Preparing for Birth Australian Edition Partial Preview - Page 10

Variations: Fetal Position Babies move a lot and their position can influence the start, speed or sensations of labour. “Presentation” refers to the “presenting” part, or the part that is coming first (usually the head). Transverse or Breech The Occiput Anterior (Anterior/OA) position, when baby is facing mother’s back, is ideal as the baby fits more easily into the pelvis, allowing for steady pressure on the cervix. Transverse: baby is sidelying and the presenting Breech may be footling breech Breech: baby’s head is up. part is a shoulder. (foot or feet presenting), frank Vaginal birth Preview is not breech (legs are straight up, possible for a baby in with buttocks presenting), this position. Only 0.05% or complete breech (baby’s of babies are transverse bottom is down with the legs at term. folded at the knees as though sitting cross-legged). 3.5% of babies are breech at term. Posterior If you know that baby is breech or transverse Some babies are occiput prior to labour, discuss your options with your posterior (OP), with baby’s care provider for encouraging baby into a vertex back against mother’s back. (head-down) presentation, such as: This position may contribute to a slower or stalled labour and/or increased back pain. • Chiropractic care (Webster technique) • Specific exercises, movements and postures • Homeopathy and herbal remedies • Moxibustion done by an acupuncturist • External cephalic version (ECV) to manually move the baby into a head down position If all efforts to encourage baby to turn to vertex fail, a caesarean may be suggested. Most breech babies are born via caesarean section, though some providers and hospitals support vaginal breech birth. Positional variations may lead to labour that is longer, more difficult or more painful. Ask your care provider about their approach to identifying and correcting baby’s position. A vertex presentation, when the baby’s head is flexed with the chin tucked down, allows for the narrowest part of the head, the occiput, to pass through the pelvis first. 95% of babies assume this position and presentation for birth. Baby may be encouraged into an anterior position during labour with the following: • Use upright positions. • Walk or move during or between contractions. • Rock, sway or do hip circles. • Get on hands and knees or lean forward to reduce pressure on your lower back and help draw baby’s back toward your front (tummy). • Use lunges, squats or other hip opening positions to widen the pelvis. • Push in positions that open the bottom of the pelvis and allow the sacrum to flex. 26 Labour and Birth