9 Good Reasons Why Head-First Births Are Considered Ideal

The optimal position for your baby to be born in is considered to be the head down position. Most babies are born head first and it only makes the birthing process convenient albeit some babies continue to remain in breech position till birth.

It can only make a person curious to notice that the maximum number of birth happen with baby’s head coming out first. Why does nature intend to let the babies be born this way? There do exist some clear scientific explanations for it.


Here are 10 reasons that explain why babies are born head first.

1.Baby Need To Breathe Immediately After Birth

Inside the womb, the oxygen is provided to the baby through the placenta. When they are born, the babies need to breathe the moment they come in contact with outside air to get their respiratory system functioning. This transition from the womb to the outside world is only feasible if the baby’s head comes out first.


2. The Body Follows The Head

If the baby births bottom or leg first, there is always a risk of the limbs getting stuck or forced off the course during birth. At the maximum dilation, the vagina widens to 10 centimeters and the baby’s body has sufficient space to pass through. Yet, the head can easily move down guiding the whole body along with it—it is one solid, round and smooth part of the body that can push its way through the birth canal. The rest of the body can easily follow the direction of the head.

3. The Head Is Too Big

A baby’s head is proportionally bigger as compared to the rest of the body parts. If the baby’s head can pass through, the body can easily follow and come out. If the legs and the bottom of the baby are born first, there could be a possibility of the head getting stuck in the tunnel. In that case, if the body is pulled, there is a high risk of injury in the vertebral column—it could even lead to fracture. Pulling the head to bring out the body is comparatively easier.


4. Limbs Can Get Stuck During Birth

Our anatomy exists in such a way that when the birth takes place, the arms and limbs are pushed closer towards the body preventing the arms or legs from getting stuck. In case of breech vaginal birth, there is always a risk of the limbs getting stuck in the birth canal. Limiting the movement of the arms and legs in head-first birth makes the delivery easier.

5. Entangled With The Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord is attached to the rear of the baby at the belly button. On being born bottom or leg first, there is a risk that the umbilical cord may get caught up in the hands, around the neck or even get pulled or squeezed cutting the supply of oxygen to the baby while the head is still inside and baby hasn’t taken its first breath.


6. Evolution Has Made Childbirth Tougher

The evolution pushed us to walk on two feet instead of four and become bipedal. However, it came with a cost that our pelvis, in order to support our weight on the two legs, became narrower, more like the shape of a bowl. Due to this, space for the human babies to pass through and take birth was restricted leaving space for only one limb to move out at a time. Since the head is the biggest of all body parts, nature’s intent of birthing headfirst made just enough room for the body to follow.

7. Breech Babies Are Likely To Be Born Early

It has been observed that more preterm births are observed in breech babies.1 Considering this, we know that the baby needs 9 months to grow and develop for their bodies to become functional and independent when they arrive in the world. Breech babies are safely born via c-section, though, it is always better that your baby is lying head down in the womb at birth.


8. To Avoid Getting The Position Fixed Manually

When the baby is not in a compromising position, your midwife or the doctor could perform an external cephalic version, which means moving the baby in utero. Since your vagina will be dilated to 10 centimeters in the second stage of labor, your doctor could easily move up their hand through the opening and twist the baby to the right position. A head down position would certainly omit the need for this twist to happen in your labor story.

9. The Shape Of The Uterus Helps

The uterus also plays a part in helping the baby move in a head down position before birth. As the uterus expands with the growing baby, it moves outward and downward. This shift in the uterus causes the heavier part of the baby that is the head to move down and occupy the space. This way the baby is prepared for the delivery.


A number of reasons can decide whether the baby is born head first or decides to be in a breech position. However, nature tries its best to get your baby in the most convenient position of birth. If you have a breech baby, here are ways to change their position before birth