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Your baby's position before birth ...

Your Baby's Position before birth Babies are often quite active before birth — not just extending their arms and legs, but turning their entire bodies.

By the time labor arrives, most babies generally figure out how to get in the right position to make their way out into the world. The position that your baby is lying in at the time of labour and delivery can have a huge effect on the experience you will have. We have outlined what the different foetal positions are, and how they might affect your labour and delivery.

Anterior Position The best position for your baby to be in when you go into labour is head down, with the back of his head slightly towards the front of your tummy. In this position, he fits snugly into the curve of your pelvis and it's easy for him to move gently down during labour. Around 93%-96% of all babies move into this position without any assistance. Being positioned this way enables your baby the most simple way of exiting your uterus through the cervix, down the birth canal and out from the vagina. If this is your first baby it is likely they that they will move into the engaged position around the 35th-37th weeks of your pregnancy. For second time mums it is more likely that your baby will not settle in your pelvis or engage until just before, or once labour begins.

Posterior Position The posterior position refers to when babies go down into the pelvis with the back of their heads towards their mothers' spines. Many babies will start labour this way and turn themselves before they start the descent down the birth canal. If your baby has not turned to the anterior position prior to your labour starting, it can make it a more painful experience for you. You will probably suffer from backache during and in between contractions. Labour is slower. It is more likely that your baby will need to be assisted by forceps or vacuum extraction in the final stage of delivery. Your baby will be born facing upwards. To relieve the pain of backache during labour you should try to remain active and move around. Avoid lying down or leaning back for any length of time. Your partner can massage your lower back and also can direct warm water from a shower nozzle onto your back. Remember, most posterior babies will turn during labour , but even if yours doesn't, a baby can still be born vaginally in the posterior position - "face to pubes" - and this can happen at a homebirth.

Breech Baby Breech babies present with their bottoms down and their heads up. At 28 weeks, the baby has a 25% chance of being in the breech position. As the pregnancy progresses, the likelihood of a baby staying in the breech position gets smaller. At 33 weeks of pregnancy there is around a 5% chance of a breech presentation. At full-term around 3-4% of babies remain in the breech position. If a baby is in the breech position at term he may be delivered by Caesarean section. If your baby is breech in the last weeks of pregnancy, though, you can be reassured that he will probably turn himself before labour actually begins: Types of Breech The Complete breech, where the baby sits cross legged The frank breech,where the baby’s legs are straight and held flat against his/her body. kneeling breech, where the baby is in a kneeling position. Footling breech, where the baby’s foot or feet are coming first (before their bottom). kneeling breech, where the baby is in a kneeling position.

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