Pregnancy is a wonderful phase till the time of delivery when the woman faces a huge emotional turmoil. On one hand is the excitement of seeing the baby while on the other is the tension surrounding the birth process. For first-time mothers it is even more frightening because the experience is new.
The fetus usually starts turning towards the birth canal by the end of 32 weeks. Until this time it has been easy for the baby to turn upwards as well as downwards owing to the amount of space inside the uterus. However, not all babies turn towards the cephalic presentation early. Many even turn right before labor starts. Either way this movement is extremely important for the birth process because it reduces the duration of labor and makes it easier for the baby to come out of the birth canal.
There are basically three kinds of cephalic presentation:
- Vertex presentation: Single babies often choose this position wherein the face is towards the mother’s spine and is considered the perfect position. The child automatically lines up with the pelvis so that it passes smoothly. The head often turns to the side but that does not pose a problem.
- Brow presentation: This position occurs mostly in case of premature babies. The head and neck of the fetus is slightly extended as if the child is looking up.
- Face presentation: In this movement the face leads the rest of the child towards the outlet. Most premature babies tend to take the face presentation. The position does not reduce the labor duration in any way even when it is uncomplicated.
Getting the Baby in The Head Down Position
If, by chance, the baby does not turn in the head down position during pregnancy expectant mothers have to take measures to ensure that the baby does so.
- Try to be as active as possible. It will help the child to turn. Walking is an excellent form of exercise at this time because the pelvic region moves most and aids the baby in turning by making more room.
- While sitting ensure that the pelvic region is tilted forward and the knees are higher than the hips. This is possibly the best position to get the fetus head downwards and ready for the delivery.
- Another effective way of helping in the head down baby movement is getting on your fours like the floor scrubbing position. It provides optimum space for the child and makes turning easier.
- While sitting inside the car make sure that your knees remain above the hips. You can use a cushion for the purpose as well.
- Some women are also advised to use the birthing ball also known as exercise balls while they are relaxing.
- However when you are sleeping there is no need to think about the baby’s positioning but preferably sleep in the left side because it facilitates the flow of fluids and air to the fetus.