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

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%).

The data visualisation below presents data on baby presentation for women who gave birth, by selected maternal characteristics, for 2020. Click the trend button to see how data has changed over an 11-year period (where available).

The figure shows a bar chart of the proportion of women who gave birth by presentation and a range of topics for 2020 and a line graph of topic trends between 2010 and 2020. In 2020, 274,864 women, or 94%, gave birth to a baby in a vertex presentation.

Less than 1 in 10 (4.2%) of mothers had a baby in the breech position (buttocks or feet first). A higher proportion of mothers aged 40 and over (6.1%) had babies in a breech presentation than did younger mothers (for example, 3.1% and 3.3%, respectively, 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% 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 more information on presentation for babies see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data table 2.35.