If parents were born breech, babies are more likely to present bottom-first

May 21, 2008

The offspring of parents who were born by breech delivery are themselves more likely to be born breech, according to study findings published March 27 in BMJ Online First.

The offspring of parents who were born by breech delivery are themselves more likely to be born breech, according to study findings published March 27 in BMJ Online First.

Tone Irene Nordtveit, a PhD student at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway, and colleagues analyzed data on 232,704 mother-offspring units and 154,851 father-offspring units, where parents and offspring were singletons and offspring were first-born.

Compared with those born with cephalic presentation, men and women who were born breech were twice as likely to have breech-born babies, the investigators found. The association was equally strong for both men and women but only for those who were delivered at term.

"Breech delivery is associated with increased perinatal mortality and morbidity. A considerable number of breech presentations are not detected before labor, despite careful antenatal surveillance," the authors write. "To avoid undiagnosed breech deliveries, information about the mother's and father's own presentation at birth will be valuable in the evaluation of fetal presentation in the third trimester."

Nordtveit TI, Melve KK, Albrechtsen S, et al. Maternal and paternal contribution to intergenerational recurrence of breech delivery: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2008;336:872-876. doi:10.1136/bmj.39505.436539.BE.