Objectives: The purpose of this work was to report labor and birth management practices for term breech presentation in France and Belgium in 2001-2002 and to describe indications for cesarean sections (before labor, emergency situations) in breech presentations.
Material and methods: The PREMODA cohort is a survey population which included 19408 deliveries, 8108 of which were term breech presentations.
Results: Infants were delivered by cesarean section before labor (59.1%), emergency cesarean section during labor (18.4%) or vaginally (22.5%). The decision for cesarean section before labor was empirical (breech presentation) in 44.3% of the cases. Half of the cesarean sections performed during labor (n=704, 49.3%) were planned C-sections. Overall, 67.8% of the breech presentations were delivered during planned cesarean sections (before or during labor). When vaginal delivery was attempted, the rate of vaginal birth was 70%.
Conclusion: These early results reveal a high rate of cesarean section as well as differences in inter-regional practices. Considering all cesarean sections performed before labor, the most frequent indication was an empirical decision because of the breech presentation. An increased rate of planned cesarean section does not reduce the rate of vaginal delivery when attempted.