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Optimal Baby Positioning


The optimal baby positioning for birth is head down, with the baby's back towards the mother's front. This is called the occipito-anterior (OA) position. It allows the baby to move more easily through the pelvis.

If the baby is head down but facing the mother's tummy (their back to your back), this is called the occipito-posterior (OP) position. OP babies are more likely to experience longer and more difficult labors.

If the baby is breech (bottom or feet first), this is the least optimal position for birth. Breech babies are more likely to need a cesarean section.

There are a few things that pregnant women can do to try to encourage their baby to get into the OA position:

  • Spend time in upright and forward-leaning positions. This helps to create more space in the pelvis for the baby to turn. Some examples of upright and forward-leaning positions include:
  • Sitting on a birthing ball with your hips higher than your knees
  • Leaning forward over a table or chair
  • Hands and knees position
  • Sleep on your left side. This position helps to increase blood flow to the placenta and the baby.

It is important to note that not all babies will get into the OA position, even if the mother does everything she can to encourage them. If the baby is in the OP or breech position, the healthcare provider will discuss the best options for labor and birth.

If you are pregnant and concerned about your baby's positioning, talk to your healthcare provider. They can assess your baby's position and provide guidance on what you can do to encourage them to get into the OA position.

Birthkeepers that provide this service

Better Birth

Hypnobirthing and antenatal classes online & in person in Kent providing evidence based education to empower you to have the most positive birth possible, whether that's a natural home birth or a caesarean (or anything in between!). Classes are hosted by Erin, a passionate birth keeper with three children of her own.

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Hello lovely one, I'm Nat. I am a devoted birth and postnatal doula, passionate about supporting birthing people to be informed and empowered during their journey through pregnancy and beyond. I am blessed to be a birth worker that had the support of a doula during my own pregnancy and birth. This experience is partly what drives my passion for working with birthing people. I wish for all new parents to have the opportunity to be nurtured and supported to make informed choices during this time.

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