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Breech Business

What happens when your baby turns your birth plan upside down?

Breech Business

When it comes to having a baby, sometimes the best laid plans….just don’t lay correctly. You can read every book in the pregnancy section, create the most detailed birth plan, and hire a room full of doulas, but even the most influential mama-to-be may not be able turn her baby head down. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 3 to 4 percent of full-term births present as breech as late as three to four weeks before the due date, often for reasons unknown. New York City OB-GYN Dr. Meredith Halpern gives Well Rounded NY the lowdown on what happens when your baby is feet-down instead of head-down.

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35 weeks: If your doctor or midwife determines that your baby is still breech at this point in your pregnancy, you may need to acknowledge a possible change in birthing plans. But, there’s still hope for a turnaround; Halpern encourages the exploration of medical alternatives that some argue may help turn your baby, from certain yoga positions to acupuncture. But it may also be the time to “wrap your head around an elective cesarean delivery,” she says, with enough time left in your pregnancy to emotionally adapt to the possibility of your new reality.

37 weeks: Once your baby is full-term, some doctors will attempt an External Cephalic Version (ECV), a manual movement to get a breech baby into a head-down position. Performed in the safety of a hospital, an ECV can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, end in an emergency C-section if the baby shows signs of distress. “If the baby is going to turn, it will usually turn right away,” Halpern says, and that happens in more than 50 percent of ECV procedures. “But unfortunately, the baby can always turn breech again two days later.”

39-40 weeks: If your baby remains in a head-up position as your due date draws near, most doctors will advocate for an elective C-section to reduce risks associated with breech delivery. “I always try to accommodate a patient’s wishes for her chosen birth experience, but the baby and mother’s health is the most important factor in how we get the baby out,” says Halpern. Breech delivery exceptions, she says, could be if a severely premature baby is already on its way out feet-down or if a second of twins is headed out breech.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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