How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Head Down?
Baby turn and move quite frequently in the mother womb during the entire pregnancy. A few weeks before birth, babies slowly turn their head down towards the exit of the uterus. If the baby hasn`t yet found his birth position, this may lead to serious complications and may cause various injuries. The doctor will try to put the baby in the proper position, but if he isn`t able, he`ll recommend a C-section instead of a natural birth. But how do you know if your baby is head down?
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In their attempt to prepare for birth, babies position their head towards their mother`s pelvis and their feet are in the opposite position, meaning the other part of the uterus. One of the most frequent positions in labor is the left occiput anterior position (LOA) where the fetus`s head is directed to the mother`s left thigh. It`s one of the preferred position, as the body parts of the fetus are directed towards the vagina. A fetus that is positioned in the left occiput posterior position might aggravate birth and might bemore painful as the baby might be heavier to the pelvic bone. Most babies in the left occiput posterior position might turn. If this doesn`t happen, then it`s required the manual intervention of the doctor.
Checking the Birth Position
Most babies turn their position towards the exit of the uterus a few weeks before birth. A few weeks before birth date, the doctor will put his hand on the stomach of the mother to see where the fetus`s body, head and feet are positioned. If he notices that the fetus isn`t in the “head down” position, then he`ll perform some additional ultrasounds to determine the fetal position. The other types of positions opposite to those already mentioned are known as “sitting positions.”
Among the most frequent vertical positions are: clear, simple, complete and abnormal positioning.
- Clear positioning is when the baby`s buttocks are directed to the exit of the uterus, and head and feet are in the opposite part of the uterus.
- A complete positioning will mean that the baby`s buttocks and legs (and his knees bent) are at the uterus`s end.
- An abnormal position is when one of the baby`s legs comes first out of the uterus. It isn`t yet known why babies don`t always find the correct positioning before birth. Although it often happens for the woman`s uterus to have more or less amniotic fluid, the placentas has a lower positioning inside the uterus or the uterus is abnormal.
- Vertical positioning is frequent when twins are concerned, with consecutive births, or when there`s a history of premature births.
Turning in the Right Position
A natural delivery of the baby in the vertical position might increases the risk of cervical cancer, as the umbilical cord might squeeze out of the vagina, leading to air insufficiency and bleeding. There may also be the possibility that the vagina doesn`t expand sufficiently long to be able to remove the baby`s head out. The best possible time for your doctor to turn your baby in the right position is in the last trimester of pregnancy between weeks 34 and 37 of pregnancy.
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There are various natural ways and medical techniques, which may include slight pushing, making a slight noise in the lower abdomen or relaxing the uterus with alternative medicine methods, all of which might be used to help to position the fetus as accurately as he possibly can. If the baby is positioned in the vertical position when labor begins, your doctor will have to make a decision between Caesarean and natural birth. The factors which will contribute to his decision are the vertical positioning of the fetus, the length of time that the baby stood in the mother`s womb, the size of the baby and if he shows any symptom of weight loss.
Why Does the Baby Turn in the Mother`s Belly?
You may notice that as pregnancy evolves, babies start to become more agitated and may change their position in the attempt of finding a more comfortable space. Why does he feel the need of turning in his mother`s belly? Because, along with the pregnancy`s evolution, the baby grows more and more in size, and the amount of amniotic liquid decreases compared to the baby`s size, which has less and less space. – Click here to find out more!
When the Baby Doesn`t Turn?
The baby doesn`t have enough time to turn the uterus is too tight, when a premature birth is involved or when the mother has too little amount of amniotic fluid. When the uterus is too tight or there`s too little amniotic fluid, the baby find it hard to move in the right position for birth.
Tips for an Easier Pregnancy
The baby`s back is the heaviest part of the body. So typically, gravity will push him back towards the lowest part of the womb of the mother. The position in which you stay will influence gravity and so you can avoid the baby`s positioning with his head towards your abdomen. For instance, if your tummy is positioned lower than your back when you are sitting on a chair leaning forward, the baby`s back will naturally oscillate towards your abdomen. If you lie down in your bed, your back will be positioned lower than your belly and so the back of the back will oscillate towards your back, which results in longer and a lot more painful labor.
You should avoid any activity which may position your back below your abdomen, like tangling in a car seat or an armchair, as well as any kind of position which may require having your knees higher than your pelvis.
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Physiotherapists advise pregnant women to do physical exercises with the birth ball as this favors the adoption of a good birth position. Don`t cross the legs when sitting, as it may reduce the space in front of the waist and open the one from the back. For a better positioning, the fetus requires as much space as you possibly have to offer him. Don`t lie in bed having the feet raised if the doctor didn`t recommended it, as this will favor the positioning of the baby with his face towards your abdomen.
Experts have set the limit between premature birth and abortion as the week 28 of pregnancy. If your baby is born after this particular term, it`s considered a premature baby. Because of the modern methods of neonatal reanimation, this particular limit will tend to drop to 24 – 25 weeks.
Typically, until the weeks 32 of pregnancy, the baby will adopt the preferred birth position.