Amazing photos give a rare glimpse into breech birth

Breech births are a relatively rare occurrence, and often end in C-section - so the moments these images capture are truly remarkable

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WARNING: This article includes images of birth which are VERY graphic 

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Birth photographer Karyn Loftesness has captured many different types of delivery in her career, but for the first time last year she witnessed – and shot – a breech birth.

Breech birth – where the baby arrives feet or bottom first – are unusual. Most babies turn themselves around in time to be born – in fact, only around 3% don’t – and in many cases, due to complications, the mother will end up having a C-section.

But there are members of the medical community who believe that, with the right support, women should be able to choose a vaginal birth even if their baby is breech.

And on her website, Karyn backs this up, saying of her photos:

“We feel strongly that they need to be shared to help spread knowledge and awareness about the normalcy and safety of breech birth with a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced provider.”

The mother in these particular photos, from Portland, USA, was expecting her 4th child, and was planning to have a home birth, but found out just days before she was due that her baby was breech.

She was comfortable that her midwives were experienced and decided to go ahead with the home birth – and Karyn was on hand to capture it all.

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“Right after the midwives got off the phone with the doctor, he dropped down further into her pelvis and she went from 5cm dilated to complete within 10 minutes,” Karyn explains.

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“First the bum, then one leg popped out, then the next, then the torso, both elbows, then one hand, and then the other hand, and finally the head!

“As soon as he was fully out the midwives caught him and handed him to Raychel.”

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Most of us in the MFM team have seen plenty of birth photos, but none of us have ever seen anything like these before. They really are quite remarkable.

Did you have a breech birth? Did you have a C-section? Were you even give the option of a vaginal birth – if not, do you wish you had?

Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

Photos: Karyn Loftesness

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