ACOG Committee Opinion No. 745 Summary: Mode of Term Singleton Breech Delivery

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Abstract

There is a trend in the United States to perform cesarean delivery for term singleton fetuses in a breech presentation. The number of practitioners with the skills and experience to perform vaginal breech delivery has decreased. The decision regarding the mode of delivery should consider patient wishes and the experience of the health care provider. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should offer external cephalic version as an alternative to planned cesarean for a woman who has a term singleton breech fetus, desires a planned vaginal delivery of a vertex-presenting fetus, and has no contraindications. External cephalic version should be attempted only in settings in which cesarean delivery services are readily available. Planned vaginal delivery of a term singleton breech fetus may be reasonable under hospital-specific protocol guidelines for eligibility and labor management. If a vaginal breech delivery is planned, a detailed informed consent should be documented—including risks that perinatal or neonatal mortality or short-term serious neonatal morbidity may be higher than if a cesarean delivery is planned.

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