The best position of baby for birth
The most optimal position for baby to be in for birth is LOA = Left Occipital Anterior.
Any clues what that means?
I’ll explain more.
But first this is really good to know…
When you go into labour if you experience pain in your back it’s likely your baby is lying back to back in your abdomen which means that their spine is in line with your spine and this is not the best position for you or baby as it can be uncomfortable.
Ideally we want baby’s spine towards the front of your abdomen and when you go into labour you will feel contractions in your tummy if this is the case.
There is plenty of time to help your baby get into optimal position for birth even in active labour. Positions like all fours, that high kneeling position with one leg in front or the forwards lean position in sitting and standing can all help.
I’d highly recommend looking at the spinning babies website for inspiration and ideas on how to get your baby in it’s optimal position for birth and to see lots of visuals about positions of baby in your womb. There are plenty, see below!
Tips for helping with the pushing phase of labour are to bring your knees in and feet out if in a kneeling position as this widens the sacral outlet.
Instead of recreating a very big wheel here, all the information you need about foetal positioning can be found on the spinning babies website. It’s a highly recommended worthwhile read and one which can really empower you in the later stages of pregnancy and labour.
Baby positions in your uterus can be:
- Anterior (at the front)
- Posterior (at the back, sunny side up)
- Breech (head up)
- Left Occiput Anterior (baby’s head is on the left side, at the front)
- Right Occiput Anterior (baby’s head is on the right side, at the front)
- Left Occiput Transverse (baby’s head is on the left side, at the side)
- Right Occiput Transverse (baby’s head is on the right side, at the side)
- Left Occiput Posterior (baby’s head is on the left side, at the back)
- Right Occiput Posterior (baby’s head is on the right side, at the back)
- Transverse Lie (sideways)
- Oblique (diagonal)
- Asynclitic (tipped)
- Face Presentation (face first)
The anterior position of baby is preferential for birth because baby can tuck their chin in easier and thereby help their head position fit optimally into your pelvis. Baby’s head puts pressure onto your cervix more evenly in this position which helps your cervix to open. The baby also only turns a quarter turn as it journeys down the birth canal if in the LOA position, whereas in other positions, sometimes the baby turns three-quarters turns.
For a great video about how baby positions affect your labour have a look at babycenter for more information here.
Your pelvis anatomy; the bones, the muscles and the soft tissues also have a big role to play in your labour.