Knowing how to determine your unborn baby's position can be quite valuable as you progress and grow closer to your delivery date. "The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" says that in the final weeks, most babies will be positioned head-down, with their faces angled toward your spine. Other positions may require a c-section delivery. However, do not be alarmed if your baby isn't in optimal birthing position. Many times, babies turn at the 11th hour. If they aren't doing it on their own, there are several procedures the doctor can try to get them turned around.
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Rest one hand on the top of your belly, pressing down gently to steady your uterus. Grasp the bottom of your belly, near your pelvis, by pinching the lowest point between the thumb and forefinger of your free hand. If the area is hard and smooth, that means your baby has settled into position with his head pointed down.
Move your hand from the top of the belly to one side and press in slightly. Slide your other hand around the lowest part of your belly, feeling the baby's head. The side that has the most resistance as you press in is the back of the baby's head. Ideally, if you're close to your due date the back of the baby's head will be situated at an angle, pointing away from your spine.
Shift your free hand to the top of your belly and slide it down the side to feel for the baby's back. If that side is smooth and has even resistance to pressure, that's the back. If you can press in further, it's uneven and you feel a lot of movement, that's the front of the baby.
Slide both of your hands up to the top of your belly to feel the position of the baby's buttocks. It should feel soft and wiggly. If it is hard and smooth and you failed to find the baby's head at the bottom of your pelvis, the baby is most likely breech.
Visit your doctor to confirm your findings with a physical examination or ultrasound if you're concerned about anything.
- "Mayo Clinic Guide to Healthy Pregnancy"; Mayo Clinic; 2004
- Birthing Naturally: What Position is My Baby In?