BREECH babies delivered by Caesarean section are more likely to survive than those delivered vaginally, a study by doctors at St Mary's Hospital, London, has found. The study of 3,447 breech deliveries discovered that the incidence of death during and just after delivery was 0.83 per cent among babies delivered vaginally, compared with 0.03 per cent in those born by Caesarean.

The delivery of breech babies remains controversial, with many doctors and women arguing against automatic Caesarean section. But a perinatal mortality rate of nearly 1 per cent among healthy breech babies delivered vaginally is disturbing, the authors say in the British Medical Journal. If mothers were informed of these findings, most would opt for a Caesarean, they argue.