That's my occiput...Read about head-down fetal positions here. Go to the Breech section to read about head-up babies.

The Belly Mapping how-to article may give you clues to your own baby's position.

Transverse; lying sideways

“Transverse Lie” means a sideways position. The baby has his head to one of his mother’s sides and the bottom across her abdomen at her other side. This is normal before, and at, 26 weeks, but by 29-30 weeks we expect babies to be head down, or at least breech. If not, this article outlines what to do, easy ways to fix it, and what to do if they don't - read the stories, too.

 

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Left Occiput Anterior

LOAThe left occiput anterior position is often the easiest fetal position for the start of labor.

Babies settle in the LOA position naturally when the womb is pretty well balanced. This position helps the baby be in the smallest diameter to fit the pelvis.

Click "Read LOA" to see pictures and understand more.

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Anterior Placenta

What is the effect of an anterior placenta on fetal positioning? 

An anterior placenta means that the placenta is located on the front of the uterus. Most of the baby will be hidden behind it. 

It is a common belief that the anterior placement of the placenta causes the baby to be posterior. The fact that this is sometimes true doesn't mean it is always true. Babies can be anterior with an anterior placenta. Abdominal tone, when loosened, can allow the baby to turn away from the placenta and face the mother's back.

Read more: Anterior Placenta

Right Occiput Anterior

ROA baby with map
The back of my baby is more on my right side than on my left side. 
I don't feel any flutters of fingers low in front, its all quiet between my navel and my pubic bone. Kicks are only in the upper left and a bulge rises in the upper right occasionally. The heart beat is easy to hear in front on the right.
 

The ROA baby is not on the Spinning Babies list of clearly ideal or optimal fetal positions. Read why not...

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Chin tucking to engage

Flexion into the brim of pelvis helps the baby fit through the pelvis. Flexion refers to the tucking of the baby’s chin, often the first step to engagement of the head and the start of labor. 

Flexion, or chin tucking, is more important than starting labor with an anterior head position!

Many posterior babies can be born with natural labor when we help them engage with their chin tucked. Water broke? After the 3 Sisters of Balance, begin gentle forward lunges to help achieve flexion. Learn about both flexion and engagement here.
 

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Dip in the Belly

"There is an indentation in my belly near my navel. Does this mean my baby is posterior?"

An indentation, or dip, near or beneath your belly button can mean a couple of things. One possibility is that the baby is posterior. The posterior baby has his or her back along the mother's back. The knees are bent and the arms are bent, usually. This makes the baby in the shape of a letter "C." The opening of the "C" is towards the mother's abdomen wall and navel. The opening can allow a "dip" in the mother's belly shape, right about the place her navel is.

 

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Occiput Transverse

ROTOcciput Transverse (OT or OL)

The baby is facing the hip. (Occiput Lateral in the UK, AUS and NZ.) 

"Please explain why it is better for a baby to be positioned LOT (Left Occiput Transverse) as opposed to ROT (Right Occiput Transverse) for birth? What can be done to encourage baby to turn from ROT?"

 

Read more: Occiput Transverse