Presentation

Presentation refers to the anatomical part of the baby that is facing down the birth canal at birth.

The figure shows a bar chart of the proportion of women who gave birth by presentation and a range of topics for 2019 and a line graph of topic trends between 2009 and 2019. In 2019, 281,025 women, or 94%, gave birth to a baby in a vertex presentation.

More than 9 in 10 (94%) women gave birth to babies in a vertex (head first) presentation. Mothers with one, two, and three previous pregnancies (95% for all groups) were slightly more likely to have a vertex presentation than first time mothers (93%) and mothers with four or more previous pregnancies (94%).

Less than 1 in 10 (4.1%) of mothers had a baby in the breech position (buttocks or feet first). A higher proportion of mothers aged 40 and over (6.7%) had babies in a breech presentation than did younger mothers (for example, 3.0% each for both mothers aged under 20 and those aged 20–24).

Only 0.7% of mothers who had a baby in the breech position had a non-instrumental vaginal birth, compared with 10.4% of mothers who had a caesarean section.

Women who had a multiple birth were more likely to have a baby in a breech presentation (23%, compared with 75% of mothers with a baby in the vertex presentation), based on the presentation of the first born baby.

For information on presentation for babies see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data tables 3.13 and 3.15.