Optimal Fetal Positioning
Childbirth educator Pauline Scott coined the phrase Optimal Fetal Positioning to describe the work of Midwife Jean Sutton. These two women published Understanding and Teaching Optimal Fetal Positioning in 1996. Two facts will help you to understand why fetal position is important:
- Baby's rotate through the pelvis to emerge from the womb.
- Fetal position effects the relative ease of fetal rotation and descent.
My belief is that maternal positioning will support optimal fetal positioning when we have balance in the pelvis (including ligaments, fascia and muscles). Balance first.
Why don't randomized control studies support Optimal Fetal Positioning when midwives and doulas do?
We may see more benefit in labor progress with baby's position when we take into engagement, a balanced pelvic floor, flexion of the fetal head, and freedom of maternal movement (not restricted to bed in labor including the second stage of pushing) supported by maternity care practices. Birth is revealed with the whole being of MotherBaby, not a single part.