About the project

OptiBreech, Stage 1 Summary:

Why? Most babies are born head-first, but about 1 in 25 are bottom-down (breech) after 37 weeks of pregnancy. Women who wish to plan a vaginal breech birth have asked for more reliable support from an experienced professional. This aligns with national policy to enable maternal choice.

What? In this study, we are exploring the feasibility of evaluating a new care pathway for women with a breech pregnancy. OptiBreech care includes specialist leadership, evidence-based training, and an active birth approach if a vaginal birth is planned.

We do not know whether the OptiBreech care pathway will be safer and/or as cost-effective as standard care. One way to find out is by comparing outcomes within each pathway in a clinical trial. Some important questions must be answered first to design a successful large-scale trial. This is called a ‘feasibility study.’

Who? Women with a breech pregnancy after 37 weeks who choose to plan a vaginal breech birth within their current Trust guidelines will be eligible to participate. They will be offered care from an experienced team with enhanced training.

How? We will follow the outcomes of women and babies. We will also interview them and the staff who care for them about their experiences. We will use routine data, interviews and surveys to determine:

• Are Trusts able to implement the OptiBreech care pathway?
• How much time does it take to develop a proficient team to deliver the service?
• How do women and staff feel about OptiBreech care?
• What adjustments might need to be made to the OptiBreech care pathway to make it feasible to deliver within the NHS?

Where? At least 12 sites from across the UK will participate. The observational study will last for 2.5 years.

5 thoughts on “About the project”

  1. Hello
    Have you finished recruiting sites? Would be really untested in University Hospitals Birmingham taking part, we do around 9700 births per year and I believe we could really support this study


    1. Great to hear! The next stage of OptiBreech will be opening in a few months, and all sites who have expressed an interest will be invited to apply at that time. I’ve e-mailed you Jo. Best wishes, Shawn


  2. Hi I’m currently 39 weeks pregnant with a breech baby and plan a breech delivery at NSECH hospital.. This will be my second vaginal breech delivery at NSECH in the last 3 years. Maybe you could contact them. They’re a phenomenal hospital for advocating women’s birth choices.


  3. Can i ask where in the recruitment process the feasibility study is please? I work in the Highlands of Scotland and suspect our numbers are pretty low but would love to know more about this.


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