Changing attitudes toward mode of delivery and external cephalic version in breech presentations

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2002 Dec;79(3):221-4. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(02)00274-6.


Objectives: To compare the attitude of gravid women in breech presentation towards external cephalic version (ECV) and mode of delivery between 1995 and 2001.

Methods: A questionnaire on ECV and mode of delivery was distributed to women in the third trimester of pregnancy with breech presentation, attending our departmental clinic for a routine check-up once in 1995 and again in 2001 in order to analyze changing attitudes.

Results: One hundred fifty-four women completed the questionnaire in 1995 and 127 in 2001. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in age, gestational age, gravidity, parity, or level of education. In 1995, more than half the women (52.7%) had heard of ECV and 53.8% were willing to consider it, whereas in 2001, 73.2% had heard of it but only 23.9% were willing to consider it. In both groups, the women who were familiar with ECV were more likely to work outside of the home, have a higher level of educated than the women who were not. The women who were willing to try ECV were more likely not to work outside of the home, to consider their pregnancy low risk, and to opt for vaginal delivery (vs. cesarean section) if ECV did not succeed. The percentage of women who would choose planned cesarean section if the presentation remained breech was significantly higher in 2001 (97%) than in 1995 (64.7%).

Conclusions: Attitudes toward breech delivery have changed since 1995. More women are aware of the option of ECV but are less inclined to consider it. Planned cesarean section for breech presentation is the overwhelming choice of women in general, with a significant increase in 2001 compared with 1995.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Breech Presentation*
  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Version, Fetal*