Positions of the baby at birth

The occipital position is the most common position of the tummy baby. Only 5% of all babies have a different position. The position of the baby is very important during delivery.

Occipital position

The baby lies with its feet curled up and the back of its head down. This is the most ideal position for birth. This means the head fits well in the pelvis. The occiput position is the most common position, 95% of babies are ready for birth in this position. This way the head has the narrowest cross-section and fits best through the pelvis.

Breech presentation

In a breech position, the tummy baby lies upside down: completely breech (with the feet down) or imperfectly breech (with the buttocks down) and with the head at the top of the uterus. This position can cause problems during birth, so you are obliged to give birth in the hospital in the presence of a gynecologist. The baby may become short of breath. Women whose babies are breech can opt for a vaginal breech birth or a planned caesarean section.
If the breech position is discovered at 36 weeks at the latest, the midwife can try to turn the baby into the right position: an external rotation or version. An alternative method is to let the baby turn over on its own or with the help of moxibustion, a form of acupuncture. Good information about the risks of an external rotation and about natural birth in the event of a breech presentation is important, only then can you make a good decision. If your baby has been breech, you are advised to have an ultrasound scan of his/her hips at three months. A breech baby has a slightly greater risk of hip dysplasia. There are different types of breech presentation: imperfect breech, complete breech, semi-imperfect breech and foot presentation.

In a complete breech position, the baby lies with the buttocks down, with the thighs extended along the body and with the knees bent as in a cross-legged position. You can still give birth naturally with this form of breech presentation. The baby must be born quickly, otherwise there is a risk of respiratory distress. There is also a good chance that your pelvis is not wide enough to allow your baby to be born this way.

In an imperfect breech position , the baby lies with its buttocks down and with its legs stretched up along its body. The toes are at face height. Even with this form of breech presentation you can still give birth naturally, but again it must be smooth.

Forehead position

Sometimes a baby does not lie with the back of the head down, as in the occipital position, but with the forehead down. This is a very difficult position to be born in. As a result, the pelvis is usually too small for the size of the head. This position requires more space. This position almost always results in a caesarean section.

Crown position

The same applies to the crown position as to the forehead position. It’s not an easy position to be born into. In this position the baby does not lie with the back of his head down, but with the crown of his head down. Also in this position it is often decided to perform a caesarean section.

Facial location

The facial location is also not ideal. The tummy baby lies face down. Because this often does not put enough pressure on the cervix, this causes dilation to start poorly. You also have to take a caesarean section into account in this location.

Transverse position

This position is very rare, the baby lies with its back down and transversely in the uterus. This will be a caesarean section anyway.


Most twins lie alternately. One in occipital position and the other in breech position. Once the first baby is born, the second baby will have enough room to perhaps turn and also be born in the occiput position. In the case of a twin pregnancy, it is mandatory to give birth in the hospital under the supervision of a gynecologist, because with multiple births the chance of a caesarean section is greater than with the birth of one baby.

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