In week 30 of your pregnancy about 25 percent of babies are still in a breech presentation. This is not ideal for the delivery, but the baby will usually turn into the most ideal position in the weeks to come. Around 36 weeks most babies - 95 percent - are in the most ideal position for delivery: the occipital position (The Midwife). The remaining 5 percent are lying upside down, transverse or breech. This may be due to various factors, such as a deviant uterus or too much or too little amniotic fluid. A different position increases the chance of complications, but if that is the case, you will of course be monitored extra closely. No worries, mama!
We've listed the different poses - and there are quite a few - for you:
Back of the head
We already told you, this is the most ideal position. Your little one's head is down, with the back of its head towards mom's belly. This allows the head to adapt best to the birth canal when your baby is born (Pregnancy Portal).
Your baby lies with its legs down instead of its head. At the end of the pregnancy, about 3 to 4 percent of babies are still in breech presentation. We distinguish between a perfect breech presentation (the baby is sitting in a sort of cross-legged position) and an incomplete breech presentation (the legs are up along the side of the body) (The Midwife).
Transverse lying is very rare, if not the least. Less than half a percent of babies are transverse at the end of their pregnancy. As the name suggests, it lies transversely in your abdomen. This can be caused by a too narrow pelvis or a placenta that is lying in front (Medicinfo). It usually occurs in women who have already had several children, and the general rule is: the younger the mother, the less chance there is of a lateral birth. This also applies to the risk of a breech birth (Jacquemyn, Martens, Jacquemyn, Martens, 2015).
Your baby lies head down, but faces forward instead of back. The delivery often takes longer and is usually more painful because the head cannot adapt to the birth canal as well as it should. A Caesarean section may then be the best solution (Pregnancy Portal).
Your baby's head is down, but it is bent so that its forehead is against the cervix. A natural birth is possible, but it may take longer and there is a greater chance of a vacuum or forceps delivery.
The position is similar to the forehead position, but instead of lying face down, he lies with his crown against the cervix. A natural birth is also possible here, but it may take longer and there is a greater chance of a vacuum or forceps delivery.
Your baby's head is also facing down, but it is bent so much that its face is against the cervix. For this position, the same applies as for the two previous positions (Medicinfo).
Is he still not well? Give him a second...
If your baby is not lying well in week 30, don't worry. There's a good chance it will start lying properly in the next few weeks. And if it does not, there is still a 50 to 70 percent chance that the midwife or obstetrician can turn your baby.
If your little one is still not in the occipital position after 36, the midwife will try to turn it by means of a so-called external version or you can try moxa therapy. You can read more about this in this blog.
Chances are, in a few weeks, your baby will be as ready as you!
Jacquemyn, Y., Jacquemyn, N., Martens, E., & Martens, G. (2015). Teenage pregnancies in Flanders in 2010-2012: evolution since the end of the previous millennium. Consulted from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yves-Jacquemyn/publication/281751720_Teenage_deliveries_in_flanders_in_2010-2012_Evolution_since_the_end_of_the_preceding_millennium/links/570bb43908aee06603519cc0/Teenage-deliveries-in-flanders-in-2010-2012-Evolution-since-the-end-of-the-preceding-millennium.pdf
KNOV. (s.d.). Breech presentation. Consulted from https://deverloskundige.nl/zwangerschap/subtekstpagina/173/stuitligging/#:%7E:text=Babys%20bewegen%20regelmatig%20in%20het,van%20de%20kinderen%20in%20stuitligging
Medicinfo. (s.d.-a). Transversal. Consulted from https://encyclopedie.medicinfo.nl/dwarsligging
Medicinfo. (s.d.-b). Baby's lying posture. Consulted from https://encyclopedie.medicinfo.nl/liggingsafwijkingen-baby/b0b1b23181af490fa9d7890a7be612d2
Pregnancy Portal. (2016, August 4). Position of your baby. Consulted from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/bevalling/complicaties-tijdens-de-bevalling/ligging-van-je-baby
Pregnancy Portal. (2020, May 26). The occipital position: the ideal position for childbirth. Consulted from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/bevalling/achterhoofdsligging-de-ideale-ligging-voor-de-bevalling