C-Section Not Best Option for Breech Birth

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Physicians should no longer automatically opt to perform a cesarean section in the case of a breech birth, according to new guidelines by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada—in response to new evidence that shows many women are safely able to vaginally deliver babies who enter the birth canal with the buttocks or feet first. Since around 2000, because some studies suggested that breech births were associated with an increased rate of complication when performed vaginally, many medical schools stopped training their physicians in breech vaginal delivery. The problem, according to SOGC executive vice-president André Lalonde, is that now—when reassessment of the research has demonstrated its relative safety—there is a serious shortage of doctors to teach and attend these deliveries. SOGC will launch a nationwide training program to ensure that doctors will be adequately prepared to offer vaginal breech births. [June 2009, Globe and Mail]

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