Care during the decision-making phase for women who want a vaginal breech birth: Experiences from the field

C. Catling, K. Petrovska, N. P. Watts, A. Bisits, C. S.E. Homer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Few women are given the option of a vaginal breech birth in Australia, unless the clinicians feel confident and have the skills to facilitate this mode of birth. Few studies describe how clinicians provide care during the decision-making phase for women who choose a vaginal breech birth. The aim of this study was to explore how experienced clinicians facilitated decisions about external cephalic version and mode of birth for women who have a breech presentation. 

Methods: A descriptive exploratory design was undertaken with nine experienced clinicians (obstetricians and midwives) from two tertiary hospitals in Australia. Data were collected through face to face interviews and analysed thematically. 

Findings: Five obstetricians and four midwives participated in this study. All were experienced in caring for women having a vaginal breech birth and were currently involved in providing such a service. The themes that arose from the data were: Pitching the discussion, Discussing safety and risk, Being calm and Providing continuity of care. 

Conclusions: Caring for women who seek a vaginal breech birth includes careful selection of appropriate women, full discussions outlining the risks involved, and undertaking care with a calm manner, ensuring continuity of care. Health services considering establishing a vaginal breech service should consider that these elements are included in the establishment and implementation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


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