The birth of Zoe -a natural breech birth!

Mel’s pregnancy was relatively uneventful. Her baby was growing beautifully and Mel was fit and well. It wasn’t until the final weeks that things started to get interesting, when it was discovered that Mel’s baby wasn’t head down all ready for birth, but instead was sitting in a frank breech position (presenting bottom first). Mel was a first time mum so this situation wasn’t ideal, but as a midwife herself, she had enough knowledge to know that she could birth this baby naturally, but she would need to get her head in the game.

She attended the Breech Clinic at John Hunter Hospital where they went over everything and decided that she fitted the criteria to attempt a natural breech delivery. There was a chance this plan wouldn’t eventuate as any number of factors could have arisen, but with the unwavering support of her wonderful husband Ben, she decided to at least try for the natural birth she had envisaged all throughout her pregnancy.

As the weeks and days passed, we nervously waited for this baby to arrive. For Mel to achieve a natural birth she could not be induced and needed labour to begin spontaneously, but she remained calm and trusting of her body and baby as she passed the 41 week mark. Finally baby Zoe decided on the 10th of April, that it was the perfect day to meet her parents.

Mel spent most of her labour quietly contracting under the shower, with Ben tirelessly supporting and encouraging her, and her second support person Denise (also a midwife) ensuring she didn’t doubt her ability to birth her baby for a second. When she hit 2nd stage and baby Zoe was deep down and ready to be born, Mel moved to the bed where she could kneel and safely birth her baby without anyone needing to intervene.

It was only around 30 mins until beautiful baby Zoe arrived in a completely calm and controlled birth, with Mel gently breathing her out and no one touching the baby during delivery (which is the recommended approach for a successful vaginal breech birth).

I can’t adequately express how impressed and in awe I was at Mel’s courage and determination, nor can I thank her and Ben enough for generously sharing these rare and precious images, in the hope that they might inspire a healthier way of thinking around natural breech birth.

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21 thoughts on “The birth of Zoe -a natural breech birth!

  1. What a beautiful way for me to go to sleep viewing these amazing images of the birth of baby Zoe, thank you xxx

  2. What an inspiring and powerful post! Mel the courage that these images show is unbelievable, you are a strong woman, thank you for showing people that this can be done. Congratulations on you bundle of joy.

  3. Wow! How beautiful this story is and these images are just stunning. Mel supported me during my own recent labour and I am so glad to hear she had a fantastic birth experience too. Thankyou for sharing, Mel and Kate. The world needs more of this!!!

  4. Stunning pics, thank you for sharing! Many congrats to the woman and her caregivers. I’d love to know if the woman moved from the ‘Christian prayer position’ to the ‘Muslim prayer position’, as described by UK breech expert Midwife Mary Cronk, to birth the head?

  5. What wonderful pictures of a ‘hands of the breech’. You can so clearly see the baby flexing for her head to be born. Well done Mel & Zoe. Susie x

  6. Thank you for sharing your birth story and the wonderful and truly inspiring photos of the birth of your beautiful baby. You ooze blissful power and connectedness with your body and your baby. You have demonstrated how fear can be replaced with love and trust that our bodies are made to birth without disturbance and in a peaceful environment surrounded by birth workers and companions who also trust and have confidence in the process of birth. Thank you, your baby and your partner and thank you to John Hunter breech clinic birth guardians xx❤️

  7. Pingback: This is what a ‘frank breech birth’ looks like, in 12 awe-inspiring photographs. – CLAUDIA DASHWOOD

  8. Pingback: This is what a ‘frank breech birth’ looks like, in 12 awe-inspiring photographs. – CLAUDIA DASHWOOD

  9. How amazingly wonderful beautiful ❤ True admiration for mamma, what strength to go through this first time!!!
    And thankyou so much for sharing these precious pictures 😍😍😍

  10. Amazingly, beautifully and brilliantly captured! I had #7 frank breech all natural too (surprise flipped around when my water broke at 8 cm). Congratulations to the awesome mom and the wise medical team!

  11. Thank you for sharing this.
    What precious moment. She looks so sweet when she’s sitting on you with that breech hips 🙂

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