The team at Sygehus Sønderjylland, the University Hospital of Southern Denmark, has created a wonderful new series of training videos for upright breech birth. We are thrilled to be able to share them with you!
The creation of the videos was led by obstetrician Kamilla Gerhard-Nielsen, who also led the implementation of the upright breech concept in the hospital and its introduction in Denmark.
They also host a FaceBook page. Image: Obstetricians Katrin Loeser and Kamilla Gerhard-Nielsen
There is a small revolution happening around vaginal breech birth, and this is due in large part to the miracles of modern technology, especially videos. Watching many breech births via video enables midwives and obstetricians to develop pattern recognition — what is normal, what is not, when it is time to intervene — without having to attend many breech births. And it enables this to happen more quickly than it would normally happen, over decades of practice. Birth videos also enable us to study the features of breech births in a systematic way in research.
Birth videos will never entirely replace clinical practice, but they can accelerate the learning process. We are incredibly grateful to the women who are enabling this to happen. This blog is addressed to health care providers who may want to ask for permission to film births to support skill development throughout their clinical team.
Permission and the Law
The content of medical care is confidential to the patient, not the health care provider. This means that women have a right to film their births, which are part of their private lives, if they want to. It is, however, respectful to ask for permission.
The GMC provides guidance on the recording of patients, and the principles of informed consent apply. Your employing Trust will also have guidance and forms that can be used to obtain consent, which are usually available from the Medical Illustration Department or similar. You should speak with your managers and team as well. In the Breech Birth Network, we use our own consent form, which you are welcome to use. It allows people to choose from different levels of consent, e.g. just for teaching in person, on-line teaching with restricted access, unrestricted on-line access. It is best practice to take the final consent after filming so that she can identify anything she would like edited out, e.g. if her name is audible or her face is visible., or change her mind.
A copy of any videos should be given to the woman and placed in the woman’s hospital notes.
You will need a good quality video camera. Most phones contain a decent video camera these days, and most of our videos were taken on phones. But something like a GoPro is designed to adjust with movement. GoPros also take in a wider angle than standard phones.
You will need something to hold the camera and ideally, be able to move to get a good angle — so not a static mount. In some videos, it seems as though people are staying ‘out of the way’ in order to enable the camera to get a good shot. This is not a good idea; you want the primary attendant fully focused on the birth and disregarding the camera. In the Hospital of Southern Denmark, filming is the job of the Junior Doctor, who is learning about breech births but not yet managing them.
The other alternative is a POV (point-of-view) mount. GoPro make a special chest mount, but … let’s just say they are not designed for women. It’s called a ‘Chesty,’ and that’s exactly how I felt while wearing one. I prefer something called a necklace mount, which keeps the camera closer to where your eyes naturally are and is much more comfortable to wear (IMHO).
We have a number of online and upcoming learning opportunities available for you.
“No more hands off the breech” is published in this month’s The Practising Midwife. In this article, I argue that we need to reconsider the way we use Mary Cronk’s famous phrase, “Hands off the breech!,” along with some other commonly held beliefs that may not be helpful.
I’d love to hear what you think about this and how it relates to your experience.
Consultant Midwife Emma Spillane and I are also speaking at the Northern Maternity and Midwifery Online Festival on Tuesday 23 June. I will be talking about improving the safety of breech birth through research, and Emma will be speaking about implementing a breech birth service.
Finally, our Vimeo channel features a couple new videos created to help student midwives learn about research, through the lens of improving breech safety. I’ve posted them below. The settings enable you to share and embed if you would like.
The first video explains one of the studies published as part of this Trio of Breech Articles, an open-access special issue from the journal Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.
This year we honour midwives who continue to do the best job in the world under the most difficult of circumstances. Please enjoy this virtual International Day of the Midwife 2020 celebration from King’s College London student midwives, staff, alumni and collaborators. I’m so proud to be a part of this team!
And as always, we at Breech Birth Network honour the highly skilled midwives around the world who are working to make vaginal breech births safer and more accessible, for the women who choose them and for those who do not have a choice.
As part of the celebrations, I’ve made this video to explain the recent research that Dr Anke Reitter, Alex Halliday and I have done about what ‘normal for breech’ looks like. The video can be shared. Thank you to the women and professionals who have shared their intimate and vulnerable moments to make this possible.
The research is published open-access (FREE!) as part of a trio of breech articles by the journal Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.
In June, I spent a week in the Netherlands working with a committed group of lecturers. The midwifery universities of the Netherlands share a common curriculum, and following our meeting last year, they agreed to incorporate physiological breech birth into their training programme. My visit was to support the midwifery lecturers to implement the new skills into standard midwifery training.
While in Amsterdam, I collaborated with Midwifery Lecturer Bahar Goodharzi of Academie Verloskunde Amsterdam Gröningen (AVAG) to create a short series of films demonstrating the rotational arm manoeuvre we teach in Breech Birth Network study days. We agreed that this is a tricky manoeuvre to learn and teach, but it is incredibly effective in practice so worth the effort of learning. I’ve collected our short demonstrations in the film below, along with information about how to recognise that this manoeuvre is required.
Note: If you have difficulty rotating the baby initially, you may have to elevate the baby slightly to a higher station, so that the shoulder girdle rises above the pelvic inlet. It can then rotate to engage in the transverse diameter.
Thank you to Emma Spillane of St George’s Hospital in London, who has helped to refine the way we teach this manoeuvre following her own experiences of successfully using it in practice.
Tonight, I met with some students from the local midwifery school who are preparing for their final OSCE. How exciting! They wanted to review mechanisms and manoeuvres so that they feel confident performing for their exams.
The students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of supine/lithotomy skills, so we created a new video to help them remember what we practised.
For those wanting to review the mechanisms when a woman is in a supine position, this video, filmed with midwifery students at the University of Salford last year, may also be helpful.
The next study group, for professionals, students or women in and around Norwich, will be on Monday, the 8th of February, from 10am – 1pm. For more resources to prepare for OSCE’s, click on the OSCE tag.
Over and over again, in my research and in personal conversations, I hear how important videos are to health professionals who are self-educating themselves about breech birth. I am still exploring the role of video as a learning tool, but they seem to assist professionals to develop pattern recognition abilities, and enable discussions about clinical decision-making. By watching and talking through what happens in birth videos, these skills can be practiced before they are required in a real-life context.
Here is a list of publicly available on-line videos for health professionals to watch when preparing to attend a breech birth, or to periodically update. Some of them may be close to your idea of ‘ideal,’ and some of them may present a different perspective, or an opportunity for discussion. All of them offer learning opportunity.