Fetal position refers to the positioning of the developing baby while inside of the mother’s uterus. The positioning of your baby can change many times during pregnancy and will ultimately effect whether you are able to deliver vaginally or if a cesarean section will be necessary.
There are a variety of positions in which your baby may be lying in, including the following:
The most common, and preferred, position for a baby to be in during labor is the head down, or vertex position. Babies that are lying in other positions pose challenges during delivery, including longer labor, cord prolapse and an increased need for a cesarean section. In the earlier months of pregnancy, babies will move around and change positions often. However, as room within the uterus becomes restricted, babies don’t have the ability to move around as much and tend to settle in the head down position. Less than 5% of babies are in a breech or transverse position at 37 weeks of pregnancy.
It is possible for a breech baby to be born vaginally, though most doctors recommend cesarean sections, especially in first-time births. A baby that is lying in the transverse position at the time of delivery will necessitate a cesarean section.
In the event that the fetus is lying in a breech or transverse position as labor draws near, there are some tips and procedures that can be attempted in hopes of getting the baby to move into the preferred, head down, position.
Trying to conceive
Pregnancy & Birth