Is your baby in the best position to be delivered vaginally?

Find out what it means when your doctor tells you that your baby’s in an “abnormal position”.

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It’s every mum-to-be’s dream to deliver their baby vaginally with as little pain and as quickly as possible. Yet, the reality is often far from it for many women. 

SmartParents expert, Dr Christopher Chong an ob-gyn at Gleneagles Hospital, notes that how smoothly your vaginal birth will go depends on the three Ps of vaginal birth. The Ps refers to:
* Passage: The size of your pelvic opening. For instance, how narrow your pelvic bones are compared to the size of the foetus or if you have any history of fractures or surgery.
* Power: The intensity of your contractions, which can be enhanced with medication.
* Passenger: The growth and size of your foetus, plus, other factors such as if you’re having multiples.

Another factor is your foetus’ position in the weeks leading up to labour and delivery. This vital consideration, which affects your risk of suffering birth injuries, can also reduce your chances of a successful vaginal birth.

Generally, once bubba’s head emerges from the birth canal, the rest of his body will be quick to follow, shares Dr Chong.

Dr Chong reveals what you can expect if your baby is in a…

Head-First (Cephalic) Position

WHAT? At full term, most babies will be in this position during labour and delivery with their head facing downwards to the pelvic floor. However, variations to this position may also occur during delivery. Some babies may be delivered with their head facing upwards to the ceiling and others with their head turned to the right or left.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT DELIVERY? If your kewpie faces downwards, you shouldn’t have any serious complications. By the way, your baby’s head is the broadest part of his body to clear the birth canal. Generally, once bubba’s head emerges from the birth canal, the rest of his body will be quick to follow, Dr Chong assures.

If your foetus faces upward, you will be advised to get a C-section as it will complicate delivery. “The pushing process during labour will be longer and often result in assisted delivery — requiring a forceps or vacuum. Of course, this means it’ll also be more traumatic to the foetus and mother, resulting in tears.” Dr Chong adds that a vaginal birth is possible only if the foetus is small and the mum’s pelvis is very large.

Besides up or down, your baby’s head may also be turned to the right or left. However, Dr Chong says you don’t need to be concerned or worried — your baby’s head will turn naturally as they make their way out of the birth canal.