Breech presentation and hormones
The influences of the prenatal environment on the endocrine
function and therefore the placental function are proven by the maternal responses to stress, leading to cardiovascular and endocrine changes in the mother, and increassing the amount of
Adrenocorticotrophin Hormone, Catecholamines and Glucocorticoides in the blood stream (stress hormones).
Kapoor et al (2006) suggest increased Glucocorticoid levels might trigger the placenta to produce Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), activating the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, with an increased Catecholamine production which can reduce the placenta’s vessels lumen. This, in its turn, may activate further the HPA axis or put the foetal sympathetic nervous system under alert. Any human being under stress will respond through the sympathetic nervous system with increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased blood coagulation, suppression of pain sensitivity, a redistribution of the blood from the gastrointestinal system to the peripheral muscles and the brain (to protect it internally) and release of fat and glucose as source of energy (Lundberg, 2005) to fly or fight, as Üvnas-Moberg suggests (2009)….or hide.
We know that meconium is
often being excreted in uterus, and in breech births, because of the lowered blood supply to the bowels and relaxation of the anal fetal sphincter, as a sympathetic response to
Üvnas-Moberg and Petersson (2006, 2005) stressemphasize that oxytocin increases and improves our social behavior, and for the same reason they emphasize how we human beings tend to isolate ourselves or become less social under stress. Is the breech presenting baby hiding, being less sociable because of fear for the unknown or the danger perceived physiologically through the hormones crossing the placenta? We already know that the baby in the womb can be very interactive and responsive to familiar voices, music and touch (Verny, 1982) Why should it not be interactive and responsive to unpleasant situations and feelings?
In the historical moment we are living, caring only for the safeness and satisfaction of women is not enough. Women seem not to have many choices. But looking to the importance of oxytocin, the hormone of love (or its lack), in health and social behaviour, we may wonder how important it is for human beings and for society and its liberation through our lives but particularly during childbirth. We should ask ourselves what Odent (2010) has asked us already many times:
“Will civilisation survive caesarean sections?”
Any midwife will easily state that her work is about caring for the mother and child to ensure their safeness and satisfaction. The treatment which I offer to women (Sàrries Zgonc, 2011) provides both. On the one hand, babies get the chance to decide to turn or not to a cephalic presentation, since they are not forced into it, but are only stimulated to move through uterine movement and relaxation. On the other hand, mothers recover the already believed lost chance to deliver their babies themselves.