Study brings safety and more understanding around breech births
Caboolture Hospital is now providing mothers with more informed birthing options around vaginal breech birth (VBB) thanks to a recent study.
Caboolture Hospital Midwifery Educator Janene Rattray said it was common practice for most babies in a breech position to be delivered by a caesarean section because it was considered safer by some professionals than being born vaginally.
“As part of a VBB study of maternity doctors and midwives at Caboolture Hospital differences in the training that professionals experienced for breech management was highlighted,” Ms Rattray said.
“Our study showed that many of the maternity staff were highly experienced in maternity services, yet few were experienced in breech management.”
As part of the study, the Caboolture Hospital and University of Southern Queensland research team conducted evaluations with staff to ascertain knowledge, attitudes, experiences and confidence levels for breech births.
“Surveys highlighted that there was inconsistent information being offered to women about breech births,” Ms Rattray said. “Some clinicians raised concerns that when women chose options such as a breech birth it may not align to standard medical guidelines.”
The VBB study led to 40 maternity doctors and midwives from Caboolture Hospital completing multi-disciplinary BABE – Becoming A Breech Birth Expert training.
“This training has increased their knowledge, understanding and confidence in facilitating women’s access to a vaginal breech birth and developed a more consistent approach to maternity care,” Ms Rattray said.
“It has led to the recommendation that maternity clinicians engage in regular, dedicated training for management of breech at term to improve their skills and knowledge to help women make informed choices.”
Ms Rattray said following the training, more than 90 per cent of the participants expressed an intention to discuss all options to women when presenting with a breech baby at the end of their pregnancy.
The findings have been presented at two conferences and will be submitted for publication to suitable peer-reviewed journals.