Background and aim: To compare perinatal outcome in groups of planned vaginal breech delivery, elective cesarean section with the fetus in breech presentation, and planned vaginal delivery with the fetus in cephalic presentation in a university hospital with a tradition of managing breech deliveries by the vaginal route.
Methods: A cohort study from a 7-year period 1995-2002, including 590 planned vaginal deliveries with a term (> 37 weeks) singleton fetus in breech presentation, 396 elective cesarean sections with a term singleton fetus in breech presentation, and 590 control women intending vaginal delivery with a singleton term fetus in cephalic presentation.
Results: The Apgar scores were lower in the group of planned vaginal breech delivery, but in other outcome measures there were no significant intergroup differences. The overall neonatal morbidity was small (1.2% vs. 0.5% vs. 0.3% in the respective study groups) if compared to a recently published randomized multicenter study.
Conclusions: Selective vaginal breech deliveries may be safely undertaken in units having a tradition of vaginal breech deliveries.