Optimising Baby Positioning
What You Need to Know from Dr James Evans.
Mother’s positioning and movement can actually have an effect on the way the baby lays in the womb in the final stages of pregnancy.
This podcast helps provide tips to help inform pregnant women of the things they can do to help optimise their babies position in pregnancy.
Listen to this incredible Podcast as we interview Dr James Evans on Optimising Baby Positioning to help all pregnant women around the world.
Different Positions Baby Can Be In
- Head down (LOA and ROA)
- Breech (many different types of breech)
What is the Best Position for a Baby to Be in
On the left side of the uterus there is more space which encourages the baby to tuck their head under and have an optimal size of their head facing downwards. This is why the LOA, or Left Occiput Anterior position is the most ideal.
Compared to the right side where there is the liver which means less ‘curve’ for the baby to tuck its head under, resulting in a deflexed position (more neutral position), and a bigger more broader part of the head facing down, which is not as optimal
Left Side Lying
Lying on the left side is recommended to reduce compression of the inferior vena cava (which is the vein the provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby).
In saying that, if you are not comfortable switch side. Put a pillow between knees and ankles / feet, as this helps keep balance in the pelvis rather than just a pillow between the knees.
Hugging a pillow at the chest can also help reduce thoracic outlet syndrome in form of carpal tunnel, as often mothers curl at their shoulders and tuck in.
What Week of Pregnancy to Focus on Baby Positioning
It’s important from week 20 to seek care from a qualified health care professional to help with analysing your body’s positioning and what’s tight or weak.
From weeks 27 to 32 is the optimal time to really ensure you are helping to encourage baby to head down as there is still space for bub to move
From weeks 36+ there is much less room for bub to move around
Techniques Women Can Use to Optimise Baby Positioning
- Forward leaning inversion: using gravity to release tension from the uterus
- Side lying release – weight of the leg to stretch the glutes on either side. Used a lot in labour to open and make more movement in the pelvis during labour.
Forward Leaning Inversion
Tips on Sitting
We sit so much in our day, which is why in pregnancy it’s important to be mindful of it as it can have an impact on how your baby is encouraged to sit in your uterus. As the baby will respond to the space they are in.
General principles for sitting: there is no one position that is great for you for long periods of a time, these are some good positions
- Sitting on a ball
- Sitting on an inflatable disc
- Having chair tiled forward
The goal when sitting is to have the knees lower than hips, allowing pelvis to roll forward. This opens up your hips for baby to sit a little bit more forward, encourages lower back to engage and your chest to sit over your hips.
Slouching on the couch is taking you from sitting on your sit bones to sitting on your tailbone.
Things you can do to help are
- Air pillow
- Avoiding the slouch position
In our PregActive for Pregnancy we go through optimising posture at different stages in your pregnancy.
Fetal Stations and Dystocia
Fetal Stations is talking about where is baby in the pelvis during labour.
Knowing this can help to optimise your positioning with the aim of moving to help open the pelvis and assist the baby down.
Fetal Stations: (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)
Dystocia is when the baby gets stuck along the way, which often leads to caesarean.
Encouraging people to know where baby is in the pelvis
Self-Care Tips for Women
Relaxing mind and body, particularly in the third trimester is so important. Go for a walk, focus on one thing, relax mind and body. Turn off the TV after dinner and have some quality time with your partner and for yourself.
Dr James Evans, Prenatal and Postnatal Chiropractor
Dr James Evans is an experienced Chiropractor with a passion in helping pregnant women through their journey to optimisng their body for birth and recovery post-birth.
His practice, TLC Birth and Beyond, located in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs is dedicated to helping pregnant women and new mothers stay healthy and active. Continually giving back to the community, James and his team run free work shops on the first Monday of the Month to help women go into birth feeling informed and empowered.