Vaginal Breech Delivery

  • Simon GrantEmail author
  • Emma Ferriman


Only 3–4% of babies will adopt a breech presentation at term. Risk factors for breech presentation include fetal abnormality, prematurity, abnormal amniotic fluid volumes and low-lying placenta. Controversy exists among clinicians regarding the mode of delivery for babies in a breech presentation at term with vaginal breech delivery becoming less common following the publication of the Term Breech trial in 2000. Subsequently a number of clinicians have become deskilled in vaginal breech delivery and caesarean section their preferred mode of delivery. This is primarily as a result of the increased perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with vaginal breech delivery compared to a cephalic delivery. Despite the low incidence of breech presentation at term there are a large number of medico legal cases centred around vaginal breech delivery and the undiagnosed breech. These cases have a number of recurring themes; especially late diagnosis and lack of senior obstetric input at the time of delivery.


Vaginal breech delivery Mode of delivery Caesarean section External cephalic version Maternal morbidity Neonatal morbidity Litigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologySouthmead HospitalBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jessop WingSheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustSheffieldUK

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