The position your baby’s in when labour starts will make a big difference to your experience of childbirth.
Ideally, your baby will have his head down and be lying facing your back, with his chin tucked into his chest: this is the easiest way for a baby to get ready to be born.
While most babies assume this position naturally on their birth day, during late pregnancy there are ways in which you can encourage your offspring to go head down (known as optimal fetal positioning or OFP).
How to get your baby down (and out)
- Squat (keep your bottom higher than your knees)
- Kneel over a beanbag or birthing ball
- Hang out on all fours (watching TV is good), wiggling your hips from side to side
- Sit on a chair with your knees lower than your pelvis, and your upper body tilted slightly forwards
- Sit on a birthing ball with your knees lower than your hips
- Spend time in the yogic tailor pose: sit with a straight back with the soles of your feet together, knees out to the sides and elbows pressing on your thighs
- Swim: gentle breaststroke helps to open the pelvi
What if he’s breech?
Most mums of babies who are breech (feet or bottom down) have a caesarean delivery, because it can be more difficult to deliver a breech baby naturally. Breech babies can, and do, turn very late in pregnancy, sometimes even once labour’s underway.
The best way to get a breech baby to turn is to spend time on all fours. Alternative options include acupuncture* and moxibustion* (burning medicinal herbs). Another possibility is external cephalic version (ECV), where a specialist doctor tries to gently turn your baby; this works in 50 per cent of cases.
Always see a registered practitioner who is experienced in treating pregnant women.
Now tell us what worked for you…
How did you get your baby in the right position for birth?