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Going head over heels can be a good thing.

GOING HEAD OVER HEELS CAN BE A GOOD THING

If you know of someone who has had a cesarean section in recent years, there's a good possibility that it was done because the fetus was trying to make its way out feet-first. Many of today's obstetricians seem to be much less apt than their forebears to attempt an external cephalic version (ECV, or turning around a breech presentation) in order to do a normal delivery. Instead, the option of choice has been the c-section.

Although this may be the easy way out for the baby, as well as the mother and the doctor, one Phoenix obstetrician argues that such a routine is wrong. Dr. Joseph Hanss found that doctors attempted to turn the baby around before resorting to cesarean section in a little less than one-third of the 357 breech cases reviewed for a recent American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology article. In the other cases, in which no ECV attempt was made, most of the babies were delivered by c-section--a more painful and costly procedure that requires longer recovery time than that for a normal birth. Those who did make the attempt were successful in one of two tries--and were thus usually able to deliver the baby vaginally. A near .500 batting average is pretty good in anybody's league.

Therefore, if you are having a baby, or contemplating one, don't hesitate to ask your doctor at the first prenatal examination how he handles a breech presentation should it occur. If c-section is his routine solution, you might consider seeking care elsewhere.
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Title Annotation:study shows that most obstetricians use cesarean section rather than external cephalic version for breech presentation
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:262
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