Breech birth hereditary - study

  • Olivia Fens

A baby is twice as likely to be born breech if either or both the parents were breech deliveries.

Approximately 3%-4% of babies are born breech (born feet or bottom first rather than head first).

The reasons for a breech birth are still not known for certain, but several factors are associated with an increased risk of breech delivery, such as first baby, older mother, premature delivery and low birth weight.

Breech deliveries are often dangerous to both the mother and the child. Although most breech deliveries are detected before labour, a considerable number are not detected, despite careful antenatal surveillance.

The recurrence of breech delivery in siblings is high, knowledge of recurrence between generations is lacking.

Researchers looked at all the births in Norway between 1967 and 2004, studying information available on men and women and their first born children.

They found that genes passed on from either the mother or the father to the foetus seem to be closely related to breech delivery.

To avoid undiagnosed breech deliveries, information about the mother’s and the father’s own presentation at birth will be valuable in the evaluation of foetal presentation in the third trimester.

The study found that both men and women delivered in breech contributed to increased risk of breech delivery in their offspring.

They researchers also added that the study found that the chance of breech through the father was as strong as recurrence through the mother.

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