The position of the baby in pregnancy

The position in which the baby is placed weeks before delivery is important because, in many cases, the type of delivery to be had depends on it. What positions can a baby be put into before delivery? How do I know that the baby has snapped? What is the breech position? Can I help the baby get into the most convenient position? Find all the answers in this note:

What positions can a baby be put into before delivery?

Around week 34 the baby is placed in a position that is usually the final one before delivery. It can happen, especially in women who have already had children, that this position changes days before delivery, although this is rare.

The most common position in which the fetus is placed before birth is head down with the crown embedded in the pelvis of the expectant mother and with her spine facing the mother’s abdomen. This position is called cephalic or anterior and is the most convenient for a vaginal delivery since it facilitates the exit of the baby through the birth canal.

It can also happen that the baby is placed down but with his spine resting on the mother’s, making, instead of the crown, his forehead or face is in the pelvis. This position is called “posterior” and it can slow down labor, since it is more difficult for the baby to descend through the birth canal in this position.

Although it usually occurs in a low percentage of cases, another of the positions in which the baby can be placed is “breech” towards the birth canal. When this happens, depending on the case, the obstetrician may try to accommodate the baby.

In the oblique or transverse position, also rare, especially in gilts, the baby is lying on its back or belly, as if cradled by the mother’s pelvis and with its head on the left or right side of the mother’s abdomen, presenting towards the birth canal shoulder, trunk or arm.

The position of the baby can be one of the factors in determining a cesarean delivery, therefore, it is advisable to previously speak with the doctor about your position in this regard, about the possibility of waiting for labor to start on its own even if the baby does not is in the “ideal” position for a vaginal delivery, the chances of the baby changing position at the last minute and, above all, about what is best for the health of the baby and the mother in each case.

How do I know that the baby has snapped?

The pregnant woman may come to realize that her baby has snapped because her tummy dropped and leaned forward, or because of noticeable pressure on the pelvis. Although there are pregnant women who may not feel it, this does not mean that the baby has not been embedded.

The doctor is in charge of confirming the position of the baby from a physical examination that can be palpation of the pregnant woman’s abdomen or through an ultrasound.

At what point in pregnancy is the baby positioned for delivery?
Although babies are in constant motion, towards the end of gestation they move less because they no longer have as much room to move.

In general, around week 34 of pregnancy, the baby is usually placed in the final position until the moment of birth, although there are babies that can change until a few days before delivery, especially in mothers who have had several children.

What is the breech position? What do you do when this happens?

When delivery is approaching and the baby is positioned with the buttocks or legs toward the birth canal, this position is called a “breech” or pelvic presentation. There are three types of pelvic presentation:

  • Incomplete presentation: the baby’s legs are up, in front of the body, with the feet close to the face
  • Complete presentation: her legs are crossed and her feet are down, close to her buttocks
  • Breech presentation: one or both feet are down, pointing toward the birth canal

In these cases, the doctor may, on the one hand, try to rotate the baby to help him to position himself downward by pressing externally on specific areas of the pregnant woman’s abdomen or by inserting his hand into the cervix from where he will try to move the baby. This is usually tried in the last weeks of pregnancy because if it is tried earlier, the baby may turn around again. Another option is to wait for the baby to return on its own, which is more normal when the woman has had other children, because the abdominal and uterine muscles are usually more distended and this helps the baby to move towards the end of the period. pregnancy, even if it is already big.

Another option is to perform a Caesarean section, also known as C-section to avoid the possible complications that may come with attempting a vaginal delivery with the breech baby. This should be discussed previously with the doctor, to evaluate together the best options, if it is necessary to schedule a C-section, if it is possible to wait for labor to start spontaneously, if there is any possibility that the delivery is vaginal, complications what this represents, etc.

What determines the position of the baby?

There are different factors that determine the position in which the baby is placed before birth. One of these can be previous births, which, as mentioned, can help the uterine and abdominal muscles to be distended allowing the baby to move and change position even towards the end of the pregnancy. Another factor that usually affects is the diameter of the pelvis, because in narrower pelvises it is difficult for the baby to be placed in the most suitable position for delivery.

Can I help the baby get into the most convenient position?

Although there are still no conclusive studies on what to do to get the baby into the most convenient position, one way to help is to get on all fours (always with the knees lower than the hips) for 10 minutes a day.

With this position the pregnant woman can help the baby placed posteriorly or laterally to the birth canal to be placed anteriorly. In any case, this has a short-term effect, that is, the baby can turn again.

Can the baby change position at the last minute?

There are chances that the baby will change position towards the end of the pregnancy or days before delivery. This is usually more common in women who have had more children and rarer in first time.

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