While you are pregnant, you might be curious about your baby’s movements and positions. There several types of positions of baby during pregnancy you should be aware of. Positions of baby during pregnancy changes a lot of times. As labor approaches, some fetal positions are considered safe. As your baby develops and grows in the womb, they change a lot of different types of positions. 

As you approach your due date, the baby has less space to change the position, so it becomes crucial that your baby is in the favourable position so you can give birth to the baby accordingly. Read on to this complete guide to baby’s position in the womb. 

Why is it important to know about fetal positions?

Knowing your baby’s position inside the womb is very essential. You can manage your discomfort, reduce the pain and even speed up the procedure during early labor. You perhaps won’t sense their movement and actions until the middle of the second trimester. Before that, you should not worry too much about your baby position in the womb. As your due date comes near, it is very crucial that your baby is in the ideal position before the delivery. You need to be prepared before you deliver the baby. 

So, you must put your best efforts to maintain the ideal position during the pregnancy. A baby who is not in the right position before the delivery  should always be delivered in a hospital under a specialised health care professional. The safety of the baby and the mother is at a higher priority. 

Types of fetal positions 

The position of the baby in the womb is called the presentation of the fetus. During your pregnancy, the baby will move around in the uterus as they grow gradually. It is natural for your baby to change positions during pregnancy. As the baby grows, it becomes difficult to move the baby as they are getting bigger and there’s less space for it to move. You must access the position of your baby as early as possible. Continue reading to learn about the positions of baby in the womb.

Anterior Position or cephalic presentation

This is a position where the baby’s head is down in the pelvis with their face facing the mother’s back. The back of the fetus will be facing the mother’s belly and the chin of the baby is tucked to their chest. Babies naturally settle down in this position in about  33-36 weeks of the pregnancy.

The slender part of the head can put thrust on the cervix and it can help in the safe delivery of the baby. The anterior position implies the fetus’s head can be tucked in and help in the opening of the cervix during the labor. 

Posterior position or back-to-back position

This position is slightly opposite to the anterior position. Like the anterior position, the posterior position infers that the baby’s face is facing downwards but their face is positioned towards the mother’s stomach or the back of the baby is facing the back of the mother that is why it’s called a back-to-back position. Most babies are in this position during the first stage of the labor but most of these babies change their position and move themselves in the right direction before the delivery. 

Fetal position

Transverse lie position

The transverse lie is a position where the fetus is lying horizontally in the womb. This is very rare during delivery. Most fetuses do not remain in this position before the days of labor. Cesarean delivery is required if the baby lies in the womb in transverse position during the labor.

Without C-section delivery in this situation, there can be a medical emergency known as umbilical cord prolapse, in which the mother delivers the umbilical cord before the baby when the mother’s water breaks. In this situation, the baby must be delivered by the caesarean method instantly. 

Breech position

In the breech position, the baby’s head is facing upward rather than down towards the mother’s pelvis which means that their feet or buttocks are positioned first. There are three different types of breech positions of a baby in the womb: 

  • Complete Breech: In this position, the buttocks of the baby are entirely pointing towards the pelvis and their feet crossed near the buttocks.
  • Frank Breech: This position implies that the baby’s legs lie straight upwards and the feet are close to the face.
  • Footling Breech: The baby’s one or both feet are reclining towards the pelvis.

It is considered safe if the baby is in a breech position before the labor but there can be some risks once the labor commences.

The best position for childbirth

During the labor, it is considered vital if the baby’s head is facing towards the pelvis or it is in a head-down position with chin tucked to its chest and it should be facing the mother’s back. The anterior position is the ideal for childbirth which is also called cephalic position. Most of the babies change their position into an anterior position during 32-36 weeks of pregnancy. 

Can we change the baby’s position? 

Most babies change their position themselves. Your little one may find its way into an anterior position. You can also move or change your baby’s position by some methods. However, the success rate is not high but giving it a chance would not hurt.

If your baby is in the position like breech and transverse, your doctor may suggest an ECV ( External Cephalic Version), it is done by applying a little pressure on the abdomen to move your baby in the favourable position. ECV can sometimes be effective or sometimes not. You should not try ECV at home

Trying some exercises like reaching to your knees by your hands can only relieve your back pain and help you a little bit during the labor but it is not considered very effective when it comes to changing the position of the baby. 

How to know the position of the baby in the womb?

Only your doctor can tell you about the risks and precautions when your baby is in the wrong position. Your doctor can examine your belly or see the position when you have an ultrasound. However, you can also figure out the fetal position in your womb by sensing the movements of your baby. 

If your belly feels firm, you may be feeling your baby’s back which means your baby is in an anterior position. If you feel kicks on your abdomen and your belly feels soft, it means your baby is in a posterior position. The babies change their position throughout the pregnancy.