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Community Zone

Featured article

Midwifery management of face presentation

The 1980 edition of Oxorn and Foote (1980) urges the midwife not to be hasty in employing cæsarean (CS) for face presentation because, with patience, babies are usually born vaginally, with better outcomes. Reviewing how to manage face presentation can prepare the practitioner for this rare event, and decrease CS management. A hundred and ninety six midwives from the US, UK, Hungary and Israel were emailed, asking them to describe their experience, if any, with face presentation. Twelve midwives responded, demonstrating the rarity of the event. Face presentation was most often diagnosed at full dilation. Mode of birth was dependent on the size of the fetus, the motivation of the woman and the experience and motivation of the practitioner, not on the position of the chin. Where the posterior chin was blocking birth, CS could be avoided by rotating the head to occiput anterior (OA) or by swimming for 45 minutes in a large birthing pool.
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Featured eLearning module

Evidence based midwifery management of face presentation

Face presentation is a rare, unanticipated event in which the fetal chin extends (instead of flexing down on its chest) as the fetal head descends during labour and birth. Since face presentation is rare, it may only happen a handful of times in a midwifery career of several decades. The aim of this module is to prepare midwives to recognise the characteristic signs of face presentation, and to understand when expectant management and intervention are appropriate for the wellbeing of the fetus and the mother.Read more

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1 April 2017Vol 20 • Number 4



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