Advice for optimal foetal positioning

Foetal positioning

This information is for mums and their partners to encourage baby to go into the ideal position for birth, BEFORE your labour begins.

If bub is head down (and a single baby), then from 34weeks onwards this advice is given to encourage your baby to lie with its back to your left/front- LOA (Left Occiput Anterior). This also will encourage your baby to engage, thereby enjoying as normal and straightforward a birth as possible.

DO:

-Spend 30mins a day on all four’s, this relaxes the uterus and it becomes like a hammock. The weight of your baby should then help to bring his/her back forward- best position for labour.
-Use upright/forward leaning postures. This allows more available space in the pelvis for your baby to turn. Ie elbows rest on table, knees apart, hips turn outwards, leaning slightly forward (similar position when sitting on the loo).
-Sit with knees lower than hips and back as straight as possible. Use pillows/cushions under the bottom and in the small of your back.
-Kneel on the floor leaning over a large beanbag or swiss ball to watch TV at the end of the day
-Swimming- antigravity (add tumble turns if bub is in a breech position)
-When sleeping lie on your side, preferably LEFT, with pillow between the legs to keep hips aligned and no extra strain on the low back.
– Ideally use forward leaning postures when having BRAXTON HICKS (practice contractions) as this increases their effectiveness with regard to helping the baby maneuver itself into the optimum position
– Forward Leaning Inversion position on the lounge with head lower than hips 🡪 see Spinning Babies.com for more on optimum positioning and the 3 Sisters of Balance

DON’T:

-Relax in semi-reclined positions that have your knees higher than your hips
-Take long trips in cars with bucket seats. If you must, use a wedge cushion to lift hips.
-Sit with legs crossed
-Use squatting as an exercise in late pregnancy as this may force the babys head into the pelvis before its in the correct position.

USEFUL POSITIONS DURING LABOUR (can be done in birthing pool also)

-If possible stay on feet or knees, leaning forward and rocking hips side to side/up and down with each contraction
-Keep your hips moving during contractions.
-Lean forward over a beanbag/swiss ball/bath.
-Hang onto something with arms above waist (ie partners neck) and let body sag.
-If lying on a bed lie on your LEFT side, avoid lying on your back – this closes off the sacrum and hence pelvic outlet!
-Partner adds strong hip squeezes to counteract the pressure of the contractions
-Supported squats with rezebo scarf under belly to shift bub
-Talk to bub and ask him/her to move around so you can birth together. Remember this is teamwork and bub is hearing & feeling your words.

**Side Note: Relax mouth/jaw/throat to relax cervix. A low pitch Ahhhhhh sound helps this and energy vibrates in the lower half of the body.
Remember to laugh- it’s a natural pain relief and an internal massage
Get partner to remind you how much he/she loves you- when a woman hears this from the one she loves her hormones change.
Shower in early labour (instead of bath as bath can slow the early labour down)

Author: Kelly Ryan

Kelly Ryan is a chiropractor based out of Health Space Coogee-Randwick & Rozelle, and specialises in pregnancy and paediatric chiropractic care. For more information about Kelly, or to direct her any questions or enquiries, call Health Space Rozelle on 9810 8769.

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