The Chapmans family portrait


The Chapmans

“Words cannot describe how special our experience at Westmead hospital has been.

I am so thankful for Dr Pesce, Michelle Underwood and all the Doctors and Midwives at Westmead who support the Breech Clinic. Without all of these amazing people, I would have been booked into a Caesarean section at 39 weeks out of fear and a lack of education and experience delivering breech babies at other hospitals.

I was lucky that my caseload midwife from my local hospital was aware of the Westmead Breech Clinic and suggested I contact them after learning our second baby was also breech.

I was initially very nervous about delivering our breech baby vaginally, especially after having the caesarean with our first son for the very same reason. Every birth is different and very special - I just felt that I was meant to give birth to this baby naturally so I did as much research as I could and made contact with the experts at Westmead.

After meeting with Dr Pesce and Michelle Underwood at the Westmead Breech Clinic - we felt safe, confident and that we were making an informed decision based on fact and not out of fear. Their experience, knowledge and passion for normalising breech birth inspired us and put to rest any fears we had.

We really had to justify our decision to some of our family and friends who did not have a great deal of understanding about breech birth let alone a VBAC. They thought we may have been putting the baby or myself at risk. I never felt that way at Westmead. I know that breech is just another form of "normal birth" and that I was in the best possible place to deliver our baby.

The care, support and attention I received from all of the staff at Westmead was amazing. I really feel empowered by the whole experience and so very proud that I was able to trust my body, my baby and my caregivers and that together - we achieved the best possible outcome.

I can now go home, after a very short recovery and do whatever I want to! Pick up and cuddle my toddler, drive my car, hang out some washing - all the things you can't do straight after a caesarean.

I am very thankful to know what it feels like to push my baby into this world. I am very thankful for this life changing opportunity provided to me by Dr Pesce and Westmead and hope that other hospitals can learn more about breech birth and start to offer women the same opportunity I was given.”

Response by Dr Pesce

“We are very happy that Gemma and Rob felt comfortable and safe with the care they received at Westmead. Breech delivery is a variation of normal, but we do acknowledge that there are some risks to breech birth, vaginal birth after previous caesarean birth, and indeed any birth. We discuss this with the woman and her partner. We put these risks into context and discuss how these risks can be minimised. In the end, the woman makes the decision as to what she feels is the preferred way to plan the birth of the baby.”