Breech by bicornate uterus
A bicornuate uterus has two sections divided by a septum, or wall of tissue. The halves are smaller than the womb with a single "room." Babies may grow too big to flip head down in the bicornuate uterus, even as early as midpregnancy. A bicornuate uterus might be called a heart-shaped uterus.
Its best to do the 1st Principle of Spinning Babies from as early in pregnancy as you can. Proactive women may begin bodywork or balancing exercises before pregnancy to improve the chance of a full-term, head down baby.
Chiropractic, soft-tissue work and your own forward-leaning inversions may help release the broad and round ligaments. Specific stretches and exercises can release your psoas muscles. Read the Three Principles of Spinning Babies for Breech. The reason to do balancing activities is to give the uterus the most room available for baby to settle head-down as early in pregnancy as possible.
Along with Balancing Activities for Breech,
Drink 3-4 quarts of clear fluids a day, such as pure water, Red Raspberry Leaf tea, Chamomile tea, Hibiscus tea. Milk is considered a solid as it turns to cheese in your stomach. See what you want to do, Do as much as you can arrange for the next 10 weeks. Pay attention to maternal positioning, Rest Smart, etc. The most important time for fetal positioning is in the second trimester, not the third.
In Ina May Gaskin's first birth book, Spiritual Midwifery, there is a description, in the back section, of a woman with a bicornuate uterus and a story of how her various births went. You may appreciate the stories.
Read this blog posting from Dr. Stuart Fishbein on the Business of Being Born site. Dr. Fishbein says, "Unicornate uteri often result in breech and preterm labor as you have noted. I am not aware that there is an increased risk of rupture in your case. Some women deliver vaginally with this problem and sometimes the labor is dysfunctional due to the shape of the uterus or associated malformations of the cervix and end up with a C-Section. If your doctor is supportive of VBAC and your baby cooperates with size and position, then you may give it a go. And you are right, there is not much literature other than anecdotal cases, so common sense and nature must prevail." - Dr. Fischbein
Here's an email from a reader,
I love your website and so appreciate all of the information you have provided. I've been doing the exercises from your site since 30 weeks because I have a bicornuate uterus and an anterior placenta, making my child very susceptible to breech. (As was the case with my last son) I am trying to figure out if these exercises have been working with your belly mapping techniques but I am uncertain if my assessment is correct.
Using a traditional stethoscope I am picking up the heartbeat really, really low and a little to the right of center. And the only place I ever feel movement is really, really low on the left side.
At the same time I feel, what seems like a head under my right rib, but that doesn't seem like it can be right since the heart beat is so low.
Would you gather from this information that my child is literally folded in half, head down with his butt under my placenta under the right rib? This is how I am imagining it must be.
I am 35 weeks and my doctor is already pressuring me to think about a c/s if the baby is still breech.
I'd really like to know that I'm doing the Belly Mapping correctly so I can relax. Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
I'm sorry I can't tell your baby's position from your email description. The bicornuate uterus adds a dimension beyond the straight forward descriptions upon which Belly Mapping depends. If you were local I'd be happy to feel your belly, though I may not be as accurate as usual due to your anterior placenta. An ultrasound may be warranted.
Myofascial release is a type of soft tissue body work that may help your baby. A technique called Abdominal Release, also called Diaphragmatic Release, is specifically helpful, as would be a Standing Release or also called a Sacral Release.
Find a person who knows these techniques that works regularly with pregnant women. Some chiropractors also know these techniques. The chiropractor can also do other things that would help. If they aren't working regularly with pregnant women, they may not be as effective, but still may be worth seeing.
For a bicornuate uterus, the best time for helping fetal position is before 30 weeks. However, every bicornuate is different. I am sorry I can't be specific in your case. There may be time to help baby be head down - and indeed, your baby may already be head down. I can't tell from your guess. I can only guess!
Dr. Michel Odent has a great idea about the importance of fetal catacholmine levels rising in labor. He asks that women who need cesarean births not schedule their cesareans before labor begins on its own, unless there are very clear indications - other than a breech or transverse position, for instance.
A healthy mom can go to the hospital when labor begins and have a surgical birth if needed. Having a cesarean after labor begins on its own can help assure that the birth hormones are heightened. Birth hormones, such as the stress hormone, catacholamine, protect the baby somewhat from from respiratory problems related to the lack of labor hormones at the time of birth by surgery. Also, waiting til labor protects the baby from a possiblity of an early birth (late prematurity) which is related to a higher infant mortality rate in the first year.
So even if you schedule, waiting until a few days after your due date is more protective than scheduling before your due date. You may have to negotiate with your doctor about such a personalized plan. The challenge will be in having the OR and staff available when you begin labor. If you live in a rural area this will be challenging compared to living near a city hospital where they have 24-hr in-house staff able to conduct a cesarean before you give birth to a breech baby.
Vaginal Birth with a Bicornate Uterus
If you would like to explore vaginal breech birth with your local doctors that may also be an option if the baby is breech and not transverse. Having a bicornate uterus is not a reason not to try for a natural, physiologically supported vaginal breech birth. If the baby can make the lateral flexion into the pelvis the baby has a good chance of being born well vaginally. If the baby doesn't have room to make the move into the pelvis, labor would have offered other advantages of preparing the baby's lungs for birth, reducing the chance of one of the complications of cesarean birth, poor fluid absorption from the lungs after birth. It is labor, not "squeezing" that facilitates good absorption of fetal lung fluids. All the safety observations for breech birth apply, of course. And all the expectations for good outcomes when "hands-off the breech" and knee-chest maternal positions are observed.
A co-venture video experience with Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga! Coming Soon!
Spinning Babies; Daily Essentials For Pregnancy Video.
Together Sarah Longacre, international prenatal yoga instructor and birth doula, and Gail Tully, yours truly, created a unique instructional video for flexibility and comfort in pregnancy and to support better fetal positioning in time for birth.
Here are daily activities for stretching and balancing a pregnant body. Start early in pregnancy to prepare to make the most space for baby's best birth position and the most ease for mother's opening during the birth process.
We begin the program for women of average flexibility (or just plain stiff to start with) and beginner tips. But soon, you'll be ready to move freely! That's when Sarah brings the stretches all together into her easy to follow, playful, sensual, and flowing "Blooma Style" daily routine.
Sarah's "dance of opening," moves joints and ligaments to come alive under the delightful melody and percussions of Carin Vagle. This isn't about core strength; its about freedom of movement and creating space in the body.
Sarah plays along with Gail's little game of "Flashlight" to show pregnant women how to evaluate their own posture and positions. Smart Maternal Positioning helps baby snuggle their backs into the front of the womb for Optimal Fetal Positioning.
The Daily Essentials For Pregnancy includes tips for using Maternal Positioning around the house. Actual scenes in the bedroom, living room -and even the bathroom- gives practical instruction like no other video. You will be sleeping more comfortably immediately when using these tips. Within a week or two many pregnancy discomforts of the pelvis and lower back may be reduced when all these nurturing techniques are integrated into your daily lifestyle. Spinning Babies and Blooma Yoga-- a natural collaborative!
Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class.
Soon pregnant parents around the world can take a Spinning Babies class from their own monitor! Join six couples as they learn the reason why Spinning Babies works and how it can enhance your labor and birth.
See techniques to do daily or weekly. Actual, real consultations with two couples right at our class location, one with a breech baby (head up) and one with a baby in a transverse lie (lying sideways).
Couples do the techniques together and show you how to do these at home.
Used alone or with the Daily Essentials, Spinning Babies Childbirth Preparation Class goes beyond the basics. Simple props show complex concepts sweetly. Little-known anatomy is linked to childbirth and the role of fetal positioning.
The section on labor discusses two labor patterns- the one "promised" in other books and the unexpected one associated with the posterior labor. Learn the common causes of long labor and techniques to help baby through the pelvis.
Be empowered; be prepared. After using this video throughout your pregnancy, while we can't promise, of course, you may not need the tips for labor progress. You can use that knowledge to help your neighbor. This video is all Spinning Babies.
Blooma Yoga Prenatal Yoga for AM and PM.
Warm up in the morning and cool down in the evening in two 30-minute sequences. Sarah Longacre shares her own blossoming pregnancy, Blooma style, to the exquisite music of Carin Vagle. Sarah's affirmations will carry you through labor with emotional strength and encouragement. Play this video when the others become too basic and you just want to dance and have fun. Wait, dance? Isn't this yoga? With Blooma and Carin Vagle, your spirit won't know the difference. Soar to greater freedom of movement. Bring your hormones into harmony with the day. Begin your day with serious play. Cool down at night with a sleep enhancing stretch before bed. This video is all Blooma!
Sarah's video is ready for you now! Get Blooma's AM/PM Yoga here
All three videos are professionally produced by Melissa Koch of Grey Duck Productions, with stills by Tanya Villano Photography, each of these three videos are dynamic on their own. Together they will enhance your pregnancy and labor experience with fun and empowerment in the most practical manner. Feel hope for your birth abilities, this is support for your journey. Gain the confidence and flexibility to fully bloom. I believe these videos carry the potential to bring your best birth dreams into the gentle reality.
Compassionately priced. Estimated Due Date for Daily Essentials March 2014; for Spinning Babies Parent Class, Fall 2014.