Vaginal Breech Deliveries Safe If Guidelines Are Followed

Risk from breech deliveries no different from general population in France, Belgium

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A planned vaginal delivery for breech presentation can be safe if certain criteria are met both before and during labor, according to a study conducted in France and Belgium and published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Francois Goffinet, M.D., Ph.D., from Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, and members of the PREMODA (PREsentation et MODe dAccouchement or "presentation and mode of delivery") study performed an observational prospective analysis of 8,105 breech deliveries in France and Belgium. In the two countries, breech deliveries are guided by French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians criteria, which include pelvimetry measurements, fetal weight and head position, and fetal heart monitoring.

The authors found the rate of a combined neonatal outcome (fetal and neonatal mortality and severe neonatal morbidity) with planned vaginal deliveries of breech presentation was low and not statistically different from the overall population (1.60 percent versus 1.59 percent, respectively). About 71 percent of breech presentations with a planned vaginal delivery ended in a vaginal delivery.

"Under the conditions discussed here, planned vaginal delivery of singleton fetuses in breech presentation at term remains a safe clinical option that can be offered to women after providing them with clear, objective and complete information," they conclude.

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Barry Thrash

Barry Thrash

Published on April 19, 2006

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