Breech Birth

Breech presentation is the 4th most commonly reported indication for caesarean section, and previous caesarean section the first. Breech presentation can be seen, therefore, as a major contributor to the caesarean section rate, both in current and future pregnancies.

Publication in 2000 of the Term Breech Trial, which recommended caesarean section with breech presentation at term, accelerated the loss of breech skills as caesarean became universal and, to all intents and purposes, mandatory as vaginal birth became no longer offered. The discrediting of the Term Breech Trial did not halt the move to routine caesarean but there has been a gradual reclaiming of breech skills over the last decade or so.

This workshop is currently being converted to a series of freely available (open source) movies addressing 3 aspects of vaginal breech birth:

  1. The vaginal breech birth option: Breech literature and guidelines are examined, and we explore the various options available (or not) to women and how these affect the woman and her baby.
  2. Physiological breech birth: The ‘what and how’ of breech birth when support, rather than ‘delivery techniques’, is used.
  3. Preventing and/or dealing with problems during vaginal breech birth: Appropriate care, timely recognition of problems, adept handling and engaging in collaborative conversations and care strategies are the focus of this aspect.


Dr Maggie Banks (PhD, RM, RGON) has worked in a variety of practice settings, first as a nurse (from 1972) primarily in women’s health and neonatal intensive care, then as midwife (from 1987). A self-employed midwife in home birth practice since 1989, Maggie has combined the role of midwifery educator with practice since 1998. She has regularly taught throughout Australasia, as well as having been a guest speaker at conferences held in the Australia, US and Canada. She has a particular interest in breech presentation and birth as women commonly report their control of birthing is overridden, despite their opting for vaginal breech birth. Maggie is the author of Breech Birth Woman-Wise, and is known for her activism in ensuring that women giving birth vaginally are cared for by their known and trusted caregivers, that is, midwives.

What did previous participants think of the Workshop?

Midwives, midwifery students, general practitioners,obstetricians, Childbirth Educators and doulas from New Zealand, Australia, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Denmark, Argentine, Colombia and Spain have attended this Workshop to date. The feedback has been very positive as the sample below shows:

  • It has provided me not only with a lot of very useful, scientific-evidence based, and thorough understanding of the breech birth, but also given me the light and strength to face it in the future.
  • Loved the presentation, the lectures each week were really informative and thought provoking. Each lecture was supported with articles for further reading and exploration, great!
  • Initially it was a bit daunting to find my way around the site but after a little bit of time I worked it out. If I can do that then anyone can!!
  • Wonderful. From readings to videos to personal stories to the forums to the classroom. All so helpful.
  • “Face to face” I learn best from listening and love the fact that technology allows us to have live classroom from our own home. Great to hear from midwives from around the globe. The forums where a great source of information and lovely to be able to ask questions and share thoughts. Maggie was always quick to reply to any questions.
  • Content was very informative covering a huge variety of breech birth, giving confidence and information regarding facilitating a normal breech birth and also the same for when things dont go to plan. I learned alot and wish it could be an ongoing thing.
  • I think this course needs to be a more frequent thing. We do emergency skills every year now but this is so much more comprehensive. I have promoted your course throughout our midwives in our local area and many say they are going to do the next one. I really hope they do as I have watched the panic and fear several times now when a woman presents with a breech and its scary! It would be so much easier if there were more supportive midwives here that have a bit more confidence and knowledge. Thank you for providing a wonderful course 🙂
  • This medium is so good. It allows midwives to engage in high quality education that is achievable whether you are urban/rural; NZ or UK!! Busy or quiet….Thank you Maggie for providing this workshop; thank you for the high quality, the time it has taken to get it all put together….also wonderful to have the input of so many other midwives!