Your Baby’s Position Just Before Birth

As you eagerly wait for the time when you will be in labor and get to hold your baby in your arms, many questions are crossing your mind. Some of these are such as where you will give birth, what the baby will wear, the name of the baby, and so on. While most mums worry about all these things, midwives and gynaes worry about more crucial matters – your baby’s fetal position in the uterus. The position of your baby at birth determines how safe and successful the labor process will be. Read on to understand what fetal position is and how to coax your baby into the best position for birth.

Common Baby Positions During Birth

Ideally, for you to be in a position to successfully deliver, your baby is supposed to be in the anterior position. This is the position whereby the baby’s head faces downwards, and they are facing your back. Most babies get into this position in the last month of pregnancy. Your doctor, therefore, thoroughly examines you during this last month to ensure that your baby is in the right position.

In case your baby is not in the anterior position by the time of birth, this may cause complications for either or both of you. In such cases, other delivery methods such as cesarean may be considered. However, your doctor may opt to shift the position of your baby by applying hands through the abdomen with the guidance of an ultrasound.

Some of these positions that need special attention during birth are such as:

       1.    Occiput or cephalic posterior

In this position, the baby’s head is facing downward, but the baby is facing the mother’s abdomen instead of her back. This could cause prolonged and painful labour.

       2.     Complete breech

In the complete breech position, the baby is positioned with the buttocks first on the way to the birth canal, and the knees and hips are flexed. In this case, the baby should not be delivered vaginally as it would cause injury to the baby.

         3.     Frank breech

In this position, the buttocks lead the way to the birth canal, the knees are extended, and the hips are flexed. This position could also cause injury to the baby if you deliver vaginally.

        4.      Transverse lie

This is a position whereby the baby lies crosswise in the womb, in which case the shoulder will enter the pelvis first. Cesarean is the best way to delivery when the baby is in this position as well.

What Happens if My Baby Won’t Turn?

In case your baby has not changed to the anterior position during the last few weeks of pregnancy, your doctor may offer medical interventions to help the baby turn. In case they are in the same position by the time you go into labor, C-section(cesarean section) may be recommended to reduce the risks associated with vaginal birth of a wrongly positioned baby.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and not substituted for medical advice from your doctor

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: my.clevelandclinic, healthline, mamanatural, spinningbabies, tommys

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