How to tell if baby is head down? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-09-2007, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 34 weeks pregnant and a few weeks ago the midwife said babe was head down, last week she said head up (but she never seems really confident). My chiropractor does muscle testing and keeps telling me the baby is head down. I feel like the babe is head down, but have no real reason for feeling this way.

What are some good ways to tell what body parts are kicking me or pushing on me? My kicks seems to be in the upper middle section of my belly with little flurries in the lower areas.

I just feel frustrated b/c I can feel all these hard body parts but can't identify them and it's very hard for me to picture how the baby is positioned inside of me (was for my first pregnancy too...wish I had more of an "inner eye" for these things!).

Thanks.

~Mama to Skye (5) and Oden (3)
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#2 of 11 Old 09-10-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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Having baby hiccups down low is a good sign of a head-down baby.

I also find that if you press on your upper abdomen on the back of a head-down baby he/she will often kick and push back in response in a way that a breech baby won't.

Most of the moms I work with who have breech babies know it. They feel the head up high and recognize the feeling of that little round ball.

It can be hard for the midwife to tell sometimes, especially (for me) with a posterior baby or a baby who is direct anterior.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#3 of 11 Old 09-10-2007, 06:21 AM
 
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All the tips MWs use for determining head/butt end have never worked for me. I just push the end from side to side and then repeat on the other end. The end that moves the body back and forth with it is the butt while the end that wobbles independently is the head.

~BV
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#4 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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oops duplicate
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#5 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 02:45 AM
 
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a front placenta or a posterior baby can be hard to tell and sometimes muscle tone or amount of water can change how well you can feel -- hiccups are a good way-- if a fetal scope is used you can often tell by where you locate heart tones- for head down they are below your belly button-- for breech they are level with the belly button or higher--
BV also has it in that a head bobs and a bottom moves the whole body-- sometimes a baby is so low that you can only feel one part well and get movement- the upper part- so move that and see if everything shifts--- also to get an idea of where/how a baby fits in there take a doll and hold it over your belly-- try head down and see- back out front- to one side or another or back toward your back- face outward-- a baby's side or back is long smooth and solid feeling-- kicky parts are legs/feet and sometimes arms-
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#6 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 09:05 AM
 
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I've only seen one breech baby...and she was small enough, with mom's pelvis roomy enough, that when she settled her butt well down in pelvis, that put her heart midway between mom's navel and pubis--pretty darn low. As her head was situated behind the front/fundal placenta, we also could not clearly feel the head. Our only clue to a 'positional issue' was that FHT had moved from lower left to just a tad right of center (and was no higher than when on left). I was thinking maybe OP--but it was never clear...til labor!

So you really can't rely on location of FHT, in other words....
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#7 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
I've only seen one breech baby...and she was small enough, with mom's pelvis roomy enough, that when she settled her butt well down in pelvis, that put her heart midway between mom's navel and pubis--pretty darn low. As her head was situated behind the front/fundal placenta, we also could not clearly feel the head. Our only clue to a 'positional issue' was that FHT had moved from lower left to just a tad right of center (and was no higher than when on left). I was thinking maybe OP--but it was never clear...til labor!

So you really can't rely on location of FHT, in other words....
I've also seen posterior babies who were high enough in the pelvis or angled in such a way that the heart beat was far above the belly button. Sometimes those babies will ball their knees up in a way to make them seem like a head, too.

When a mom is far enough along in the pregnancy, I will sometimes do a vaginal exam and apply a little fundal pressure to push the baby down. If I can feel skull sutures (or hair!) then a I know for sure. I would only do this if the mom was worried or if it was going to change our plans.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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Spinningbabies.com has a great tool called Belly Mapping, which may help you be in tune with the position of your baby. Good luck.

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#9 of 11 Old 09-11-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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I noticed you've already had one baby. Assuming the first one was head down, I think you would know if this one is breech or not. It feels much different with a breech baby. (I've had 2 breech babies.) I second the advice about spinningbabies.com Also, I belive where you feel the hiccups is a good indication also. I can't tell what position other mother's babies are in....so I can't help you much more than the head is a big round ball that moves independently. But from what you described with kicks...I would assume your baby to be head down.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-13-2007, 01:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryonyvaughn View Post
All the tips MWs use for determining head/butt end have never worked for me. I just push the end from side to side and then repeat on the other end. The end that moves the body back and forth with it is the butt while the end that wobbles independently is the head.

~BV
that's what my mw did to reassure me that my baby was head down.

Valeria
dd 05.17.2005
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#11 of 11 Old 09-14-2007, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! Your posts are fascinating me! I wish I had the time and personality to be a MW! Last night's MW appt. showed baby as head down and I definitely thought that was the case before we got there. I actually CAN tell where the back is b/c it is so large and hard (if that were the head I wouldn't ever think it could come out of me! )...then I was moving my hand up and around the top and I just could tell it was a butt with an indentation to a bent leg. It was really very cool, but other than that I still have no clue.

I am going to check out the spinningbabies.com and see what that has to say.

So, thanks for your pointers and I'm glad we had an appt. last night so I can stop thinking about it!

Aubrie

~Mama to Skye (5) and Oden (3)
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