I need your help preserving vaginal breech birth

by Jan 4, 2018Hospital birth, VBAC11 comments

March 6, 2018 Update: Your letters worked! Dr. Fineberg has announced: “We can now support vaginal breech birth at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento via our Davis office!” Never underestimate the power of our collective voice.

It’s time to summon all that passion you have for patient autonomy and take some action!

Let’s support Dr. Annette Fineberg and flood this hospital with letters!

The following is copied from a fellow birth advocate in California:

“I’m so sad right now. Like in tears.

Dr. Annette Fineberg at Sutter Davis is being pressured to stop supporting vaginal breeches. She’s by far our best option around.

She’s asking for our help collecting stories to convince the administrators to continue to allow her to openly offer this option. This is huge! It’s crucial that we encourage our clients to send their stories!

Dr. Fineberg is one of very few OBs within driving distance of the Bay Area skilled in breech birth. She’s also the only ‘local’ OB breech expert who actively supports/encourages people with breech babies to birth in non-lithotomy positions and labor in the tub prior to stage two — and she is the only one who doesn’t pressure them to get epidurals.

It’s not enough to have hospitals that support clients’ right to decline a cesarean for breech. We need skilled providers like Dr. Fineberg who know how to support these births safely and with expert care.

We can’t allow birthing people in our community to be robbed of this option. Taking this option away, or making it even more difficult to access, is unethical and unsafe.

PLEASE share this appeal widely – and follow up with clients who agree to send in their stories.

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is to the rights of all birthing people in the Bay Area, not just those with breech babies. Taking away options is a precedent we can’t allow to be set. Please help!”

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    A word from Dr. Fineberg

    “I need to ask a favor from anyone who 1) had a vaginal breech birth in the hospital, 2) had one at home because that was your only option, or 3) was pressured into a cesarean because it was not an option due to hospital policy or lack of experience of attendant.

    I am getting a lot of pressure to stop attending breech and despite my best efforts to get privileges at a tertiary care hospital with neonatology, it is not happening. Please send your impassioned pleas and experiences to Sutter Davis Hospital 2000 Sutter Pl Davis CA 95616 Thanks!” – Dr. Annette Fineberg

    And thank you my friend. When we combine the facts with action, we can create positive change. Now is your chance to do that.

    Please share this article with your friends or colleagues so we can show Sutter Davis how important it is to support vaginal breech delivery!
    They need to hear all of our voices – parents, professionals, and other concerned folks. If you can get your letters in the mail by next Tuesday, January 9th 2018, that would be much appreciated.

    Free viewing of documentary on vaginal breech birth

    To help inform your letter writing process, Dr. Elliot Berlin has generously offered VBAC Facts readers a free viewing of his vaginal breech birth documentary, “Heads Up! The Disappearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery.”

    This is a great opportunity to learn more about the facts so you can feel confident writing your letters of support for Dr. Annette Fineberg and vaginal breech birth!

    When I first saw this documentary, it moved me to tears for two reasons.

    One, I had my cesarean for breech and it just brought up all those feelings of being scared, trapped, without options, and running out of time.

    And two, I know I’m not alone in that journey. It is so important to maintain access to vaginal breech delivery for parents who want to avoid a surgical birth.

    By doing so, we have fewer parents with scarred uteri needing my services and that’s a good thing!

    So valid now through the evening of January 7, 2018, you can view “Heads Up!” for free.

    Follow the directions below to stream from your computer or mobile device.

    1. Visit: https://www.reelhouse.org/informedpregnancy/headsup

    2. Click on ‘$5.99 Rent’  3. Enter discount code VBACFACTS From here the price turns to free and no payment or credit card is required.

    This video can be streamed form anywhere. Note: when using a phone, you may need to request desktop site to see the box where you enter the discount code.

    And if you are planning to write a letter, would you leave a comment below and let me know? Thank you!!


    What do you think?
    Leave a comment.

    What do you think? Leave a comment.


    1. Should I still write? I recently had a wonderful breech delivery at Mt Sinai West in NYC with Dr Gae Rodke as my OB.

      • Absolutely! I’m sure Dr. Fineberg would love to hear from you! Best, Jen

    2. It is too late for me to meet your deadline of receiving letters by January 9 (tomorrow), but I had a beautiful breech water birth – fully planned that way – at a Birth Center in South Korea with a very unique Doctor who was comfortable with and supportive of breech birth. It was my favorite birth so far (#4 baby). It was also the easiest delivery! No complications whatsoever. I am so disappointed that the U.S. continues to think “backwards” about breech birth and childbirth in general. We need more doctors who support breech birth and educate other doctors and midwives about the process as well.

      • Hi Rachel, Thanks for your comment and your story. It’s never too late to share your story and I’m sure Dr. Fineberg would love to receive your letter. Best, Jen

    3. I think this is great and I hope you get the support you need plus more!!! I have not experienced breech pregnancy or birth but have experienced 2 cesareans, 1st singleton, the 2nd twins, and think that physicians such as yourself are still around is fantastic, because finding skilled Dr’s as yourself is so hard to find. Thank you for you support in women, birth, and the right to choice.

    4. Dear Jen,
      Thank you for making this documentary available. I cannot help you with writing a letter, having never had a breech birth. I do have a friend, who swore me to secrecy, who opted for a home vbac for her breech child. She had such a horrible experience with her first c-section she did not want to ever do that again. It is criminal that it was the only option she had. And, yes, she had a beautiful, healthy child, and a normal delivery!

    5. Hi Jen! My letter is written and in the mail today. I also emailed a copy of my letter to their Patient Resource Center and Patient Safety/Joint Commission, just to cover all bases. The more pieces to the puzzle that are touched, the better.

    6. I safely delivered my VBAC daughter at home in a natural squat position ( your body automatically eases you into the natural birthing position) … she was born “in the veil”… the only outcome was a small tear which I had sutured”in house” by the nurses . The OB refused to suture me b/c he didn’t “deliver” me. The nurses were not empathetic but critical, espousing their own beliefs… My daughter is beautiful, smart & loving.

    7. There is no doubt that we MUST to preserve vaginal breech birth in hospitals. I am OB for a 17 years and I facet with a lot of situation that vaginal breech birth just started outside hospital and finished in hospital. So, if we just keep in mind that fact without consideration other situations, we are obligated to keep vaginal breech birth in hospital environment.

    8. My sister just had a vaginal breech (term first baby) in hospital in Paris!!

    9. I will write a letter. It’s important to protect the rights of birthing mothers who seek out the option of vaginal breech birth, and the rights of the skilled practitioners who provide this option.


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    Jen Kamel

    As an internationally recognized consumer advocate and Founder of VBAC Facts®, Jen helps perinatal professionals, and cesarean parents, achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her educational courses for parents, online membership for professionals, continuing education trainings, and consulting services. She speaks at conferences across the US, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises on midwifery laws and rules that limit VBAC access, educates legislators and policy makers, and serves as an expert witness and consultant in legal proceedings. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support, so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.

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