Refers to the baby presenting for delivery with the buttocks or feet first rather than head.
Associated with increased morbidity and mortality for the mother in terms of emergency caesarean section and placenta praevia; and for the baby in terms of preterm birth, small fetal size, congenital anomalies, and perinatal mortality.
Incidence decreases as pregnancy progresses and by term occurs in 3% to 4% of singleton term pregnancies.
Treatment options include external cephalic version to increase the likelihood of vaginal birth or a planned caesarean section, the optimal gestation being 37 and 39 weeks, respectively.
Planned caesarean section is considered the safest form of delivery for infants with a persisting breech presentation at term.