Generally, by the pregnancy’s 32nd week, head of the baby turns downward toward its mother’s birth canal. Until this particular stage, the baby may find it easier to rotate to head down position from its head up position. This is known as cephalic presentation, as lots of space is present within the uterus. However, few babies are noticed to place their head down later than expected, probably just few minutes before the start of labor. This cephalic to fetus presentation movement is called ‘head engagement’ and also colloquially termed as ‘lightening’ or ‘baby drop’.
Why different head down position baby is noticed before delivery?
The labor period is likely to be much easier and shorter, if the baby is noticed to turn her/his head downwards as it is head first that babies tend to come out.
Frequent cephalic presentation types
- Vertex presentation: It is a common configuration noticed among singletons. The back of the baby generally faces the mother’s tummy and its face appears towards the spine region. It is regarded by the medical experts to be an ideal position, since the baby gets lined up to fit itself through the pelvis region quickly. At times, the head of the baby is turned slightly to its side, but is not seen to be a problem.
- Face presentation: With extended face, the leading part becomes the face. It is just 1% of the presentations that face presentations account for at term. They seem to be quite common especially among the premature babies. Labor duration does not get altered in any uncomplicated face presentation.
- Brow presentation: It takes place when the head and neck of the baby are extended slightly, similar to that of the baby looking upwards. This is said to occur frequently especially among premature babies.
How head down baby position can be derived?
In case, by the 36th week, the baby is not noticed to be in cephalic position, then few steps can be taken for assisting in changing the baby’s position. Before starting, it would be wise to discuss with the health care professionals.
- Change to some helpful sitting position. Pelvis is to be tilted forwards while sitting. Knees to be ensured not being higher than the hips. It is an optimal fetal positioning, to help the baby be in anterior or head down position in hassle free manner.
- It is necessary to be in comfortable position and to have the floor scrubbed. When on all fours, the baby will be able to change its head position and come before the mother’s belly.
- Mother is not to sit at a stretch for hours, but stay active. A wonderful way to make the baby to turn and to stay vertex is to walk. This creates sufficient pelvis movement to help the baby to turn, since the mother is in upright stance and offers much more room, thus making effective and easier turning of the baby.
Overall, the above tips can help the baby to get its head down.