Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: to explore midwives' views, experiences and feelings of confidence surrounding vaginal breech birth (VBB). DESIGN: a qualitative study was conducted with 12 participants using three focus group discussions. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. SETTING: UK midwives were recruited from different geographical areas who worked in community areas, hospital areas and as independent practitioners. FINDINGS: three themes were identified. Firstly, midwives viewed VBB in dimensions of normality, perceiving it to be an unusual norm on one hand while also acknowledging potential problems. Secondly, midwives expressed varied feelings of preparedness; the majority feeling inexperienced and under-prepared with VBB, yet more confident when supported by other colleagues. Lastly, midwives described restrictions on women's choice of VBB; perceiving other practitioners as limiting women's choices through coercion, yet providing a balanced choice themselves. CONCLUSIONS: there should be an opportunity for midwives to be mentored by a more experienced practitioner in VBB. Practice areas should develop a guideline for VBB which acknowledges the role of the midwife in facilitating normal breech birth. Balanced written and verbal information on VBB may further assist decision making for women considering a VBB. Education in VBB should focus on learning what is normal for VBB and must emphasise the importance of teamwork and understanding roles within multidisciplinary teams.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





61 - 67


Focus groups, Intrapartum care, Maternity practice, Adult, Breech Presentation, Clinical Competence, Emotions, Female, Focus Groups, Humans, Middle Aged, Nurse Midwives, Pregnancy, Qualitative Research, Self Efficacy