What is Cephalic Presentation at 36 weeks and what determines it?[caption id="attachment_4468" align="alignleft" width="170"]
Common Positions For BirthA fetus keeps on shifting its position inside the mother’s womb and just before the time of delivery, it usually aligns in a position with it’s head down and facing the mother’s back. This ideal position is known as Cephalic Presentation and it is the most natural position for childbirth which your doctor constantly monitors with ultrasound guidance during the last month of the pregnancy. Your baby will automatically move towards the birth canal and prepare for the descent. Most babies settle down in their position within the 32nd – 36th week of pregnancy. The other common positions for Childbirth are: Some fetal positions can be difficult to handle by your doctor and midwives during the labor period. While most of them could be handled comfortably by an experienced group of doctors and assistants, some fetal positions could prove to be fatal for both the mother and the baby. Your doctor might resort to a Cesarean delivery too in such cases.
Occiput Or Cephalic PosteriorSometimes the baby is positioned head down but facing the abdomen, looks as if it is facing the ceiling. This is called Cephalic posterior position. It may result in painful and prolonged labor period and delivery. Also read Lower back pain during pregnancy - how to deal with it
Frank BreechIn this presentation the baby’s buttocks are positioned in the pelvis. The hips are flexed, the knees extended and legs straight up in front of her body and feet near the head. This increases the chance of the umbilical cord forming the loop over the baby’s head and entering the birth canal before the head enters. This can cause injury to the baby if delivered vaginally.
Transverse LieIn this position, the baby lies in the crosswise position making it a high probability for the shoulder entering the pelvis first. Your health care provider might consider the option of C – section delivery to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby.
Footling BreechThis presentation of the fetus is considered to be quite dangerous as the baby’s one or both the feet are facing towards the cervix; thus will be shown first during delivery. The underlying risk factor is that the umbilical cord strangulates the baby and blood supply is cut off; so your doctor would never opt for a normal vaginal delivery in this case. While we have understood the different presentations of the fetus before childbirth; it is also necessary for us to realize that the special shape of the uterus and the natural tendency of the fetus is to fall into the cephalic presentation on it’s own. It might take it’s own sweet time – usually between 32nd – 36th week of pregnancy. So you mums out there, there is no cause to worry as in many of the cases the baby settles down into the head down position just before the birth process starts. However, in cephalic presentation too the baby may lie in various positions, like the baby’s face, or the brow coming out first. This is an extremely dangerous probability; and might pose a life threat to both the mother and the baby. That is the reason why your doctor continuously monitors your pregnancy during the last month; to ensure the safe delivery of your baby and ensure your safety too.
What is External Cephalic Version (ECV)?During the last stages of pregnancy, if your doctor discovers, through physical and ultrasound guidance, that the baby is not settled as yet in the head- down position, then external intervention might become essential. A breech baby could be turned around from the buttocks or feet first position to the head first position. This is called external cephalic presentation. The doctor will apply gentle force on your abdomen and turn the baby gently into the head – down position. This technique requires a lot of experience and under proper monitoring.
First time mums Vs Second time mumsStatistics say that a lot depends on whether this is your first time pregnancy or second. If you are a first time mum, then normally your baby will settle down into the cervix during the 32nd – 37th weeks of pregnancy. If your baby does not settle by then, then the chances of him/her settling later than that are highly unlikely. Whereas, for the second time mums the baby might settle down even during the last minute. This is because the second time mums have already undergone pregnancy/pregnancies before. Due to which their uterus and tummy muscles have become weak; thus giving leverage to the child to take her/his own time to settle down into the head – down position. One more point to be noted is that ECV is generally successful in cases of second time mums when compared to the new mothers. [caption id="attachment_4470" align="aligncenter" width="450"]
- Between 22 and 30, before 28 weeks
- About 20 at 28 weeks
- Around 15 to 18 by 32 weeks
- About 9 by 32 weeks
- 3-4 by 37 weeks, as most babies turn around naturally in the head down position by this time.
Kanchan is a doting mom to two angels and is passionate about writing. With over 3 years of experience in the content space, she strives to push boundaries and balance her personal & professional life well.