The management of breech pregnancies in Australia and New Zealand
Article first published online: 16 JUL 2003
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 294–297, August 2003
How to Cite
Phipps, H., Roberts, C. L., Nassar, N., Raynes-Greenow, C. H., Peat, B. and Hutton, E. K. (2003), The management of breech pregnancies in Australia and New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 43: 294–297. doi: 10.1046/j.0004-8666.2003.00078.x
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2003
- Article first published online: 16 JUL 2003
- Received 11 November 2002; accepted 24 March 2003.
- breech presentation;
- external cephalic version;
- attitudes and practices;
Aim: To assess current obstetric practice in the management of singleton breech pregnancies in Australia and New Zealand.
Methodology: Survey mailed to all members and fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Results : Of 1284 surveyed, 956 (74%) responded of whom 696 (73%) were practicing obstetrics. Prior to the Term Breech Trial (TBT), 72% of obstetricians reported that they routinely offered vaginal breech birth for uncomplicated singleton breech pregnancies. After the TBT publication this rate declined to 20%. External cephalic version (ECV) was usually recommended by 67% of obstetricians and only 53% use tocolytics. Common practices for which safety has yet to be demonstrated included 28% of obstetricians carrying out ECV outside hospitals and 42% carrying out ECV before 37 weeks’ gestation.
Conclusions : While the majority of obstetricians recommend ECV and/or planned Caesarean section for breech presentation, barriers to the promotion of ECV and the use of tocolysis for ECV need to be identified if the rates of this effective manoeuvre are to be increased.