Your health:

Breast-feeding booms

New mothers in the UK are adopting breast-feeding at a rapid rate, according to figures published yesterday.

In just six years the rate of women attempting breast-feeding at birth has increased by six percentage points, reaching 81%, according to the report.

And a third of women now continue breast-feeding until the baby is six months old. In 2005 it was just one quarter.

Major change of plan

By Baby Blogger Kate Richards 
This pregnancy has just taken a turn for the unexpected! At a routine appointment, the midwife wasn't able to tell what position the baby was lying in, so referred me to hospital for a scan. And thank goodness she did, because it revealed that he is in fact breech (head up), and therefore a normal birth would carry much higher risks.

What a surprise! He'd been in the right position a fortnight earlier, and by that point - around 36 weeks - they generally stay put. I spent hours reading up about breech babies, and saw a consultant the following day. She suggested a technique called "external cephalic version" to try to turn the baby head-down. I was given an injection to relax the womb, lay on a bed which was tilted so gravity could help (!) and the doctor tried her best to push him round. But apparently he's firmly wedged in, so no luck.

After that I was talked through the process of having a caesarean, which the hospital recommends for breech babies, agreed, and signed the consent form. It's booked for just four days before my due date, so there's a chance of labour starting before then! In that case, the doctors would decide whether to go straight to a caesarean, or if I've already progressed quite far, whether it's safer to have a vaginal breech birth.

I'm trying to look on the bright side - although the recovery from a caesarean is longer, it's more predictable in timing and risks than a normal birth would be. It'll be annoying not being able to do much for a while, but I'm determined to be lazy because I don't want to risk overdoing it and delaying the time when I'm back on my feet. Above all, I'm really looking forward to meeting our newest family member!

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