With a month to go before you could hold your little bundle of joy in your arms, the last but one month of the gestation is also the period when your baby starts preparing for the big day. By the 8th month of pregnancy, the baby starts changing their position—you are likely to feel your baby move around this time, especially at night.
Your baby’s positioning before birth will determine how they will be born. The most feasible position for birth is the head down position, where the top of the baby’s head faces the birth canal. The baby’s head engages in the mother’s pelvis—once they settle in this position, they are left with little room to move around. Due to this, you may feel fewer baby kicks towards the end of the 8th month.
However, this is not the only position your baby could get into. Here is more about baby positioning in the 8th month of pregnancy.
1. Breech Position
The baby is said to be the breech position when their buttocks or feet are towards the birth canal and their head is towards your ribs. A breech position could make birthing traumatic both for the mother and the baby.
Only 4 out 100 babies remain in breech position at the time of birth. Most babies move into cephalic (head down) position by the 38th week of pregnancy. Your doctor will try to change the baby’s position before birth. If that doesn’t happen, you will be suggested to go for a c-section.
Find out about pregnancy exercises to turn your breech baby.
2. Transverse Position
When the baby is lying sideways, in a horizontal position across your tummy, they are said to be in transverse position. The baby will be positioned in a such a way that one of the shoulders will be towards the birth canal or upwards.
If your baby is lying sideways, they are likely to get into a better birth position at the time of labor—ony 1 in every 1000 babies continues to be in this position at birth.
Your doctor or midwife will try to manually rotate the baby back to the head-down position from outside the womb. However, if the labor has already started and the baby isn’t moving, a c-section needs to be performed.
3. Posterior Position
A baby could also be in posterior position, wherein their head will be downwards, towards the birth canal—but, the back of their head will be facing towards your back. If you get the picture clear, you will know that experiencing labor with the baby in posterior position could be extremely painful.
Mothers who give birth to posterior babies have to cope with back labor instead of cramps in the abdomen area at the time of birth.
How The Baby’s Position Can Be Changed
An experienced doctor or midwife can change the position of the baby from outside. The procedure is called external cephalic version and is performed between 36 to 42 weeks of pregnancy.
The doctor administers the mother with an anti-contraction medication which suppresses any chances premature labor. Ultrasound scans are used to locate the baby’s head. The doctor places a hand on the mother’s belly where the baby head is positioned and the other hand on the buttocks. The baby is then slowly and gently rolled and pushed into the head-down position.
The procedure takes place at the hospital and may require more than one session or attempt. You may also be given epidural anesthesia to make the procedure painless.
If nothing works out, having a cesarean is the last resort.
You can do your bit to help your baby move in the right position for birth.
1. Sleeping On The Left Side
Get ample sleep and allow your body to rest. It is more likely that your baby will change position when you are asleep. Sleep on your left side—keep lots of pillows for support.
2. Walking And Practicing Yoga
Walking for 25-30 minutes will benefit you in many ways. Not only will it help you stay fit, it will also make your baby’s heaviest body part (their head) gradually shift downwards due to gravity.
Yoga can also promote a correct position for birth. Practice asanas that require you go on all fours. However, don’t start with these exercise towards the end of your pregnancy, when your due date is close. Only if you have indulged in exercises before, should you continue doing them. Consult your doctor before trying anything new.
3. Crawling On All Fours
Crawling will also encourage your baby to move in a correct position. Stay on your hands and knees but avoid touching your belly to the ground. Crawl like that for 10 minutes every day to see results.
Most babies get into the right position for birth before the labor starts. Even if that doesn’t happen, your baby will still be delivered safely.