Concurrent Session: Caroline Peterson

Time: 
Sat, 11/19/2011 - 16:15 to 17:15

Breech presentation as an expression of maternal-fetal attachment: A case-controlled retrospective study and a case series of breech presentation treated with Neuro Emotional Technique

Breech presentation is the most common birth malpresentation and occurs in 3-4% of all pregnancies. It is thought to be a high risk delivery and in the United States results in a cesarean section almost always. In the West breech presentation is construed as a fetal or maternal mechanical fault. In Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine turning to cephalic presentation is considered to be an important developmental stage for the baby and reflects maternal health, the quality of the maternal/fetal relationship, and the commitment of the baby to her karmic destiny. Seventy five women who had a breech baby (n=23) or a cephalic presentation baby (n=52) within the past year participated in in-depth interviews about formative life experiences and pregnancy experiences. Mothers of breech and cephalic presentation babies demonstrated different personality characteristics and coping styles that conformed with the Eastern model of risk factors for breech presentation and reflected characteristics that have been identified in mothers of babies with ambivalent attachment. A case series of fifteen women who were pregnant with breech babies and were treated with the Webster’s technique and a mind-body therapy called Neuro Emotional Technique is also presented. In the case series I found that typically there is a maternal or fetal mechanical component that is associated with breech presentation, however including a Neuro Emotional Technique treatment increases the likelihood of the baby turning if the mother is able to allow herself to be emotionally vulnerable in the treatment. The dominant Neuro Emotional theme that was identified in mothers of breech presentation babies was that she was afraid of connecting with her baby consistently. Findings from this case-control study and case series suggest the importance of continuing to explore the mind-body connection between a mother and her fetus and to consider psycho-somatic interventions for breech presentation pregnancies. It is possible that breech presentation could be an example of predictive adaptation by the fetus to the attachment style of her mother.

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