OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to evaluate the maternal and neonatal outcome of 846 consecutive term singleton breech deliveries at a single center. STUDY DESIGN: We reviewed the maternal and neonatal charts of all women who delivered singleton breech fetuses between 1984 and 1990 and divided them into two groups: women who fulfilled the criteria for trial of labor (group 1, n = 613) and those who did not meet these criteria and underwent scheduled cesarean section (group 2, n = 233). RESULTS: In group I, 326 women (53.2%) were delivered vaginally. There were no maternal deaths. Febrile morbidity and length of hospitalization were significantly higher in the women who required cesarean section in labor compared with those delivered vaginally. In the total study population there were no stillbirths and eight neonatal deaths, 6 of which had major malformations incompatible with life. The remaining two deaths occurred in group 1 (0.33% corrected neonatal mortality in group 1). Newborns in Group 1 exhibited a higher rate of trauma with borderline statistical significance (3.0% vs 0.5%, p = 0.052). No significant differences were found in the rates of low Apgar scores, intubation, and intensive care unit admission. CONCLUSION: Although certain short-term outcome variables may appear less favorable in term singleton breech infants delivered vaginally, large randomized studies of short- and long-term outcome should be undertaken because current data are not sufficiently conclusive to warrant routine cesarean section for term breech presentation.
- cesarean section
- perinatal outcome