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As the eighth month of pregnancy nears, your doctor will primarily check if your baby is in the right position or not. Sometimes, a baby may not be in a position suited for childbirth.
Ideal Baby Position During the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
After 32 weeks of pregnancy, babies generally assume the head-down position. This means that the baby’s head faces the birth canal and his legs point toward the rib cage.
What Other Positions Your Baby Might Get Into?
Here are some positions your baby may assume:
1. The Breech Position
Nearly 4% of babies are born are in the breech position prior to childbirth. In this position, the baby’s head is toward the ribs, while his feet point toward the birth canal. This is not an ideal position since the baby can developing hip problems later on. Furthermore, it increases the risk of trauma that your baby might undergo in the process of childbirth.
2. The Transverse Position
Only 0.05% of babies assume the transverse position before childbirth. In this position, the baby is horizontal instead of being vertical. His head points toward the left or right side of the stomach. This could also happen due to anomalies in the structural formation of the uterus itself.
3. The Posterior Position
This position is kind of a variant of the usual normal position of delivery. This is where a baby’s head is pointing down towards the birth canal and the feet are upwards. However, the baby tends to be facing the mother’s stomach from the inside, rather than facing the mother’s back ideally. Such a position leads results in back pain in the mother when labour ensues, rather than cramping in the abdominal region.
Tips to Help if Your Baby Is Not in Head Down Position
For a successful and risk-free delivery, the baby’s head position in the 8th month of pregnancy needs to be ideal. Certain procedures might be undertaken in that regard.
- Firstly, an ultrasound scan is done to get a clearer picture of the baby’s position in the womb.
- In case a breech position is observed, most doctors attempt to reorient the baby using manual techniques. One of those is termed as an external cephalic technique.
- These are usually beneficial if undertaken in the 36th week of your pregnancy since the baby’s smaller size makes reorientation easier. It can still be done until 42nd week of your pregnancy, but chances of reorientation reduce accordingly.
- In the initial attempt, tocolytic medication will be administered to you that causes the uterus to relax. This will prevent any untoward contractions from taking place while the procedure is ongoing. Once the doctor observes the uterus relaxed, he will hold the baby’s head with one hand, and his buttocks with another, and gradually reorient the baby to bring his head down. This is done very gently without causing harm to the baby, but it may cause slight pain to the mother if the uterus contracts.
- Although vaginal delivery might be possible, most doctors don’t recommend it, especially for first-time mothers, since the pain can be tremendous. This is where a second attempt may also be undertaken with the preparation for an emergency delivery. Here, the mother is administered with an epidural anaesthetic, which mitigates any pain that might occur. This is conducted under strict medical supervision since complications might occur although rare. If that does happen, the doctor might resolve to undertake an emergency caesarean to keep both the mother and baby safe.
Things You Can Do to Get Baby into the Proper Position?
Some simple tasks that can help get your baby in the proper position are:
Walking is one of the best exercises that helps both the baby and the mother. As you approach your delivery date, walk at least for half an hour twice a day. The rhythmic movement and the effect of gravity cause the centre of the gravity inside your body to orient accordingly. Since the baby’s head is the heaviest part, it will tend to point in the direction of the earth.
Yes, this is what babies do but mothers should do too, especially the ones with babies in breech or transverse positions. Use a soft surface and gently rest on your knees, before shifting your weight onto your palms. Keeping the back straight, crawl around for about 8-10 minutes without letting your stomach touch the ground. This shift in orientation and gravity could cause your baby to start shifting internally, too.
Yoga may prove beneficial and safe if done prior to the last trimester of your pregnancy. Do not attempt this when your delivery date is close, especially if doing so for the first time. Do not try complicated exercises and always get a pregnancy supervisor to observe you.
This works best since it doesn’t impact the baby much and is easier for the mother. By swimming in a breaststroke fashion, the buoyancy of the water can help your baby turn its position easily and can also help your body to undergo labour in a better way.
Sleeping on the left side can provide the gravity orientation that your baby requires to shift into the right position. You could use a pillow for additional support.
As your delivery date approaches, the position of your baby becomes all the more important. By going for regular checkups and taking necessary precautions, your delivery will be risk-free and also a wonderful experience.
Also Read: Baby’s Positions in the Womb