I always considered myself different than others. When I was 30 I met someone who
acted like me. The only explanation I could figure that we had in common was breech
birth. Are persons born breech different, do they have unusual personalities?
Breech Birth & Schizophrenia
WESTPORT, Feb 14 (Reuters Health) – Prolonged labor and complications experienced at delivery show
significant associations with brain differences in schizophrenic members of twin pairs discordant for the
disease. [One twin is often born in the breech position and the other vertex.]
In the February 2000 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Thomas F. McNeil, of the Malmo
University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues report that they used MRI to study the size of the bilateral
hippocampi and cerebral ventricles in 22 pairs of monozygotic twins in which only one of each pair had
The affected twins had smaller left and right hippocampi and larger third and left lateral ventricles than their
respective well twin.
The research team also gathered data pertaining to obstetric complications and minor physical anomalies.
They found significant relations between the smaller hippocampi and labor-delivery complications, including
prolonged labor. The investigators also observed an association between the relatively large right ventricle and
total ventricle in the affected twins and increased rates of total obstetric, labor-delivery and neonatal
"Trauma at the time of labor and delivery and especially prolonged labor appear to be of importance for brain
structure anomalies associated with schizophrenia," Dr. McNeil and co-authors write.
They note that this does not "indicate that labor-delivery complications 'cause' schizophrenia." What the
findings do suggest, Dr. McNeil's group says, is "that obstetric complications, especially labor-delivery
complications, and very specifically prolonged labor are related to brain structure characteristics that are a
central focus in schizophrenia."
The authors note that "important insights into the development of schizophrenia might be obtained by providing
a qualified answer to the question of why only one of two genetically identical twins, who are seemingly
exposed to the very same prolonged labor, develops both schizophrenia and apparently associated structural
brain changes lasting into adulthood."
The High Cost of Birth Trauma and Maternal Rejection
By Diane Zimberoff, MFCC and David Hartman, MSW
Each day we are bombarded with the terrifying reports of violent behavior being committed by younger and
younger children. Studies presented at the 1997 International Congress of the Association for Pre- and
Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) indicate a high correlation between birth complications, maternal
rejection and criminal behavior. One study of bio-social risk factors by Rame and Mednick studied 4,000 males
over several years.
Some of the birth complications which were found to be relevant were (1) use of forceps, (2) breech birth, (3)
long labor, (4) collapse of umbilical cord, (5) cesarean section, and (6) use of anesthetics (Emerson, 1998).
These birth complications in and of themselves do have very powerful effects on personality, relationships, self-
esteem, depression, suicidal ideation and behavior patterns later on in life. But the correlation with crime and
violence results when the birth complications are paired with maternal rejection and lack of bonding as
measured by the following circumstances: (1) parents not wanting the pregnancy, (2) mother attempting to abort
fetus, or (3) infant left in foster home or institution for 3 months or more.
These bio-social risk factors are highly correlated with crimes such as murder, rape, assault, armed robbery
and illegal possession of weapons. In psychology the importance of maternal bonding has long been known.
When we talk of this bonding, developmental psychologists are usually referring to what they call the first
developmental stage, which has been recognized as 0-6 months old. The first developmental stage actually
begins in the womb and is the most important time of bonding. If the child does not feel wanted, loved and
valued during this early and very important time, problems in self-esteem, attachment and adjustment begin.
Long-Term Developmental Outcomes of Method of Delivery
Roemer, Frederick J. & Rowland, Douglas Y
Early Human Development, Vol. 39(1), Sep. 1994, 1-14.
Abstract: Investigated whether uneventful non-vertex delivery (NVD) is associated with higher intelligence than
uneventful vertex delivery (VD). Data were gathered prospectively on families having an NVD birth during the
1950s and early 1960s. IQ scores and school success ratings for 658 children who had been born uneventfully
by NVD (e.g., breech, elective cesarean section) were compared with those of 1,151 of their own siblings and
peers delivered by cephalic presentation without complication. NVD children had significantly higher IQs than
VD children. Further, NVD children had higher school success scores than their VD siblings. It is unclear
whether these differences are due to physical phenomena related to delivery or to effects due to differing levels
of anesthesia-analgesia, or whether these differences in intellectual potential are associated with the cause of
Intellectual and Psychical Damage Following Breech Delivery
Gatterer, Gerald & Kubinger, Klaus D.
Zeitschrift fuer Experimentelle und Angewandte Psychologie Vol 32(3), 1985, 384-399.
Abstract: Investigated the effects of breech delivery on the later cognitive and behavioral development of 25
breech delivery children born with cesarean section and 30 breech delivery children born vaginally with
manual aid compared with 30 normally born children. All Ss were aged 6-14 yrs, were firstborn, and had no
history of cerebral damage. The groups of children were matched with each other and were administered a
battery of achievement tests. Ss' parents answered a behavioral questionnaire.
Results, especially those from the Comprehension subtest of the German version of the Wechsler Intelligence
Scale for Children (WISC), indicate severe cognitive retardation in the breech delivery Ss, especially in those
born vaginally with manual aid. Breech delivery children also showed some behavioral disorders. It is
suggested that cesarean section should be preferred over vaginal birth in the case of a breech delivery
Breech Birth & Violence
Los Angeles Times; August 12, 1994
Thanks to Denmark's comprehensive system of keeping track of its citizens, Dr. Adrian Raine of the University
of Southern California and other researchers were able to study the medical records of 4269 males from birth
through the age 18 for clues to violent behavior. To their surprise, researchers found a direct correlation
between those who suffered common birth complications and a tendency toward violent crime later in life.
Birth complications associated with violence included breech deliveries, babies born with umbilical cords
wrapped around their necks and even those injured during birth, Raine said. Injuries were recorded at the time
of birth by an obstetrician and a midwife, though there was no obvious brain damage in any case, Raine said.
Such birth complications can cause minor damage to prefrontal regions of the brain – areas researchers
believe control impulsive behavior. Raine's analysis said brain injury alone didn't seem to be a major factor in
predicting violent crime. But he said injury was a "very strong forecaster" when combined with environmental
factors such as "maternal rejection" and child abuse. "Only 4.4 percent of the total sample [studied] had both of
the risk factors ... but they accounted for 18 percent of all the violent crimes committed by the entire sample of
4269," Raine said.
Breech Birth, Violence & Schizophrenia
“Birth Defects & Schizophrenia,” Psychology Today; April 1971
... Most striking of all, 70 percent of the members of the Sick Group's [i.e., those with schizophrenia] mothers
had suffered one or more serious pregnancy or birth complications (PBCs), contrasting sharply with 15 percent
of the Well Group and one third of the controls. the PBC's included anoxia (oxygen deficiency to the tissues),
prematurity, prolonged labor, placental difficulty, umbilical-cord complications, mother's illness during
pregnancy, multiple births and breech birth (feet first). In addition, the subjects with PBCs were, almost all, the
ones who had shown the abnormal galvanic skin response [i.e., the persons with PBCs became more irritated
than those in the Well and Control groups]. ... We have not yet completed a formal analysis of these data, but
we have examined the cases of the 16 most violent criminals – persons who have committed rape, murder and
serious assault and battery. Fifteen of them had the most horrible possible conditions at their births, and the
16th had an epileptic mother. It is very possible that we are on the track of conditions that make some
contribution to impulsive criminality.[!]
Breech Birth & Personality
Birth Psychology Bulletin; 1989 Vol. 10:108
Abstract: Administered the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) and a birth questionnaire to 71
adults (aged 21-68 yrs) with at least some graduate education. Ss were divided into birth categories of
breech, natural, anesthetic, premature, forceps, and cesarean birth conditions. (The 16PF includes such
factors as warm vs cool, sober vs enthusiastic, concrete thinking vs abstract thinking, dominant vs submissive.)
72 significant contrasts were discovered, showing that birth conditions impact the individual through adulthood.
Secondary findings include the postmature, cord, delayed, and spinal conditions. Personality profiles were
determined for each of these groups.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a copy of this study. The Bulletin appears to be New Age
Birth Psychology Bulletin; 1987 Vol. 8 1-34
Abstract: Examined birth conditions and resulting temperamental development after the 1st 5 years in 18 male
and 19 female children. Data from longitudinal study were used that had been obtained through periodic
interviews with parents. Birth conditions included natural childbirth, forceps, breech, cesarean, and premature.
Temperament distractability included approach and withdrawal, adaptability, intensity of reaction,
distractability, and attention span and persistence. Results indicate a tendency for children born via natural
childbirth to be perceived as exhibiting lesser degrees of the different temperamental variables, including less
adaptability and less persistence.
Breech Birth & Personality
Bruce A. Friedemann
Although many famous and successful people have had mental and physical disabilities, there is little scientific
information about whether these persons were born breech, that is, feet or buttocks first, rather than born
normally head first.
Only three percent of all births are breech. Many breech-born infants die within the first year. Many are dwarfs.
If a baby is breech-born vaginally or naturally, rather than by cesarean, it may suffer cerebral palsy or epilepsy,
or have other aberrations. Recent reports also indicate that children born breech without cesarean are 30
percent more likely to experience hyperkinesia and/or learning disabilities.
According to mythology and folklore, a person born "footling" (breech) has the power to heal others by walking
on them. On the other hand, according to these same sources, a footling may become a prostitute or
According to Pliny, a historian of antiquity, the Roman emperor Nero was born breech, which Pliny called "a
I believe that persons born breech without cesarean section are also easily hypnotized, because, according to
Dr. Herbert Spiegel, an authority on hypnosis, they have sexual role confusion (transsexual), or possess a
stubborn streak, yet accept logical new dogmas and premises. They have a penchant for new experiences, and
live "wholly in the present," but have an excellent memory. They are trusting and naive, and easy to take
advantage of, yet they are demanding. They may appear retarded, but have a capacity for deep concentration
and under duress become hysterical. No wonder then that Dr. Spiegel wrote that these people are often
misdiagnosed and found in the back-wards of mental hospitals!
From my study of many biographies, I've found a correlation between people who had unspecified
complications during birth and the following characteristics: The ability to speak many languages or act out
multiple personalities, a "backward" or prodigy childhood, a whispering, charismatic or hearty manner of
speaking. I found that PBB liked music, philosophy or religion, like the colors red and purple. Some had
effervescent, spacy, ardent, cool, childlike personalities.
Based on the above stereotypes, I believe that all of the following people were born breech without cesarean
section: Ronald Reagan, Diana Ross, H.L. Hunt, Mick Jagger, Goldie Hawn, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Cher,
Sirhan-Sirhan, Gene Wilder, Prince, Sylvester Stallone, Hitler and Michael Jackson.
Pregnancy & Birth Complications: A Risk Factor For Schizotypy
Paul Bakan; Kim Peterson,
Journal of Personality Disorders Vol. 8(4), Win 1994, 299-306.
Abstract: An excess of pregnancy and birth complications (PBCs) in the births of schizophrenics suggests the
hypothesis of a similar excess of PBCs in the births of schizotypal Ss. The Rust Inventory of Schizotypal
Cognitions (RISC) and an inventory of pregnancy and birth complications were administered to 499
undergraduates. Schizotypal Ss, defined as those scoring in the upper decile of scores on the RISC inventory,
reported significantly more PBCs than did nonschizotypal Ss. In multiple regression analysis, the individual
PBCs most predictive of schizotypy were breathing problems or need for oxygen, artificial induction of labor,
and breech birth. These findings are consistent with a neurodevelopmental risk model for the etiology of
Significance Of External Factors In The Development Of Feeble-
Mindedness: A Study Of Twins
Monatsschrift fuer Kinderheilkunde 63, 1935, 276 ff
Abstract: This study deals with the tendency, which now prevails in Germany to sterilize adults, who, it is feared,
may produce feeble-minded offspring. Brander took 10 pairs of twins as the subjects for his study. He feels that
most previous studies have lacked proper control cases and have been made on an insufficiently large number
of subjects. The study of twins gave him excellent controls. Among these 10 pairs, 13 subjects were feeble-
minded. Although there was a history of alcoholism and epilepsy in several of the families, there was no case of
feeble-mindedness. However, in the case of every one of the 13 feeble-minded persons there was a history of
abnormal labor. In one case high forceps was used, while in the other 12 delivery was by breech presentation.
The author comes to the conclusion that great caution must be used in asserting that feeble-mindedness is
The Grade 5 Syndrome: The Highly Hypnotizable Person
Dr. Herbert Spiegel, Int. J. Hypnosis, Vol. 22 No. 4 October 1974
It is these stereotypes that I believe are the same for persons born breech, i.e., persons born breech are
GRADE 5's make up 5% of the population; have excellent memory; role confusion (transsexual?), stubborn
personality core yet subject to accept logical, rational new dogmas and premises; likes to experience new
opportunities, lives wholly in the present, trusting, demanding, almost as if naive and easy to take advantage of;
deep capacity for concentration; under duress becomes hysterical, found misdiagnosed in the backwards of
The Gift of Dyslexia by, Ron Davis
[Breech Birth and Dyslexia are related below]
Usually when people hear the word dyslexia they think only of reading, writing, spelling, and math problems a
child is having in school. Some associate it only with word and letter reversals, some only with slow learners.
Almost everyone considers it some form of a learning disability, but the learning disability is only one face of
Once as a guest on a television show, I was asked about the "positive" side of dyslexia. As part of my answer, I
listed a dozen or so famous dyslexics. The hostess of the show then commented, "Isn't it amazing that all those
people could be geniuses in spite of having dyslexia." She missed the point. Their genius didn't occur in spite
of their dyslexia, but because of it!
Having dyslexia won't make every dyslexic a genius, but it is good for the self-esteem of all dyslexics to know
their minds work in exactly the same way as the minds of great geniuses. It is also important for them to know
that having a problem with reading, writing, spelling, or math doesn't mean they are dumb or stupid. The same
mental function that produces a genius can also produce those problems.
The mental function that causes dyslexia is a gift in the truest sense of the word: a natural ability, a talent. It is
something special that enhances the individual.
Dyslexics don't all develop the same gifts, but they do have certain mental functions in common. Here are the
basic abilities all dyslexics share:
1. They can utilize the brain's ability to alter and create perceptions (the primary ability).
2. They are highly aware of the environment.
3. They are more curious than average.
4. They think mainly in pictures instead of words.
5. They are highly intuitive and insightful.
6. They think and perceive multi-dimensionally (using all the senses).
7. They can experience thought as reality.
8. They have vivid imaginations.
These eight basic abilities, if not suppressed, invalidated or destroyed by parents or the educational process,
will result in two characteristics: higher than normal intelligence, and extraordinary creative abilities. From these
the true gift of dyslexia can emerge – the gift of mastery.
The gift of mastery develops in many ways and in many areas. For Albert Einstein it was physics; for Walt
Disney, it was art; for Greg Louganis, it was athletic prowess.
To change our perspective of dyslexia from disability to gift, we must start with a clear, accurate understanding
of what dyslexia really is, and what causes it. Doing this will bring out the positive as well as the negative
aspects of the situation and allow us to see how dyslexia develops. Then the idea of correcting it won't seem
far-fetched. Going a step beyond correcting the problem, we can also recognize and explore this condition as
the gift it truly is.
Before a dyslexic person can fully realize and appreciate the positive side of dyslexia, the negative side should
be addressed. That doesn't mean the positive side will not surface until the problems are solved. The gift is
always there, even if it isn't recognized for what it is. In fact, many adult dyslexics use the positive side of
dyslexia in their life work without realizing it. They just think they have a knack for doing something, without
realizing their special talent comes from the same mental functions that prevent them from being able to read,
write or spell very well.
The most common disabilities of dyslexia occur in reading, writing, spelling, or math; but there are many others.
Each case of dyslexia is different, because dyslexia is a self-created condition. No two dyslexics have created
it exactly the same.
In order to understand the gift of dyslexia, we need to view the learning disability known as dyslexia from a
different angle. Dyslexia is the result of a perceptual talent. In some situations, the talent becomes a liability.
The individual doesn't realize this is happening because use of the talent has become compulsive. It began
very early in life and by now seems as natural as breathing.
Long-Term Follow-Up of Cognitive Outcome After Breech
Presentation at Birth
Sorensen,-H-T; Steffensen,-F-H; Olsen,-J; et. al., Epidemiology. 1999 Sep; 10(5): 554-6
Studies of long-term consequences of birth in breech presentation are sparse. Therefore, we conducted a
cohort study linking birth registry data with data collected during evaluation for military service in 4,298
conscripts born between 1973 and 1976. The cognitive functions were measured with the Boerge Prien IQ test.
A total of 164 conscripts were born in breech presentation and 70 (42.7%) of these were delivered after
Cesarean section. The mean Boerge Prien test score was 43.2 among men born in cephalic presentation and
39.9 among those born in breech presentation for a difference of 3.3 (95% confidence interval = 1.8-4.7). The
negative association between breech presentation and cognitive outcome persisted after stratifying by
Cesarean section and after adjustment for confounders. It also persisted when we restricted the analyses to
term singleton pregnancies.
Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children Born in Breech
Presentation • [Learning Disability/Dyslexia & Breech Birth]
Stefan Fianu and Ingemar Joelsson
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 58:295-299, 1979
Abatract. The influence of delivery in breech presentation on the occurrence of minimal brain dysfunction
(MBD) has been studied. Parents of 8-15 year old children were asked to account for behavioral and
educational deficits and needs of their children from birth until the date of investigation. It was found that among
prematurely delivered children, the frequency of MBD, defined as hyperkinesia and learning disability,
amounted to about 20 per cent and was similarly distributed between children delivered in breech and in
vertex presentation. Among term delivered children, however, the average frequency of hyperkinesia and
learning disability amounted to 8 per cent; in children born in breech presentation it was 14 per cent, while in
those born in vertex presentation the corresponding figure was 2 per cent. MBD was more common in boys (16
per cent) than in girls (12 per cent). [Further study is needed to determine if Cesarean section for breech
presentation will prevent MBD.] See Table V below.
|Table V. The Occurrence of hyperkinetic syndrome, learning |
disabilities and speech disorders in term and delivered infants.
||Vertex (Head first)
|2. Disorder of attention
|3. Emotional lability
|* All three symptoms
|* All three symptoms
|** Hyperkinetic syndrome &
|*** All three syndromes
|Total number of infants
|Breech Birth & Autism / Asperger's
Risk Factors for Autism: Perinatal Factors, Parental Psychiatric History, and Socioeconomic Status. (August,
2004). This chart from the study says that 8.3 percent of autistic children were born breech whereas 4.9 percent
of non-autistic children were born breech. (Wikipedia says "Researchers generally cite a breech presentation
frequency at term of 3-4% . . . but some claim a frequency as high as 7%".)
"A child with breech is twice as likely as a child who did not present as breech to develop autism," said lead
researcher, Dr. Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah School of
Medicine." Source: Us News & World Report, Autism Tied to Older Moms, Breech Birth, April 27, 2009.
|Documented cases of persons born breech/footling
Scott Layne, aka, Scott Lane Wisman, one of America’s most successful male exotic entertainer.
Frank Zappa, singer.
Wilhelm II, German Emperor
Joseph Crabtree, polymath (genius)
Jerry Lee Lewis, entertainer.
Feliu Delargo, a Catalan cellist born in 1892
Gustav Mahler, composer
Becky Garrison, Religious Satirist, author
Edward Walter Hayes, aka Eddie Hayes, lawyer, author
Christopher Nolan, Irish poet, author (see also, Wikipedia)
Joe Phillips, comic book artist (see also Wikipedia)
Marv Davidov, Non-violent Revolutionary peace activist
David Shields, Author, professor (see also Wikipedia)
Anne Deveson, Writer, broadcaster and filmmaker (see also Wikipedia)
Nero, Roman Caesar
Sylvia Dickey Smith, author
Raquel Baranow, the author of this website, 666isMONEY
Chesa Boudin, writer, lecturer, Rhodes scholar (see also Wikipedia)
Patty Ann Smith, singer, songwriter
Betty Hill Crowson, writer/author, holistic life coach, spiritual retreat director, and motivational speaker/trainer.
Ken Freeman, Christian evangelist and author
John Vold, singer, musician
Bret Michaels, singer (Poison)
Troy M. Wussow, Aikijudo-Jitsu, Kung Fu, martial artist (very interesting biography)
Kathy Lynn, blogger (the name of her blog is Essential Eccentricity)
He is one of the world’s best known and most successful entrepreneurs, with hundreds of patents to his name—
including the Segway scooter. But you will never see Dean Kamen in a suit and tie: the eccentric inventor
dresses almost exclusively in denim. He spent five years in college before dropping out, does not take
vacations and has never married. Kamen presides (along with his Ministers of Ice Cream, Brunch and
Nepotism) over the Connecticut island kingdom of North Dumpling, which has “seceded” from the U.S. and
dispenses its own currency in units of pi. Visitors are issued a visa form that includes spaces on which to note
identifying marks on both their face and buttocks.
Kamen, who works tirelessly at inspiring kids to pursue careers in science and engineering, is one of many
highly creative people whose personal behavior sometimes strikes others as odd. Albert Einstein picked up
cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe; Howard Hughes spent entire days on a chair in the
middle of the supposedly germ-free zone of his Beverly Hills Hotel suite; the composer Robert Schumann
believed that his musical compositions were dictated to him by Beethoven and other deceased luminaries from
their tombs; and Charles Dickens is said to have fended off imaginary urchins with his umbrella as he walked
the streets of London. More recently, we have seen Michael Jackson’s preoccupation with rhinoplasty,
Salvador Dalí’s affection for dangerous pets and the Icelandic singer Björk dressed for the Oscars as a swan.
Schizotypal personality is a milder version of the clinical psychiatric condition called schizotypal personality
disorder, which is among a cluster of personality disorders labeled “odd or eccentric” in the American
Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The schizotypal diagnosis
grew out of large epidemiological studies in which researchers noticed that the relatives of individuals
diagnosed with schizophrenia were more likely to exhibit odd behaviors and beliefs than relatives of those not
afflicted with schizophrenia. Schizotypal people, for instance, may dress in an idiosyncratic style; their speech
patterns may be somewhat out of the ordinary; they may respond ineptly in social situations; their emotional
responses may be inappropriate; they may believe in supernatural phenomena such as telepathy and omens;
and they may be hard to get close to—both physically and emotionally. In short, schizotypal individuals are
Not all schizotypal people have a personality disorder, however. They are often very high functioning, talented
and intelligent. Many of my students at Harvard University, for example, score far above average on schizotypal
scales, as well as on creativity and intelligence measures.
Read more: Scientific American.
|The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric
Highly creative people often seem weirder than the rest of us. Now researchers know why
By Shelley Carson | April 14, 2011