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Dizygotic twin rate has increased by about 50% over the past two decades due to the wide use of ovarian stimulation regimes in the treatment of subfertility. Diagnosis can be made by ultrasound in the first trimester and the chorionicity has to be assessed before 14 weeks. Continuous cardiotocograph (CTG) monitoring of both twins is mandatory. There is no ideal time interval between delivery of the first and second twin. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring of the second twin is mandatory, after the birth of the first twin. Cord prolapse is more common after the delivery of the first twin and should be anticipated. Vaginal delivery is always preferable to caesarean delivery in low-resource settings when the first twin is vertex. When the second twin is non-vertex internal podalic version and breech extraction should be the aim over emergency caesarean delivery, if there are no other contraindications for vaginal birth.
This chapter reviews the fundamentals of the techniques for breech delivery and the evaluative process required for appropriate management. Also reviewed are external cephalic version (ECV) and internal podalic version (IPV) and the special needs of the premature breech fetus at delivery. These concepts and approaches are applicable in all breech presentations, independent of the route of delivery. Techniques for delivering the breech fetus are assisted breech delivery, delivering the aftercoming head, and breech extraction. Piper forceps (or alternatively, Simpson or Keilland forceps) can be used for delivering the aftercoming head at the clinician's discretion. The risk that the breech fetus might become acidotic during labor and delivery is marginally greater than for its cephalic counterpart. Once a breech presentation has been diagnosed, the patient and her family can be counseled and instructed about the potential problems that might be encountered.
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