Prior to 32 weeks of pregnancy baby is floating inside the uterus and able to move and change position easily. Over the coming weeks, fetal growth is significant and from 36 weeks there is less water than baby. You therefore want baby to be in a good position for birth by this stage as there is much less room for him or her to move easily.
The ideal position for baby is the vertex position, head down and with his or her spine over to the left side of your body. During early labour, your surging uterus will attempt to pull your baby round to the left, so having your baby in this optimal position prior to the start of labour will inevitable help make birth quicker, easier and more comfortable.
Unfortunately modern day living – travelling in the car, slouching back on the sofa, sitting at an office desk, or simply poor posture – allows lots of opportunity for encouraging baby into a less than optimal position. Due to the tilt of the pelvis created by these positions, baby’s spine is likely to roll back towards yours so it really is important to be mindful of posture and positioning early on.
Become more aware of how you use your body day-to-day and adopt strategies to encourage optimal positioning. As well as avoiding the positions mentioned above as much as possible, try forward leaning positions with your birth ball which will encourage your baby’s spine towards the front of your belly. All fours is one of the best positions to encourage optimal positioning & ideal to do for short periods several times a day. From the 3rd trimester onwards, be very mindful of how you are holding your body generally and take lots of opportunity to walk regularly, and rock and rotate your pelvis out to release any tension that may be building up in the muscles or pelvic ligaments.
Should your baby have already assumed a less that optimal position, and particularly if your baby is still transverse lie or breech presentation at 34 weeks, do contact me about combined reflexology and hypnotherapy sessions which can prove very effective at helping baby adopt a better position for birth. This approach offers a higher rate of success at turning babies (not to mention a gentler and more comfortable experience for mum and baby) compared to ECV – External Cephalic Version – where a consultant will manually try and turn your baby.
Most importantly, take to time out to simply RELAX and BREATHE everyday!