• birth experience;
  • breech birth;
  • trial of vaginal delivery



The optimal mode of breech birth remains controversial. In Finland, a trial of vaginal delivery is possible if strict selection criteria are met. As clinical practice in managing vaginal breech birth differs from that in normal delivery, the birth experience may also be different. This cohort study compares the childbirth experience between term breech and vertex deliveries.


Intended vaginal term breech births from 2008 to October 2012 were included, and for every breech delivery, a vertex control was selected. The proportions of deliveries ending in a cesarean section and of mothers who had given birth vaginally before were equal in both groups. Three hundred eight mothers were sent the childbirth experience questionnaire and 170 returned it.


The birth experience does not differ between breech and vertex births, except for aspects with respect to the choice of birthing position. Indications of an even more positive experience were observed in the breech group, with the exception of the choice of analgesia, but these were not statistically significant. Primiparity, emergency cesarean section, infant birth trauma and prolonged hospital stay were identified as risk factors for a negative birth experience.


The birth experience of vaginal breech birth seems to be at least as positive as the vaginal vertex birth experience.