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Overview of issues related to breech presentation

Author
G Justus Hofmeyr, MD
Section Editor
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editor
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG

INTRODUCTION

Breech presentation describes the fetus whose buttocks are adjacent to the birth canal. This topic will provide an overview of major issues related to breech presentation, including the best approach for delivery. Techniques for breech delivery are discussed separately. (See "Delivery of the fetus in breech presentation".)

TYPES OF BREECH PRESENTATION

The main types of breech presentation are:

Frank breech – In the frank breech position, both hips are flexed and both knees are extended so that the feet are adjacent to the fetal head (figure 1). At term, 50 to 70 percent of breech fetuses are in this position.

Complete breech – In the complete breech position, both hips and both knees are flexed (figure 2). At term, 5 to 10 percent of breech fetuses are in this position.

Incomplete breech – In the incomplete breech position, one or both hips are not completely flexed (figure 3). At term, 10 to 40 percent of breech fetuses are incomplete.

                       

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Jul 08 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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