As we all know, it is essential that your baby be in a head down position during labor in order for the birth to be safe. When a baby is not head down, they are in a breech position. A breech position is dangerous to both mother and baby.
You should be aware that a baby can change its position in the uterus numerous times during pregnancy, so if it isn’t in the right position in earlier stages it might not be a cause for concern.
However, you must ensure that you go to regular checkups with your healthcare team in order to ensure that everything is as it should be.
Babies that are still in breech position as the due date nears may need to be delivered by C-section (caesarean section) if no way can be found to make it change its position in the uterus.
How To Tell if Your Baby is Head Down Position
Ultrasound scan is the only method to find out for certain your baby’s position. There are clues that you can look for, though. Signs that your baby is in the correct head down (cephalic) can include:
- If you notice that there is a lump to the right or left of your tummy, gently press it. If when you do so you feel your infant’s entire body move, it’s likely that it’s head down.
- Try pressing gently on your pubic bone. Do you feel something hard and round? This is probably your baby’s head.
- Your baby is probably head down if you feel kicks up high and “butterfly” feelings down low.
- If your baby is in a head down position, you will probably find that you can feel his or her hiccups beneath your belly button.
- Perhaps ask your partners to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. The infant is probably head down if the heartbeat is low in your belly.
By the time you are at 36 weeks, your baby will probably be in a head-down position. In 4 percent (4 out of 100) cases, the baby doesn’t turn into correct (head-down) position. In the early stages of pregnancy, there is lots of room in the uterus for your baby to turn around.
Abnormalities or fibroids protruding into the uterus might make it difficult for your baby to get into a head-down position. A small baby might have trouble getting into the right position. Too much amniotic fluid or a placenta previa can also make breech position more likely to occur.
You should be aware that if you have twins, one of the twins might not be able to get into the correct position.
Information on the Breech Position
As we discussed earlier, the breech position is dangerous to both mother and baby. There are three kinds of breech position:
- Frank breech: In the frank breech position, the baby’s buttocks are in position to come out first. This is the most common breech position.
- Footling breech: In the footling breech position, one or both legs are positioned to come out first.
- Complete breech: In a complete breech position, the baby’s buttocks are positioned down near the birth canal. Its feet are near the buttocks and the knees are bent.
A breech position can be diagnosed in a number of different ways. One way would be during a routine exam (including a fetal ultrasound). It may also be found that your baby is in breech while your doctor checks your cervix.
A procedure called an external cephalic version might be an option your doctor can use to turn a baby in breech position to head down. If it is found that a baby is still in a breech position when you’re nearing your due date, a caesarian section will probably be scheduled.
Tips for Helping to Promote a Head-Down Position
There are certain things that you can do to help promote a head-down position. Let’s go over some of them here:
- Try to reduce your stress level. Stress during pregnancy can cause your baby to get into bad positions.
- Avoid getting into any squatting positions during pregnancy.
- Do exercises that can encourage your baby to get and stay in the right position. Make sure to consult with your doctor or midwife first.
- Try sleeping on your stomach if it’s not too uncomfortable.
- If you swim, avoid doing “Froggy legs”. The breast stroke is fine but keep your legs as straight as you can when you kick.
- Avoid putting your feet up when you lie back. Doing so might make your baby go into the posterior position.
- Crawl on your hands and knees as an exercise. You should do this for as long as you can, around half an hour if possible.
- Positions that you can get into in order to try to encourage your baby to get into a head-down position often include the use of gravity. You can do them twice a day. They help to harness gravity to get the baby into the right position. One position is to put your forearms on the floor and go on your knees. Put your bottom upwards. You should stay like this for 15 minutes. Another position is to lie down on a flat surface. Then, lift your pelvis up about nine inches off the floor. Support your hips using a pillow. You should remain in this position for 15 minutes.
If it is found that your baby is in breech position as you get closer to your due date, your medical team will talk about ways to try to make the baby turn. If they cannot make it turn, then a C-section will likely be required.
“Can I Tell How My Baby’s Lying Based on his Movements”, https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x25015775/can-i-tell-how-my-babys-lying-based-on-his-movements
“Baby’s Position: How to Tell if Baby is Head Down”, http://kindmommy.com/how-to-tell-if-baby-is-head-down
“Breech Position and Breech Birth Topic Overview”, https://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/breech-position-and-breech-birth-topic-overview#1
“How Can I Tell What Position My Unborn Baby Is In”, https://www.livestrong.com/article/184741-how-can-i-tell-what-position-my-unborn-baby-is-in
“When Do Babies Turn Head Down in Pregnancy”, http://www.newkidscenter.com/When-Does-Baby-Turn-Head-Down-In-Pregnancy.html