As the baby grows during pregnancy, they might move around quite a bit in the womb. You may feel wiggling or kicking, or the baby may turn and twist.
In the last month of the pregnancy, the baby is bigger and does not have much wiggle room. The position of the baby becomes more essential as the due date nears. This is because the baby needs to get into the best position to prepare himself for delivery.
The doctor will continually assess the position of the baby in the womb, especially in the last month.
Read on to find out what it means when the doctor uses words like transverse, anterior, posterior, or breach to describe the position of the baby. You will also learn what to do if the baby isn’t in the best position before the due date.
The baby is head down, with the face that faces your back. The baby’s chin is tucked into the chest and the head is ready to enter in the pelvis.
The baby is able to flex the neck and head and tuck the chin into the chest. This is generally referred to as the occipital-anterior or cephalic presentation.
The baby is facing head down, but the face is positioned towards the stomach instead of the mother’s back. This is typically known as the occipital-posterior (OP) position.
In the first stage of the labor, around one-tenth to one-third of the babies are in this position. Most of the babies will spontaneously rotate themselves to face in the right direction before the birth.
A breech baby is positioned with the buttocks or the feet first. There are three variations of a breech presentation:
- Complete breech: The buttocks are pointing towards the birth canal (downward), with the legs folded at the knees. The feet are placed near the buttocks.
- Frank breech: The buttocks are towards the birth canal, but the baby’s legs are straight up in front of the body, and the feet are near their head.
- Footling breech: One or both of the baby’s feet are pointing downwards toward the birth canal.
The baby is lying horizontally in the mother’s uterus. This position is
known as the transverse lie.
It’s extremely rare at the delivery since most babies will turn themselves to be head down prior to the due date. If not, babies in this particular position will require a cesarean delivery.
The Final Words
Babies turn and toss frequently during the pregnancy phase. You probably won’t feel the movement until the middle of the second trimester. They will eventually settle into a position for the delivery — ideally head down, facing the mother’s back — by week 36.
Before that time, you should not worry too much about the baby’s position. It is common for the posterior babies to adjust the position themselves during the delivery and before their pushing stage. Try to stay positive and relaxed during this time.
A baby who is not in the ideal position before the delivery date should always be delivered in a hospital setting for their best care.
Emergencies during this type of labor need to be handled by the skilled medical staff. Be sure to talk to the doctor if there are any concerns about the position of the baby as the due date nears.