As pregnancy progresses, your baby’s position will become more and more important. By the time you get to the final weeks, it’s a crucial piece of information which can determine what type of labour you will have. Dr Desislava, fetal medicine specialist at IVI Middle East explains what to look out for...
The ideal position for a normal delivery is cephalic anterior. In such a case, the baby’s head is positioned downwards ready to enter the pelvis. The baby’s chin is tucked into the chest and the face is angled towards the mother’s back. The fetus can pass through the pelvis more easily in the head-down anterior position and childbirth is likely going to be smooth. Doctors usually perform normal delivery if the baby is in this position.
The baby is in the posterior position if its head is pointed downwards and the face is angled towards the mum’s stomach. As the baby’s back is against the mum’s back, posterior is also known as the back-to-back position.
Unlike in the anterior position, however, babies in the posterior position find it difficult to tuck their chins and enter the smallest part of the pelvis. This can cause longer labour hours or, sometimes, even complications. In some cases, doctors may recommend a caesarean section procedure.
Longer hours of sitting or lying down are likely causes of this position. As such, expectant mothers are advised to move around, use a birthing ball when sitting and still engage in safe and appropriate exercises such as walking to help get their babies into the ideal position for birth.
In this position, the baby is lying on its side. If the baby remains in transverse position, manual rotation is usually performed. However, doctors may perform a C-section procedure if there is no change in the position. If the baby is in transverse position, there is a risk of a prolapse of the umbilical cord – this is a condition in which the cord comes out first before the baby during normal delivery. An umbilical cord prolapse may block oxygen and blood flow to the baby.
Also know as ‘bottom-down’ position, this sees baby’s buttocks pointed downwards towards the pelvis, posing serious complications to both mother and child. For mothers carrying two or more babies, it is highly likely that one of them is going to be in this position.
By 36 to 37 weeks of pregnancy, most babies turn into the head-first position. If the baby remains breech, medical professionals may try to turn the baby in the womb so that the head comes first. If the procedure is not successful or if you do not wish to have it done, an alternative is C-section.
Pregnancy can serve as a bonding moment for mothers and their unborn children. For fun, mothers can do a belly map system during their eight months to learn for themselves the positions of their babies prior to giving birth. They can even ‘coax’ their unborn offspring into changing their position for a safe, healthy delivery.