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Birth. 1999 Jun;26(2):71-5.

Knee-chest postural management for breech at term: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, Australia.



In 3 to 4 percent of all term births, the fetus presents as a breech. The objectives of this trial were to assess if assuming the knee-chest position reduced the frequency of breech presentation at delivery, increased the success of the subsequent external cephalic version, or both, and to determine if this management plan reduced the need for cesarean delivery.


A randomized clinical trial recruited 100 women from two hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia, with a singleton breech presentation and a gestational age equal to or more than 36 weeks. Women in the treatment group were advised to assume the knee-chest position for 15 minutes three times a day for one week. Women in the control group did not perform postural management. All participants were reviewed one week later, and women whose baby remained as a breech presentation were offered an external cephalic version.


Postural management did not increase the success of the external cephalic version, reduce the frequency of breech presentation at delivery, or reduce the need for cesarean delivery in women with a breech presentation at term.


Findings from this trial included in a meta-analysis of postural management for breech presentation at term suggested that this is not an effective form of care to be offered routinely to women with a breech presentation at term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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