Isn't head down enough? So often care providers reassure their patients by telling them baby is head down. That is important, but not the end of optimal positioning. In a baby who is presenting head down, position can be occiput anterior (OA), occiput posterior (OP), or occiput transverse (OT). The OP baby is sometimes referred to as "sunny side up" because in this position baby is born face up and is often associated with back labor. The easiest position for baby to be born is OA. If you are now thoroughly confused, you can view these positions here.
Everyone wants an easier labor, so how can you influence baby to an OA position? There are several big keys. First, avoid sitting in a reclined position from 32 weeks until birth. This means no sinking into your comfy, saggy sofa. This means not kicking your feet up in the evening in your favorite recliner. This means your birth ball becomes your favorite tv chair, and you are intentional about keeping your knees lower than your hips. You want to assume forward leaning positions that encourage your baby's back to swing towards your belly with the help of gravity.
Second, see a chiropractor on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy. Seek out a chiropractor who specializes in the treatment of pregnant women as he/she will be familiar with the bony structures and the soft tissues of the pelvis, and know how to work these to create space for baby.
Third, practice Spinning Babies exercises daily starting at 20 weeks. The goal of Spinning Babies techniques is to balance the pelvis and make space for baby to settle into an ideal position for birth. Come back next week as we dive deeper into Spinning Babies and I share a few gems from my (very) full day training with Gail Tully, the creator of Spinning Babies.