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Assessment of fetal presentation: Exploring a woman-centred approach

Walker, S. & Sabrosa, R. (2014). Assessment of fetal presentation: Exploring a woman-centred approach. British Journal of Midwifery, 22(4), pp. 240-244. doi: 10.12968/bjom.2014.22.4.240


This article explores the core midwifery skill of fetal presentation assessment from the perspective of women’s meanings and experiences, including the social and relational aspects of antenatal palpation. Brief background information is provided, explaining the clinical purpose of determining presentation antenatally, and the key debates surrounding the available interventions applied when babies present breech, eg. external cephalic version and caesarean section. In order to make the screening process transparent, women need to know the accuracy (or rather, inaccuracy) of abdominal palpation, and what her options will be if her baby is found to be presenting breech, either before or during labour. Specialist midwifery care may help meet women’s increased needs for counselling and reassurance, and provide continuity throughout the breech care pathway, which for low-risk women begins with palpation.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: breech, midwives, antenatal, palpation, woman-centred, specialist
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
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