After 9 long months of pregnancy, when it is finally time to push your baby out, having it in the right position makes a huge difference. Though babies stretch and twist throughout pregnancy, they settle into a fixed position before labor begins. They lie head down enabling them to be delivered head first. When a baby’s head is down with its back against your tummy, and its limbs are bent inward, it is said to be in the anterior position. When it faces your tummy and its back rests against your spine, it is said to be in the posterior position. The anterior position is preferred because in this position, it can easily tuck its chin into its chest, and its head can fit between your cervix during labor, resulting in an easier delivery. This minor difference in position may not seem significant enough to affect your labor, but it is.If your baby is in the posterior position, you can experience extreme pain and strong Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions get it into the correct position, but the delivery gets delayed. Foreign interventions might be needed to help deliver it.
You will know if your baby is in the anterior position if you feel its kick below your ribs and your tummy is round and smooth. If it is in the posterior position, you will feel its kicks in front of your tummy, around the middle, and you will have a dip around the navel. It is usually your lifestyle that affects the position of your little one. You can play an active role in adjusting it in the correct position before labor begins. Here are a few tips on how you can do it.
1. Sit On A Chair Facing The Back
Take an upright chair, sit facing its back, and keep your feet flat on the ground. Hold the backrest and lean on it so that your belly hangs between your thighs. Hold the position for 5 to 10 minutes, rest, and repeat. Do this as often as you can during the day.
2. Sit On A Birthing Ball
Take a birthing ball and place it against the wall. Spread your feet and slowly sit on it. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. You can hold your belly if you need support.
3. Lean Over A Beanbag
Take a big beanbag, spread your legs a feet wide, kneel down, lean forward, and place your arms over it. Stay in this position as long as your body allows. Don’t strain yourself.
4. Keep Your Hips Higher Than Your Knees
Whenever you sit in a car or on a chair at work, make sure that your hips are higher than your knees. You can place pillows or cushions below your buttocks to give you that elevation.
5. Get On All Fours
Kneel down and place your palms on the floor. Move around or rock from side to side in this position for 15 minutes each day, or for as long as you can. Don’t strain yourself. The movements should help your little one get into the correct position for labor.
Swimming on your belly is a great exercise to get your baby in the right position for labor. Swim lightly and avoid strenuous strokes. Even yoga is beneficial in adjusting the position of your baby. You should sign yourself up for some prenatal yoga classes when you get pregnant.
7. Keep Moving
If you sit for extended periods of time at work or at home, it is advisable to take frequent breaks. Get up, stretch, and walk around a bit. You can set a reminder for a break every hour.
Don’t wait till it’s too late. Spend time in these positions as much as possible starting from the 34th week of pregnancy. Avoid squatting, sitting with your legs crossed, and sitting on low sofas or chairs that cause your legs to be elevated. In some cases, the baby can be in a bottom down position, and is known as a breech baby. It is much more difficult to get such babies into the correct birthing position. You will need to check with your doctor and take their help under such circumstances.