Many expectant mothers would have interesting questions that would remain unanswered most of the time, unless you are a gynaecologist yourself. The fact is that most mothers spend very little time educating themselves on the intricacies of pregnancy.
They somehow sail through the period and are interested only in just going through the phase of pregnancy and coming out with as little wear and tear as possible. But it should interest every woman to know about pregnancy and the intricate process that goes beyond it. It would not only help you in going through pregnancy with increased conviction, but would also help you in recognising certain symptoms that could be dangerous and can be avoided if detected early.
Here, we discuss about the various positions of a baby that is inside the womb. Many of us believe that the baby inside the womb stays in one position. This is a very false notion as the baby cannot be housed in one single position for the entire nine months. Think about how it would be if you were asked to stay in a single position for nine months together? God has been kind to babies as well and they can move around or bounce freely inside the womb. Take a look at how this is possible…
Baby in Vertex Position
By the time you are 36 weeks, you will know the position of your baby and whether you will have a smooth or difficult delivery. Until you are 36 weeks, the baby’s position is not a matter of great concern as babies are used to kicking, pushing and somersaulting inside your roomy womb.
A vertex is the ideal position for a baby and facilitates a smooth vaginal delivery. In most cases, a baby who is in this position will have his cute chin tucked on his chest and is positioned with the head down and body up. However, a vertex position is not always in an ideal position. The head can be turned in different ways while in this position.
Complications arise when the baby’s face is pointed straight downwards and his chin or forehead comes out during the vaginal birth rather than the head. This will require an episiotomy as the width of the face is bigger than the width of the head.
Baby in Breech Position
Anything that deviates from the normal position can cause risks that are fatal to the mother as well as the baby. Getting an idea about the position of your baby through ultrasound scans help the doctor to plan out the process of delivery and also to try and correct the position of your baby through several physical methods. It is only when all these methods fail that a C section has to be adopted.
In some cases, the baby is positioned in such a way that his buttocks are facing the opening of the cervix making vaginal delivery a difficult and complicate process. This would lead to a C section. The gynaecologist could try to facilitate a cephalic position externally by using her hands to turn the baby inside. Keeping the hips raised could sometimes help the baby turn in the stomach. This will have to be tried several times before the baby turns. Though a woman can still deliver with a baby in breech position, there are several complications associated with it.
Baby in Complete Breech Position
In a complete breech position the baby’s buttocks are positioned at the opening of the cervix along with bent knees so that when there is a vaginal delivery, the buttocks and the knees and pushed out together. In the case of a vaginal delivery in this position, the risk of the umbilical cord coming out first and possible injuries to the baby exists. Most doctors go for a caesarean section in such cases in order to avoid complications to the mother and the baby.
Baby in Frank Breech Position
The breech position again has a number of variations that can lead to a lot of complications in pregnant women. In a frank breech position, the baby lies in such a position that its legs are extended to form a U shape. The feet of the baby are close to the face. Here too if a vaginal delivery is facilitated, the baby has chances of getting injured as the umbilical cord will come out before the head comes out. This position too is considered to be very risky for a vaginal delivery and hence C sections have to be opted for.
Baby in Footling Breech Position
In a footling breech position, which is a very dangerous position for a vaginal delivery, the baby’s foot is straight down near the opening of the cervix. In this position, a vaginal delivery becomes extremely difficult as the feet may not come out together making it difficult for the doctor to help facilitate a vaginal delivery.
A footling breech position in a baby puts the baby at risk of getting choked as a result of the umbilical cord getting into the mouth of the womb and reducing the blood supply to the baby. Therefore a vaginal delivery in this case is not recommended.
Baby in Transverse Position
Very rarely, positions that are very awkward present itself to gynaecologists. One of these rare positions is the shoulder position or the transverse position which poses extreme difficulties for a vaginal delivery. In modern times, an ultrasound scan can show such positions which will help doctors to decide on a caesarean section than a vaginal delivery.
In a transverse position the baby lies completely in a sideways position. This position can be understood when your doctor does a vaginal exam when you are in labour. If you have a baby that is in transverse position, it is almost unlikely that you will have a vaginal delivery. Home deliveries with transverse positions must be shifted immediately to the hospital as it can lead to unmanageable complications. It is better to go for a caesarean delivery in this case.