Take Action

What did your doctor say to you?

"I was told that I might as well throw my babies off a cliff [as birth them vaginally]." - Marcie, Calgary AB

"He looked at me and said, '98% of the obstetricians in Canada recommend caesarean for breech, do you really think you know more than they do?'"
- Robin, Ottawa ON

"I had a poker hand of 'dead-baby cards' - five different doctors told me I was going to kill my baby - but their reasons were not only all different from each other, but actually conflicted with each other."
- Michelle, Toronto ON

"With every change of shift a new doctor told me I was crazy or irresponsible,and I was going to kill my baby [by refusing surgical birth]."
- Melissa, Ottawa ON

"I pushed and pushed and finally he said, 'What about MY right to informed choice? How is it ethical to force me to do something I believe is wrong?'  Later, recovering from surgery, it came to me that my lifelong investment in the situation ought to have trumped his 3 or so hours of discomfort with my informed birth choices."
- Laura, Ottawa ON


International Breech Conference - Ottawa, ON - October 15-16, 2009

Be part of the change
Donate to the International Breech Conference

All donations will be used to defray the costs of travel and accomodation for our international speakers including Ina May Gaskin, Jane Evans, Dr. Frank Lowen, Lisa Barrett, Mary Cronk, and several others. Sponsorship, exhibit, and advertising opportunities are also available - please visit the Conference page!

Making a Difference

The first action taken by CBB was to generate and submit a petition to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada to encourage the development of new practice guidelines. The petition was submitted in July of 2008, and in June 2009 the SOGC released new breech guidelines which encourage the practice of vaginal breech birth. Intiatives to restore vaginal breech teaching to Canadian medical schools will soon be underway.

We are now planning to host the second International Breech Conference, in Ottawa this October. The Conference will bring together experienced "breech catchers" with those who need to work on these skills, along with women and their families who are invested in the issue. We hope that the Conference will build community and motivation towards restoring vaginal breech birth as a normal option and reducing the mythology and fear that surrounds breech birth.

But more than guideline changes and conferences is needed to make actual change in breech birth practices.  Consumer demand must be felt by individual care providers and by hospitals and birthing centres; change will only come when we as women, and our loved ones, make it clear that we expect better of our care. We must send the message that we expect to have the decision making power over our births and that it is not acceptable for care providers to deliberately limit our options.

Each of us can take action. Whether or not you are pregnant or ever will be; whether or not you are carrying a breech baby, talk to your care provider. Let them know that offering caesarean surgery as the only option for a breech birth does not meet your needs or the needs of the women that you care about. Let them know that if they are not trained in vaginal breech birth, and don't know who they would refer a breech to, it's time that they figured it out, before someone you care about is in urgent need of such a referral.

Talk to your friends and family.  Let them know you are outraged by the scare tactics and "objection handling" that are aimed at women who contest the idea that their care provider posesses the decision-making power over their bodies and births.

Attend the International Breech Conference in Ottawa in October 2009 (click here). Send your doctor or midwife.

Send a letter to the SOGC and your provincial Ministry of Health, and to the obstetrical schools in your area endorsing the new guidelines. (click here to read the new guidelines)

Write letters to your local hospital, care provider, and policy makers. It has been said that every letter written represents the opinion of 200 people who did not write. Let them know that your "200 people" exist.