Heads Up: The Disappearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery (2015) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The U.S. cesarean section rate is over 30%, and many women lack information about their delivery options. One of the reasons for this high rate is breech presentation. During pregnancy, babies move freely until the last trimester, when they tend to settle head down. Babies that do not are in a breech presentation. Until recently, these babies could be delivered vaginally or by cesarean section. Today, very few women experience vaginal breech delivery as an option. Heads Up, a short documentary by Elliot Berlin and Melissa Kennedy, explores the history of breech delivery options. The film highlights the plight of women who would like, or would have liked, the option for vaginal breech delivery and follows several women who fought for that choice.

  • A breech baby is born nearly every four minutes in the United States. Until the year 2000, a woman could opt to birth her breech baby vaginally or via surgery. Then, in 2001, a study came out that took away one of those options. The study was later found to be faulty, but the damage was already done - vaginal breech birth was almost completely eliminated from medical school training and from delivery rooms. Heads Up features several women confronted with the disappearance of this option for their breech babies. Among others, actress Morena Baccarin and holistic living personality Kimberly Van Der Beek struggle to find providers who will attend them in a vaginal breech birth - all under the pressure of their imminent due dates. Through their personal accounts and the perspectives of medical professionals, Heads Up explores this widely misunderstood subject and the need to restore this lost art and lost option.


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