as lung immaturity).

Prevention

There is no way to prevent a fetus from settling into the breech position at the end of pregnancy. A woman who has had one breech fetus is at an increased risk for having another breech fetus in subsequent pregnancies.

KEY TERMS

Complete breech —A breech position in which the baby is “sitting” bottom first on the cervix with legs crossed.

External cephalic version —Manual manipulation of the abdomen in order to turn a breech baby; also known as version.

Frank breech —A breech position where the baby is bottom first and his legs are extended upward so that his feet are near his head.

Incomplete breech —Also called a footling breech, in this position the baby has one or both feet down towards the pelvis so that his leg(s) are poised to deliver first.

Umbilical cord prolapse —A birth situation in which the umbilical cord, the structure that connects the placenta to the umbilicus of the fetus to deliver oxygen and nutrients, falls out of the uterus and becomes compressed, thus preventing the delivery of oxygen.

Vertex —The top of the head or highest point of the skull.

Interesting Facts When Baby Is Bottom Down

If you’re pregnant, you might have some concerns about your baby’s positioning. Will they be head down and ready before labour begins?

Maybe you’ve been told your baby is in the breech position and though labor isn’t imminent you’re concerned about what this means.

Breech positioning is when the baby’s buttocks or feet are down and positioned to be birthed first.

While many babies might be breech at some point in pregnancy, only 1-3% of full-term babies are in the breech position.

From wondering when you should worry about baby turning on their own to how a breech baby should be born, there is a lot of conflicting information out there.

Here are 8 facts about breech birth:

#1: There Are Three Types Of Breech Birth

Breech means that baby isn’t head down and either her feet or buttocks is positioned to be born first. Breech positioning is further defined by how their buttocks, feet and legs are positioned. Knowing the type of breech position baby is in can help maternity care providers recommend how to give birth and the type of care and assistance they should provide. The three types of breech birth are:

  • A footling breech, or incomplete breech, has one or both feet positioned to be born first
  • Frank breech is when the buttocks is presented first and the legs are sticking straight up towards baby’s head
  • A complete breech is when the buttocks is presented first and the knees are bent so the feet are down near the buttocks

#2: The Webster Technique Is An Effective Way To Encourage Baby To Turn

Regular chiropractic care can be linked to positive pregnancy and birth outcomes. When a baby is presenting breech, a chiropractor certified to do the Webster Technique might be able to help facilitate baby turning. A small study found the Webster Technique to be 82% effective.

Chiropractic care and the Webster Technique do not actually move the baby. Chiropractic care and the Webster Technique help to align a mother so there is nothing hindering baby’s ability to get into the head down position for birth.

In addition to chiropractic care, some women find acupuncture, acupressure and even certain exercises helpful in facilitating baby turning head down.

#3: Most Breech Babies Will Turn

At 28 weeks of pregnancy, around 25% of babies are in the breech position.

However, by 35 weeks, only 7% of babies are breech, and by 37 weeks, only 1-3% are breech.

If you’re less than 37 weeks and have been told your baby is breech, it might be helpful to know but it isn’t something to be too concerned about.

The majority of breech babies will turn on their own, before reaching full-term gestation.

#4: A Breech Baby Can Turn In Labour

It is possible for a breech baby to naturally turn after labour has begun.

The bigger baby gets, the less space baby has to move. However, this doesn’t stop all breech babies from naturally turning head down during labour.

#5: An External Cephalic Version Might Get Baby Head Down

An external cephalic version (ECV) is a procedure performed by a doctor to manually turn baby from the outside. This procedure is performed after you reach full-term, as there’s a risk of baby needing to be born during or immediately following the procedure.

ECV’s are successful around 65% of the time. As with any procedure, there are some risks involved, but for many mothers, the benefit of a possible low-risk vaginal birth outweighs potential risks.

#6: Research Supports Vaginal Breech Birth

For many pregnant mothers expecting a breech baby, a c-section is the only birth option presented. New research, however, supports mothers being given the option of a vaginal birth.

While it might not be the right option for every breech birth, it is important that mothers have access to all the information so they can make an informed decision about their birth.

Different breech presentations carry different risks when it comes to birth. A footling breech carries the risk of cord prolapse or baby descending into the birth canal prior to full dilation. A frank or complete breech presentation is the most favorable breech position for a vaginal birth. The feet are out of the way, up near the head, and baby’s buttocks will still create pressure, just like a head would, to facilitate cervical dilation.

#7: There Are Options For C-Section Birth

In some situations, a c-section birth might be the safest or desired option. If a c-section is necessary, mothers should be able to discuss birth options with their providers.

As we are learn more about the importance of delayed cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin and more family-centered c-sections, women are starting to get more involvement in their c-section births.

#8: One Breech Birth Doesn’t Guarantee Another

If you have a breech birth, you might be concerned about subsequent pregnancies and births. Fortunately, having one breech baby doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have another. In fact, less than 10% of women who have one breech baby will have a second baby in the breech position.

If your pregnancy has deviated from what you expected, it can create concerns and anxieties. While it can be difficult, thankfully we have many options available to help baby arrive safely. Remember that babies often turn into the head down position on their own, even as late as labour. Regardless of how you give birth, you have many options, and you can weigh the benefit and risk of each to find the choice that is best for you and your baby.

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