Today’s Vancouver Sun reports that Canadian doctors are being told to stop automatically scheduling cesareans for breech babies.
In a major shift in medical practice and another assault on Canada’s rising cesarean section rate, Canada’s delivery doctors are being told to stop automatically scheduling C-sections for breech babies and attempt a normal delivery instead — something significant numbers of obstetricians aren’t trained to do.
New guidelines issued Wednesday by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada say women carrying babies in the breech, or bottom-first, position should be given the right to choose to attempt a traditional delivery when possible.
The society says that women in Canada want the choice, and that some women with breech babies are delivering at home “because they knew if they went to hospital A, B or C it would not be offered,” says Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice-president of the obstetricians’ group and an adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McGill University and the University of Ottawa.
Lalonde says the group is working aggressively to ensure future specialists are trained in breech vaginal deliveries and is organizing courses across Canada for practising doctors to refresh their training.
This mainstream media coverage will no doubt excite the Coalition for Breech Birth, a grassroots Canadian coaltion advocating for change within the Canadian and US birthing communities. The CBB’s position on breech birth is that breech presentation is part of the normal spectrum of birthing positions and that families deserve to have complete information, free of “objection handling” or scare tactics to sway their decisions.
Oh, Canada. Please help us down here.