A baby is oblique when the baby’s head is in the mother’s hip. The baby’s body and head are diagonal, not vertical and not horizontal (transverse lie).
Here is our friend Rose, her baby is barely oblique. The baby’s head would be more obviously in her hip. Thanks to Rose for the fun picture, and to Blooma.com where we painted it, and to Trish Gardiner, our friend and photographer! Oblique is considered a malposition. I’ve heard from a number of women with oblique babies that these are helpful:
All women (who are not at risk for stroke) may begin doing a daily Forward-leaning Inversion for 30 seconds from about 15-20 weeks gestation. However, if an oblique issue lasts beyond 30 weeks gestation, be more diligent. After 35 weeks gestation, the Forward-Leaning Inversion may be done 5 times within 36 hours, but only for 30 seconds each time.
These activities give room in the lower portion of the uterus for baby to drop into a head-down – and vertical! – position.
If that isn’t enough, it’s worth seeing a chiropractor or another provider who is trained in a way of soft tissue body balancing, such as Webster or Dynamic Body BalancingTM.
Other things that may help, and better to do these following the above body balancing techniques:
- Wearing a pregnancy belt may help give tone to the lower uterine segment and help baby to center over the pelvic opening.
- To help move baby over, stick a rolled washcloth on your right side under the belt.
- Sleep on the side that the baby’s head is on after you’ve done the exercises for one week.
How many do you do?
Forward-leaning Inversion: Do this every day for 30 seconds each time. After 36 weeks, do 2-3 a day for only 30 seconds each time.
Sidelying Release: Once a day while baby is oblique, and in early labor to help straighten baby vertically over your pelvis. It can be repeated in labor if necessary.
Dip the Hip with loose hip joints for 15 minutes a few times a day. See directions.
In labor with an oblique lie?
If you find yourself with a baby in an oblique lie while you are in labor, you may have a chance to slip your baby head down. If you do, you can avoid a cesarean.
Do the Sidelying Release first, through 1-3 contractions on each side. You must do the release on the left and on the right! See the article for more.
Other useful information
You may find some helpful information on what to do in labor for the asynclitic baby (a tipped head during birth). If the reason for an oblique lie continuing after 30 weeks isn’t completely resolved by labor, there may be a higher chance of asynclitism. I don’t “know” that by data, but it makes sense.
Twins? Oblique is not uncommon for a second twin. If the first is born vaginally, and you find the second twin remains oblique, simply lift that leg as in a lunge, whether standing or on your side through a contraction or two. The baby will slip head down during the contraction. Repeating the Sidelying Release in labor may also help any oblique lie whether 1 or 2 or more babies. Begin SLR before 3 cm as a preventative measure.
A similar article, here on Spinning Babies, to serve your baby’s position is the one about the Transverse Lie, and while the fetal position is not exactly the same, the solutions are often the same.