• caesarean section;
  • maternal morbidity;
  • maternal mortality;
  • perinatal morbidity;
  • perinatal mortality
  • • 
    Critics continue to raise doubts about the conclusions of the Term Breech Trial.
  • • 
    Subsequent European population studies have also concluded that the breech neonate benefits from elective caesarean section.
  • • 
    Smaller population studies demonstrate the success of vaginal delivery in selected populations.

Learning objectives:

  • • 
    To be aware of criticisms of the Term Breech Trial and other literature that contradicts its findings.
  • • 
    To understand the difficulties of selecting suitable women for trial of vaginal breech delivery.
  • • 
    To be able to use current evidence when counselling women about their delivery options.

Ethical issues:

  • • 
    How can the neonatal advantages of caesarean delivery be balanced with maternal morbidity and the potential for complications in future pregnancies?
  • • 
    Should vaginal breech delivery still be considered a safe mode of delivery?

Please cite this article as: Deans CL, Penn Z. The case for and against vaginal breech delivery. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2008;10:139–144.