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Mums-to-be could be routinely offered an ultrasound scan at 36 weeks to help spot risky breech deliveries, when a baby's bottom or feet will emerge first, say UK researchers. Breech births can be hazardous and tricky to diagnose. Currently, midwives and doctors tend to rely on the shape and feel of the mother's bump to check. Researchers estimate the scans would avoid 4,000 emergency caesareans and eight baby deaths a year in England. If the scans could be done cheaply enough then it should also save the NHS money in terms of care, says the University of Cambridge team in the journal PLoS Medicine . About three to four babies in every 100 are in a breech position near the end of pregnancy. More babies start out breech but will turn to the ideal "head-first" position by about 36 weeks' gestatio... Full story

17 April