Many parents think that as long as the baby is head down in the womb the baby is ready for birth. Head down is only half the story.
It is a big relief to find out the baby is not breech (buttocks coming through the pelvis before the head is born). Especially when so many breech babies are born by cesarean these days. But being head down is only the first step.
For the best chance at a natural birth,
- Baby should have his or her chin tucked.
- For a first time mother, the baby is expected to engage in the pelvic brim (dip into the pelvis a bit) by 38 weeks.
- A second baby or more, may wait above the brim until labor begins (see Open the Brim if baby isn't engaged by active labor).
- And finally, baby's back is to the mother's left (or directly in front) with baby's feet in the right. (Why not on the right or the front on the right side?)