Around the 34th week of pregnancy, most babies move to a head-down position, getting ready for delivery. However, some babies do not. They are either breech babies (babies that are positioned feet or bottom down in the womb) or transverse lying babies (lying sideways in the womb). It can lead to a complicated vaginal delivery if the babies do not move into the proper position. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help your baby move to a proper position, for an easy and problem free delivery.
The head down (chin tucked into the chest), back leaning towards the mother’s tummy, and the limbs facing inwards. The baby fits cozily into the bow of the pelvis. This position is known as anterior position. If the baby is in this position, the delivery will be easier. This is because, as the head, which is comparatively larger and firmer part of the baby’s body gets through the birth canal first, it will be easy for the rest of the body to make its way through the already stretched and widened cervix.
By any chance, if the baby’s body comes out first, the cervix may not be stretched enough for the head to pass through it. This can life threatening for the baby.
This is another position taken by the baby during delivery. Here, even though the baby is in head down position, the back of the baby instead of leaning toward the mother’s tummy, will lean against the mother’s spine. More often, the chin of the baby is pushed up instead of tucking into the chest. Even though the vaginal delivery is possible in this position, the labor will be long and painful. The persisting back pain in late pregnancy and labor is a common problem associated with this position. Long and slow labor that makes the mother too tried to push anymore, which increases the chances of assisted delivery is another problem of this position.
Only the doctor can confirm the position of your unborn baby. Here’s how to determine the position of your unborn baby yourself:
Once you find out that most likely your baby is in head down position, next you will like to know whether he is in anterior or posterior position. Well, here are some signs to determine that:
Here are some tips to avoid posterior labor. These tips can help the baby to switch to anterior position. Remember to follow these tips atleast 6 weeks before the due date in case of first pregnancy and 3-4 weeks prior to the due date for the second and subsequent pregnancies. Don’t lose heart if you are nearing your due date. Sometimes there is a good chance, the baby will turn right away with these tips. The good thing is that these exercises will never turn an anterior baby posterior. Therefore, even if you are not sure of position, you can try out these tips as they will not create any issues. The basic concept is to keep the pelvis tilted over all the time.
Stop these exercises immediately if you experience any kind of contractions, cramping, dizziness, nausea or spotting. You might fall and get hurt. It can also harm the baby.
There is nothing to worry about as long as you have been getting regular check-ups and following your doctor’s advice. Your doctor knows what is best for you and your baby and if C-section is required or not.