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, to Blooma.com where we painted and to Trish Gardiner, our friend and photographer!
Oblique is not an optimal fetal position for a singleton baby after 30 weeks gestation. Oblique is considered a malposition.
I’ve heard from a number of women with oblique babies that these are helpful:
- Forward-Leaning Inversion
- Sidelying (Pelvic Floor) Release
- Dip the Hip (I consider this a “rising hopeful”!)
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 myofascial release.
Other things that may help:
- 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 (Pelvic Floor) Release: One time now, one time in late pregnancy, and one time in early labor.
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 Pelvic Floor 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.
Repeating the Sidelying (Pelvic Floor) Release in labor may help. Try it before 3 cm as a preventative measure.
Note, asynclitism at 3 cm is normal. We want to address the cause of asynclitism after 3 cm, but do the preventative measure before the baby is on the pelvic floor!
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.