Author Identifiers

Sara Morris
ORCID: 0000-0002-2714-1538



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Introduction: The proposed poster aims to bring about discourse regarding current breech birth practices. Outlined within are factors which have contributed to the current state of breech birth, not only in Australia but on a global scale and highlights steps which have been taken by others and may be used in Western Australia (WA) to reverse the spiral of fear currently surrounding breech birth. There is currently no literature pertaining to the state of breech birth in WA.

The publication of the Term Breech Trial (TBT) in 2000, the lack of trust and the need to control the birthing environment, coupled with the increasing prevalence of litigation in maternity care and the portrayal of breech in the media has led to a spiral of fear regarding breech birth. Despite criticism to the validity of the TBT, and evidence showing no significant difference in longer term out- comes for children born breech irrespective of birth mode, the rate of CS for breech presentation ranges from 69-100%. The prevalence of the surgical approach to breech birth has led to the deskilling of an entire generation of midwives and obstetricians in most Westernized societies and has limited the birth choices of women with a breech presentation, continuing the spiral of fear.

Approach: The rise of specialty beech clinics in the United Kingdom and the eastern states of Australia some of which operate in a continuity of care model, brings the hope of more birth choices for women. Evidence shows the more experience a clinician attending a vaginal breech birth has the better the outcomes for mother and baby. The breech clinic may also be utilized as an education tool enabling midwives and obstetricians to learn the lost art of vaginal breech birth in a safe and supportive environment and may reverse the spiral of fear. Morris, S. (2018). Reversing the spiral of fear. Women and Birth, 31, Suppl. 1, S41.

Publication Date



School of Nursing and Midwifery


Nursing Midwifery


Published as: Morris, S. (2018) Reversing the spiral of fear. Presented at the Australian College of Midwives National Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 18 October 2018.

Reversing the spiral of fear