Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Why is baby position important for delivery? Well, the obvious one is an easier birth and easier labor. Not only can the baby's position help the delivery process it can also help many possible symptoms you are having during your later months of pregnancy.
The list below are suggestions. Please consult your health care provider.
So recently I had a mama tell me she had a c-section because the baby was turned transverse, or sideways. This lead to a long labor and ultimately a c-section. In classes it’s not uncommon to have SI or back pain during the later weeks of pregnancy.
For a brief overview there are many possibilities on positions for the baby. But the general ones are listed below.
1.Transverse - turned sideways head up or down and either right or left side. (Middle image furthest left and top image furthest right)
2. Breech - Turned feet down, head up under the ribcage. ( Top image 2nd from right)
a. Extended breech: legs up towards its head with head up towards ribs. (Middle image second from left)
3. Occiput Posterior- back of the head toward the sacrum (back of pelvis vs. the cervix the front of the pelvis) This is considered safe for delivery but it will be harder for the baby to get through the pelvis. (middle right image)
4. Asynclitism - asymmetrical with the baby’s head tipped towards one shoulder. The head has a harder time passing through the narrow part of the pelvis. (Bottom left image)
Ideal position? Head first crown of head facing the front of pelvis. (The last two.)
The ideal is head down anterior facing.
If the spine of the baby is pushing on your spine that’s a lot of pressure on your back and SI joint. If the baby is breech, that’s a lot of pressure up by your ribcage (possible heartburn?) If the baby’s face is facing toward your belly, there is less room in the pelvis for them to move through.
The following was taken from the Spinning Babies website.
Possible posterior effects, some women will have one or two and some many of these:
Longer pregnancy (some research shows this and some doesn’t)
The amniotic sac breaking (water breaks, membranes open, rupture of membranes) before labor (1 in 5 OP labors)
Not starting in time before an induction is scheduled
Labor is longer and stronger and less rhythmic than expected
Start and stop labor pattern
Baby may not engage, even during pushing stage
Longer early labor
Longer active labor
Back labor (in some cases)
Pitocin may be used when labor stalls (but a snoring good rest followed by oatmeal may restore a contraction pattern, too)
Longer pushing stage
Maybe a woman has all three phases of labor lengthened by the OP labor or one or two of the three phases listed.
Sometimes the baby’s head gets stuck turned halfway to anterior – in the transverse diameter. This may be called a transverse arrest (not a transverse lie).
More likely to tear
More likely to need a vacuum (ventouse) or forceps
More likely to need a cesarean
Positions to help with each:
These moves are things you can do if you get your ultrasound at 30 weeks or later and the baby is turned. It is possible the baby won’t turn until the delivery process.
Pelvic clocks- It’s thought to keep hips relaxed. Sit on swiss ball with pelvic rotations (clock rotations). 10 rotations each way. Keep upper body tall instead of slouching. You can also do in a standing position with soft knees or kneeling.
Bean bag or big cushion bridge for breech. Do for 10-20 minutes daily. Keep hips up and head down toward the floor in a bridge position. This position is thought to help the baby turn the head upright (toward the pelvis if they are turned breech. Ice pack by the head is also thought to help turn the head away from the cold. It also puts gravity or pressure toward their head so they will want to turn to alleviate that.
Wide squat seated. Sit against couch with feet wide to help relax pelvis instead of sitting with slouch against chair. This helps the spine and hips. If you are sitting with your back against a chair or couch it is encouraging the baby’s back, which is the heavier part of the baby, to also move towards your spine creating more stress on your spine and SI.
Sleeping side - Left side is recommended for circulation since that is the side where your heart is located. But sometimes that can keep your baby in the wrong position. If the head is on the right side and if you lay on the right side, the baby may move back into your hips.
a. Breech facing toward the left - sleep on right side, opens hips up to help baby move. Try sleeping on the side you think will help move the baby.
If you feel like your baby is moving a lot then try doing hands and knees and doing a few gently cat/cow positions and see if that helps them get more space.
Butterfly pose - this seating with knees open helps open the pelvis creating room in the front of your pelvis.
Posterior baby help. Bed or couch or partner to help you. Kneeling on bed, walk hands onto the floor, and stick booty up high for 30 seconds only. Climb back up. This is also the same position as as puppy pose with your hips over knees and chest to the floor. This is a Thai Cushion I am demonstrating on for sake of space.
Posterior position caused by poor posture, will allow your baby to turn into a breech position. We sit like this often times. So a solution is to widen your legs and bring your hips into a more neutral position vs. posterior (slouched). You can also turn your chair around so you can lean on the top of the chair and get your legs wide. Forgive my messy office! :)
Yoga Malasana squat. This helps open the front of the hips and lengthen the back. Sitting compresses the discs in the low back. This position can help with that.
Crawling or Hands and Knees position: This is thought to create more room in the front of your pelvis and belly. It’s thought not just 5 minutes but more like 20 minutes daily. If you have other infants you can play with them in this position. Or if you watch tv, you can sway and be in this position. Or, if you have a physio ball (pilates ball) you can lean on it to help upper body stress. Ideally my hips would be more over my knees. I'm using a Thai cushion.
Last but not least if nothing helps after a few weeks into your 3rd trimester you can see a specialist who can help you massage your belly and try moving the baby that way.Reducing possibility of having baby turned in the wrong position.
Some baby’s won’t turn until labor. But gives these a go and see if it helps between Ultrasounds. Best of luck and let me know if it works for you.
for more detailed information checkout Spinningbabies. I recommend it! And be sure to leave your comments. Keep it postive!
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