5 Things You Need To Know About Fetal Positioning And How It Can Assist Labour

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While there’s stacks to learn about pregnancy, understanding how you can assist your baby in reaching optimal fetal position can help encourage an uneventful labour. In some cases it can also help you avoid having intervention or an emergency c-section.

Pregnant woman with fetus 3D concept

What Is Optimal Fetal Position?

Ensuring your baby in an optimal fetal position allows you and your unborn child the best chance at having an easy, fast and uneventful birth.

When baby is in their optimal position, it allows for a mostly smooth transition through the birth canal. Correct positioning can help avoid baby getting stuck in the pelvis and lessen the likelihood you’ll require an emergency c-section.

Ideally, your baby will be lined up to move directly through the pelvis. This position requires baby to be head down, facing your back and his back to be on one side of the front of your tummy.

5 Things You Need To Know About Fetal Positioning

1. Good Posture Supports Good Positioning

A baby’s fetal position does not happen by chance or by random. They tend to move themselves into a position which is most comfortable for them.

Your posture has more of an impact on baby’s fetal position than you realise. If a mother’s posture is typically spent hunched over on your tail bone in a semi-recline position, the amount of room for baby to move becomes limited. This restricts baby from being able to move into his optimal position.

Your best position is to be sat on your seat bones, part of your pelvis, with a straight back allowing your womb as much space as possible for baby to be comfortable.

2. Never Fear An Unusual Position

Never fear, babies can and are often safely born in an unusual fetal position. So don’t think you’ll automatically be booked for a c-section if your baby is not head down.

This is a conversation best to have with your midwife or doctor. However, ask the questions if vaginally delivering your baby, regardless of its position, is a discussion you would like to have.

Vaginal breech birth is becoming more widely acceptable now. But some providers may not yet be trained in this area.

Young pregnant woman holding and touching her belly, close-up

3. Breech Position

Baby takes a breech position for majority of the pregnancy. Generally not completing the journey to a head-down position until the 28 to 32 week mark. The closer you become to the birth of your child the less room baby has to go head-down.

4. ECV

An ECV (external cephalic version) is a procedure where you doctor attempts to manually turn your baby from breech into the head-down position.

This is done by wiggling and pushing externally on your stomach to help encourage baby to move. It is a safe process and can help reduce rates of c-sections but is not always successful.

5. You Have No Control

At the end of the day, or your pregnancy, your baby’s fetal position is not actually within your control. Your baby will place themselves in a position that gives them the most comfort.

So do not fret if your baby does not move in to the head-down position. There are safe birth options for you and your baby, and it’s going to be okay.

Here are some tips from a midwife on what to expect in labour.

Looking for a nutritional and tasty pregnancy smoothie? Try one of the Healthy Mummy’s delicious range here.

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