Abnormal Fetal Positions: In What Position Is Your Baby?
Almost all babies (around 95%) are situated in what`s known as normal presentation. The remaining ones of 5% are placed in an abnormal presentation, which often needs a C-section.
In obstetrics, the presentation is the placement of the fetus at the exit of the uterus, more specifically the part of the child`s body that will come out first.
This factor is very important in carrying out the birth and the way it will take place. The presentation considered normal is cephalic presentation.
This means that the fetus is situated parallel with the mother`s spine, with his head down and his chin in his chest. In this case, the presentation is normal, the seating is normal, and the degree of neck flexion is also normal.
Fetal position refers to the fetus`s spine to that of the mother. For the position to be normal, the fetus`s spine should be situated on the same position as the mother`s spine. This is what is known as cephalic presentation. If the baby`s spine forms an angle with the one of the mother, we are talking about an oblique presentation. And when the fetus`s spine and the one of the mother form an angle of 90 degrees, we speak of a transverse presentation. – More like this!
If the presentation is anything different than cephalic, vaginal birth is more difficult or even impossible. But he main danger lies in the fact that there`s nothing to block the cervix when the membranes break, and when the amniotic fluid drains, it may take with it some of the umbilical cord. This is what is called umbilical cord prolapse. The umbilical cord makes a loop outside the uterus and is pressed by the mother`s tissue, so that normal blood flow is prevented.
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Breech Presentation of the Fetus before Birth
Breech presentation, also known as pelvic presentation, defines an abnormal position of the fetus in the uterus. This doesn`t position himself a desired, with his head towards the exit, but he`s rather positioned with his buttocks or legs forward. Due to this position, labor become more difficult and may last longer. The risks of pelvic presentation are high, as the position of the fetus doesn`t allow the cervix to dilate as easily as the head would do.
The causes of breech presentation are multiple, ranging from macrosomia, uterine abnormalities, low placental insertion and variations of amniotic liquid. The radiography from the third-trimester may indicate the position of the fetus in the uterus.
By the week 37 of pregnancy, your doctor may change the fetus`s position by pressing on various points on the abdomen, but after that period, his intervention cannot be achieved due to amniotic liquid accumulation. – Check this out!
If the doctor notices breech presentation after the week 37 or even before birth, he may decide for a vacuum or forceps to get the baby out, but the complications may be high, leading even to fetal mortality.
Composite presentation is when 2 parts of the baby`s body come out at the very same time, for instance, the head and an arm. If the mother`s pelvis is wide enough, the baby will pass and the birth can occur vaginally. However, if not, a C-section will be required.
Transverse presentation is another abnormal fetal position in the uterus. The baby is situated oblique in the belly, so that the first part of his body that would come out is a shoulder, the head being positioned on the opposite shoulder.
Normally, the doctor can diagnose this fetal position during a routine prenatal consultation. In fact, you may also tell if the baby is in this position when you feel kicks in the lower part of the pelvis or in the rectal area. During pregnancy, the fetus can return to the uterus in a natural position with his head forward, but if he has positioned transversely, there are high chances to remain this way until after birth.
This position occurs every 300 pregnancies, but it was demonstrated that despite the doctors` attempts to manually turn the baby into the right position by massaging the pregnant woman`s belly, only in 20% of cases this maneuver has success.
Read more on Why Are Babies Born Premature?
Multiple pregnancies, labor and premature birth, an abnormal form of the uterus or fibroids in the lower part of the uterus, as well as too much or insufficient amniotic fluid – all of which might cause the fetus to show transversely. In most cases, the doctor may decide for a Caesarean birth to diminish the complications, such as lack of oxygen.
The position of the head in relation with the body before birth plays an essential role in the actual birth. In this case, the little one is headed to the mother`s abdomen and cannot take his head out of the pubic bone, a situation which makes the normal birth more difficult or even impossible. In this abnormal position, the fetus looks ahead and his face will be the first part of this body that would appear at birth. Also, there`s also the situation when the fetus`s head is between facial and cephalic presentation. In this case, the doctor may decide for a C-section to prevent complications.
However, they may return themselves before birth if they have enough space in the uterus, or they can be helped by the doctor. Sometimes, the doctor may need to use the forceps to turn the baby.
If It`s About Twin Birth
In this situation, it`s very likely that the little ones won`t be situated in the proper position in the womb. But you shouldn`t think that Caesarean birth is your only option for birth, if they aren`t both situated in the cranial position. The twins can be born vaginally, if the first one is situated in the normal position. After the first is brought out, his brother may turn in the right position on his own, or he may be helped by the doctor. – Click here!
What Is Fetal Lie?
This term refers to the relationship between the long axis of the fetus and the one of the mother. These possibilities will include a longitudinal lie, meaning a transverse lie, and occasionally, an oblique one. Fetal presentation refers to the fetus`s part which overlies the maternal pelvic inlet.
What Is Malpresentation in Pregnancy?
Malpositions refer to abnormal positions that include the vertex of the fetus`s head relative to the mother`s pelvis. Malpresentations include all fetal presentations other than vertex. – Read more!
What Is Vertex Position in Pregnancy?
The vertex position is considered that position in which your baby has to turn so you can give birth naturally through the vagina. Most of the babies out there turn with their heads down, into the vertex position when the term is near, meaning between weeks 33 and 36.