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How Can You Tell Baby's Position?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have been wondering...how can you tell what position the baby is in?

I keep feeling this bump, My OB said she is head down, so I assume that this bump (just above my belly button) is her butt. If my OB had not said she was head down, I would have guessed it was her head.
I have a good bit of abdominal fat, and it is therefore difficult to really tell what anything is.
I just want to know how I can tell, because the truth is I have no confidence in my OB.

I also wanted to know what all your experiences with fetal movement in late pregnancy were. My OB, and all the books I have read say that fetal movement should decrease at the end. (because they run out of room) My baby is WAAAY more wiggly than ever before.
I have to admit I am worried it means that she is not ready to come out yet, and has several more weeks. Everyone keeps saying how I am soo small, and they can't believe I really have less than 2 weeks to go. I am at 38w 4d, and I am anxious to meet my baby. I know my dates are correct, because I know the exact day that I concieved. (we were TTC for 3 1/2 years)
I do realise that some babies "cook" a little longer (or shorter) than 40 weeks.

Does anyone have any info on this?


post #2 of 20
I've figured out how baby is arranged in there by process of elimination. At 36+ weeks, to me its fairly obvious through palpitation where the back is. I have two hard round bumps- one head, one behind- and two sources of small hard movements- one high and one low. If you have a baby with hiccups- its easy to figure out where the head is. If you've got a baby that moves its hands and feet a lot, its easy to tell the feet from teh hands, IMO- the feet are much stronger.

I guess what's helped is for me to not be afraid to use some gentle force to try to find the fetus.

For me (this is my first), fetal movement has changed a bit in recent weeks. I think the frequency of movement hasn't really decreased, but instead of bouncing off the walls of my uterus like a ping pong ball, I feel like the fetus is struggling to move its legs or to rotate from side to side. The movements aren't as rapid or sudden- more like a rolling wave across my belly, if that makes sense.
post #3 of 20
You have to visualize opposites: hands and feet, back and front, head and bum.
Lay down and draw your belly as a pie with four slices. Start feeling around and jot down on the pie where you're feeling big bumps, long hard backs, little movement and big movement. Also jot down where you're feeling hiccups and can hear the heartbeat (if you use a fetoscope).

Doing this, you should be able to get a position.

Although I've been doing this ages and can't make heads or tails of it because everything says that feet should be moving in one quadrant, and hands in another. I often feel movement that's foot/hand style (not huge rolls, but poking and drawing motions) in up to 3-4 different places at once, in all four quadrants. : My baby is an octopus.
post #4 of 20
Well I would say first, don't be afraid to really put some pressure into it. It might take more pressure to figure it out if there's more fat in the way. As long as it's comfortable for you it is fine for baby.

Then I'd say that if you manipulate that bump and the whole body moves it is more likely the butt, if the bump moves but not the whole body it's more likely the head. You should also be able to identify the back and maybe figure it out by figuring out which kicks are feet.

To tell you the truth I never even thought about position during my UP/UC. As for movement, my first baby was a tasmanian devil in there up until the day he was born. My second son was so quiet and steady that he worried the midwives. I honestly don't remember with my daughter. Probably because of a combination of not thinking about all that stuff since I was doing a UP and the fact that i was so unbelievably physically miserable (pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome which was way way worse than any labor) that I was just coping at that point.

My first 2 babes came at 37 weeks, my third at 38 weeks. My sisters first 2 babes came at 42 weeks and the third at 38 weeks.

I wouldn't worry about being small. Some women just don't stick out that much and having extra padding make s a big difference. Many people didn't even know my mom was pregnant with me until I was born. And even though many UC birthers have babies bigger than the hospital norm - some like me have small babies that are perfectly healthy. My first 2 were in the low 6 lb range and the last was 7 12. My sisters babies were all 8-9 lbs.

post #5 of 20
For me, I can tell when the back is facing out: I will have a very hard, rounded surface top to bottom. I can usually tell the head and butt by feeling. Head is harder and butt is squishy!

But the best time I could tell the babies position was when my daughter was transverse! I could litterally see her head sticking out one side of my body and her butt sticking out the other. I think she would lay cradled in my pelvis and then give a BIG stretch, pushing out both sides. It looked so funny!

I never really could tell the difference in the hands, feet, elbows, or knees. There was just too much movement for that.

As for decreased movement. I never found that to happen until right about 40 weeks. And even then, it was not absent, just "muffled".
post #6 of 20
When I was PG with DD, her butt was up in a position I could pretty much rest my hands on it for the last month. After awhile, it felt like a butt, too.

Oh, and I always thought I'd be huge and look pregnant everywhere including from behind. I never really did get that big to my own surprise. DD was 2 weeks early, but she weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and we'd been trying for 2+ years for her so I knew the exact time she was conceived as well.

As for movement, it did change in the way it felt, but she was a wiggly thing the entire time. I used to joke that she thought my cervix was a trampoline in the first few months before she turned over. And I can totally relate to the "rolling waves" described by a PP. I used to like to watch it (and hopefully will be able to do it again soon since we're TTC).

moose - If you really feel uncomfortable with your OB, maybe you should get a second opinion? Or even find a different doctor or a midwife depending upon how dissatisfied you feel with your OB? Just a thought.

Good luck with your upcoming birth!
post #7 of 20
I've used Spinning Babies a bit. Really explains it well.
post #8 of 20
For me, there was *no* mistaking my breechling, even though I was young, and very ignorant to all things baby/pregnancy related. I was actually the one who told the dr.

His head was a round, hard very solid form right between my ribcage~ and when he moved it, you could grab it from one side to another and see how large it was. Granted, typical baby sized head circumfrence, but way bigger than a butt or a leg.

So when I poke around, I use that as my judgement.
post #9 of 20
I had no clue with ds. But this child, I've learned a little more and it is very easy. Big "kicks" are legs and feet. Little flutters are hands. If I feel my belly, the head and the bottom still seem quite similar in firmness to me, but I am sure as the baby packs on pounds in the last few weeks, the difference will become more apparent.
post #10 of 20
Originally Posted by littleteapot
I often feel movement that's foot/hand style (not huge rolls, but poking and drawing motions) in up to 3-4 different places at once, in all four quadrants. : My baby is an octopus.
I'm glad I'm not the only one! I thought that finding the position would be easy at 35 weeks. I will feel hands and feet in 3-4 quadrants. I often feel feet up to the right, and hands down to the left. What kind of position is that?? There are too many places being kicked and poked and not being able to make sense of it kind of gets to me! I can tell when the baby is posterior and when it is facing towards the side, I just can't make sense of the extra hands and feet that I seem to feel. I not measuring big or anything, and I've been told that I have a lot of room in my uterus, so maybe that's why.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies.

I am staring to think that the lump must be her butt, because if it is her head....she is tiny.
I can't tell from the hicups because, her whole body moves when she has them!!
I can't tell from kicks and wiggles, because they all feel the same to me.

I have kind of given up on trying to feel her position. I figure she knows what she needs to do, and how she needs to be born a little better than I do. (sigh) I knwo it's out of my hands, but I was curious.

I am glad to know that my size is not necesarily indictative of when she will be born. I saw a woman yesterday, and she was at 41 weeks, adn she was even smaller than me!!
That made me feel a little better.

I am so excited to get this little child out, and meet her!!!
It's been almost 4 years of waiting for my first child, and I can hardly wait!!

post #12 of 20
My OB kept saying DD was head down and I *knew* that the hard bowling ball in my ribs every morning was a head. She told me I didn't know what I was feeling. Guess what? My baby was breech. OB told me that the baby must have flipped...yeah right.
post #13 of 20
The hiccups were low down (I had a m/w, but figured out the position before my m/w told me ). And because of the area that was getting kicked/punched I also figured out that she was posterior a whole day before my appointment by visualising how I would have to lay if I were going to kick/punch in those areas...

love and peace.
post #14 of 20
My dd was born 2 weeks after her due date, (the one I worked out based on conception), and people were still asking me right up to the birth if I was 5 or 6 months pg!
So dont worry about being small, going to 42 weeks is still within the healthy range of normal. and especially if you are still small, your baby might have plenty of room to move and do so plenty. we used to joke that my dd (brazillian born) would one day play in the World Cup since she practiced her soccer moves whenever I went to sleep
post #15 of 20
i'm 28 weeks today, and my little one is still moving and shifting all around!
post #16 of 20
My baby is head down ... my midwife told me the other day... I have no idea why it didn't dawn on me that he was head down based on the fact those are definitely FEET up above! lol

Jonas is posterior though and I didn't need anyone to tell me that. I have feet and hands everywhere in the front for the last few weeks. It's getting annoying actually and I am really wanting him to flip lol
post #17 of 20
My other two were posterior and never really moved... this one is moving everywhere while he/she still can... so I am having fun trying to figure out the position... However, for the last week I have been feeling hicups on my cervix and little kicks righ under my right rib and little hand flutters near the bottom left... I had never felt movement on the left side with the boys...

I am not sure what position exactly the babe is in but I am starting to visualize it more...
post #18 of 20
What age do they normally turn head down? I know they're usually that way around 37 weeks, but when do MOST babies turn (or at least stay in one position)?
post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by frontierpsych
What age do they normally turn head down? I know they're usually that way around 37 weeks, but when do MOST babies turn (or at least stay in one position)?
On the Spinning babies site it is said that in First pregnancies babeis most likely in place at 31 weeks... for other pregnancies it is between 34-37 weeks...
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

I Finally Figured it Out!!!

Last night I totally felt her head down just poking above my pubic bone. It was soooo totally a head!!! Now that I know what it feels like, I don't even know how I could have thought that her butt was her head!!! LOL!!!
She is totally LOA (YAY!!) and doesn't move so much now.

I'm still worried that I might be right about her needing to "cook" a little longer, I'm 2 days past my due date and 14 days past when anyone in my husband's or my family ever gave birth.
*sigh* gosh I hope she comes out soon!!!

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