Late in my pregnancy with baby number 7, I am reading up on labor and childbirth.
Optimal Fetal Positioning refers to the best position for the baby to be in before birth. Optimal Fetal Positioning is a theory that was developed by Jean Sutton, a midwife and Pauline Scott, a antenatal teacher. They observed that the mother’s position and movement influences the way the baby lays in the womb during the final weeks of pregnancy. If a mother reclines back in the seat of a car, or lounges back on the couch or bed, the baby most likely would assume a posterior position. By sitting forward, reclining and sleeping on the mothers left side, the baby was likely to assume a occiput anterior position which is ideal for birth. Malpresentation causes problems in labor and birth from long difficult labors to even more serious problems which could result in a c-section. It is extremely important for the baby to be in the proper positions as it maneuvers through the pelvis. Optimal fetal positioning could make birth easier for the baby and mother.
“The ‘occiput anterior’ position is ideal for birth – it means that the baby is lined up so as to fit through your pelvis as easily as possible. The baby is head down, facing your back, with his back on one side of the front of your tummy. In this position, the baby’s head is easily ‘flexed’, his chin tucked onto his chest, so that the smallest part of his head will be applied to the cervix first. The diameter of his head which has to fit through the pelvis is approximately 9.5 cm, and the circumference approximately 27.5cm. The position is usually ‘Left Occiput Anterior’ or LOA – occasionally the baby may be Right Occiput Anterior or ROA.
To finish reading more about Optimal Fetal Positioning
Avoid reclining back on the couch or in bed. The heaviest part of the baby will swing to your backside and thus turn the baby into a posterior position or with his back towards your back. (posterior babies are harder to deliver, longer labors and lots of back pain.)
Lay on your left side.
Sit in a forward position.
Tailor sitting and pelvic rocks.
For more ideas you can search for “Optimal Fetal Positioning” on the web.