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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering how many of us have head-down babies at this point? I've always been told by about 30 weeks it's best if they're 'in position' and was starting to fret that my little one was breech at that point, but he or she flipped a week or two ago and, although very wiggly since, seems to be staying there! Yay! I'm finally getting kicks under my ribs and it's oddly familiar and reassuring. My girls have been enjoying playing 'footsie' with Baby and watching my tummy jump around.

My first was breech up until 35 weeks or so as I recall and though I was open to the possibility of a midwife attended homebirth (definitely didn't want a c-section just for that but - try to find someone experienced in breech delivery...), I was getting rather anxious about it and tried everything under the sun to get her to flip. (Broke my ironing board doing inversions, haha!)
 

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I can't tell just yet, it feels like he does flips in there.


I believe he is breeched right now.


(Tomorrow makes 30 weeks for us)
 

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I was afraid little girl was breeched, but last week's ultrassound showed her already in a cephalic position. Yay! Phew! She keeps sticking her butt in my ribs and her feet are always on the move. Also I've been feeling a lot more pressure on the cervix. So, very relieved over here :)
 

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30w4d and pretty sure baby is head down as the pressure in my pelvic region is quite uncomfortable. Also, I'm pretty confident that I am feeling the head.
 

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A week ago I had a quick bedside ultrasound to see the position of my little man and he was completely breech and still really high with his head basically in my ribs. So I've been doing the exercises and such, but the midwife said she wasn't worried and feels like he will flip because I'm only 31w, so we've got a bit of time for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well my baby flipped breech again as of last night... I know there's still plenty of time but I'd sure like to not have to worry about it! Just trying to keep him/her from settling in too deep at this point.
 

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I am feeling a lot of kicking up high in my ribs and sides today and pressure/rubbing sensation pretty low. Could this mean he is turning/turned?

Is there a way that we can tell without an ultrasound to see?
 

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Well my baby flipped breech again as of last night... I know there's still plenty of time but I'd sure like to not have to worry about it! Just trying to keep him/her from settling in too deep at this point.
I've heard about flipping, but can't imagine how it feels. I mean the babies are not that small anymore. Flipping requires some space right? Just curious, does it get painful or just unconfy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
StepGirlfriend, you or an experienced practitioner may well be able to tell what position the baby is in just by feeling with your hands. But it does take some practice!

In my experience, it's actually much easier to tell on myself than someone else because you have the benefit of feeling how the baby kicks and moves from within. If you have an ultrasound or an experienced midwife tell you exactly where the baby is, that's a good time to really feel it yourself and know what you are palpating.

In general, it's pretty easy to feel the baby's back as it's a large, firm, smooth surface either to one side or down the middle of your belly. (Unless baby is posterior...) The question that can be surprisingly tricky is whether the hard, ball-shapes you feel at each end of it are the bottom or head! Especially at our stage when baby is still fattening up, that little bottom can feel very hard and round. Sometimes you can feel the legs as cylinders coming away from the bottom, sometimes legs are hard to feel. Kicks are a good clue as to which direction feet are coming from but hands and elbows can poke too!

As for the head, what distinguishes it by feel is that you can 'bobble' it back and forth gently, and the rest of the body doesn't really move. If you push the bottom from side to side, the back/chest and the bundle of legs and feet goes with it. Sometimes if you palpate all along the edges from the top of the head you can make out the indentation or dip of the neck, or feel a shoulder.

How easy this is for anyone depends on a couple other things too, like muscle tone, abdominal fat, and amniotic fluid levels... Ultrasound is so prevalent it's a skill that doesn't get taught or used much anymore, but I always enjoy trying to figure it out!

Alada, as for what a completely flipping baby feels like... You actually might not notice! I hear it's often at night when you relax your muscles... The other night my baby was kicking and squirming a lot, and the next night in a totally different place and when I felt the 'top lump' sure enough, it bobbled... The time I flipped my baby around 34 weeks it was basically firm pressure as the baby turned, not painful at all. (That said I've heard having an external cephalic version done can be painful - but when I did it myself I could really feel what was happening and when the baby was free to move or needed some time to reposition before moving on...) My mother has told me about my brother turning himself head down from frank breech at 38 weeks - he was nearly ten pounds, and she describes it as a tidal wave, she just watched in awe! But no mention of pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am feeling a lot of kicking up high in my ribs and sides today and pressure/rubbing sensation pretty low. Could this mean he is turning/turned?

After going on at such length I realized I didn't really get to the main point of your question: Yes, that is exactly what a head down baby feels like! Kicking under the ribs and pressure down low...
 

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Had my 32 week appointment yesterday and found out the little one has flipped into the head down position and, for once!, he was asleep during the appointment so it was easy to get his heartbeat and feel where he was! Usually it's a 15 - 20 minute process because he hates to be poked and pushed.
 

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I went for a 3D ultrasound at 31 weeks and he was in fact head down, it was so beautiful to be able to see his little face and his features. We even got a smile out of him (pretty sure it was just gas) but hey, I'd like to think my jokes are funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My baby seems to be in an entirely new positions nearly every day! Perhaps my stretched out tummy muscles are just letting it flop around more, #1 was solidly breech until 34-35 weeks and then stayed in position once head-down, #2 was head-down by sometime around 27-28 weeks and never really budged other than a bit of stretching and kicking... This time it's up and down and side to side flip flops every time I lie down practically! Hoping as baby gets bigger he/she will stay put in the right place.
 

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At my prenatal appointment yesterday my doctor showed my husband how to feel the baby's head, and he is head down already. I'm 32 weeks and 3 days so I know he might move again, but I'm glad at least he knows how to get pointed the right way :)
 

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Because of my work, I need to visit an OB for prenatals, but I plan on birthing with midwives. I had my prenatal yesterday with the OB and took the ultrasound. He said it looks like the baby has the cord around the neck. The technician said nothing like that, she said the cord was in front of the baby, not around her neck. I know that even if the cord is around the neck, it is not necesarily a problem, but geesh, the OB was reminding my for the 20th time that he recomends a c-sec. I have no intentions of going there as my first option, if it is necessary I will have no problem, but that is certainly not my first choice. I guess is just time to start feeling the pressure for the c-sec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alada, I hope no one tries to coerce you into a c-section for a cord that - might- be around the baby's neck... It can move, and is commonly dealt with during birth. I think you know that though. :) Just makes me crazy when I hear people say 'Oh, the cord was around the baby's neck, the doctor saved his life!' when it's really pretty common and almost never a problem.

But I was wanting to post that my baby has dropped!! What's funny is I don't remember ever noticing this in my past pregnancies and I've always heard it often doesn't happen until labor in multips. And I'm so much more comfortable in certain ways - I was really getting short of breath and the constant heartburn without relief was driving me up a wall, and both are much better. (I have some other complaints but trying to be thankful here!)

Also kind of funny - and how I realized for sure this had happened - was the last couple times I have gone to the bathroom (sorry if TMI for any of you...) and had a strong urge to defecate I've felt such a flash of 'Oh, yes, this is exactly what the urge to push a baby down and out feels like' that I've almost started to wonder if the baby was coming (I have been having a lot of BH contractions, like every time I stand up or pick something up...). To the point where I decided to check and see if I was dilating at all - no, but oh, hello hard head right there behind my cervix!

I'm getting into a much better mental spot for labor - feeling pretty confident, knowing I can handle it for a few hours even if it hurts a lot, and reminding myself that I'll need to keep it together to some extent for the sake of my young daughters' impressions...
 

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Alada, I hope no one tries to coerce you into a c-section for a cord that - might- be around the baby's neck... It can move, and is commonly dealt with during birth. I think you know that though. :) Just makes me crazy when I hear people say 'Oh, the cord was around the baby's neck, the doctor saved his life!' when it's really pretty common and almost never a problem.
This happened during my mother's delivery for me, my heart rate was dropping severely and I almost didn't make it weighing in at barely 5lbs. Without that section I wouldn't be here, then again I feel that I had a different experience than what you're describing.

Now fully healthy with a baby of my own on the way, it kind of makes me nervous and I hope it doesn't happen to me with my son (who is already larger than 6 lbs)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sigh.... Yes, it's sobering but true and we must never forget that, well, birth can be life-threatening. I'm really glad you and your Mom came through that all right Lindsey! And I totally understand the fear that comes to you now knowing the possibility, though tiny, is very much real.

That said.... Routine c-sections can also, rarely, have life-threatening complications. I guess the bottom line is being able to trust your care provider to know and be able to help you understand the balance of risks in a given situation. My wish is for every woman in the world to have a skilled, trusted birth attendant available to her - my frustration is that even with the extraordinarily advanced level of medical care available to us in North America, many women simply don't have access to affordable, evidence-based, respectful maternity care...
 

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Sigh.... Yes, it's sobering but true and we must never forget that, well, birth can be life-threatening. I'm really glad you and your Mom came through that all right Lindsey! And I totally understand the fear that comes to you now knowing the possibility, though tiny, is very much real.

That said.... Routine c-sections can also, rarely, have life-threatening complications. I guess the bottom line is being able to trust your care provider to know and be able to help you understand the balance of risks in a given situation. My wish is for every woman in the world to have a skilled, trusted birth attendant available to her - my frustration is that even with the extraordinarily advanced level of medical care available to us in North America, many women simply don't have access to affordable, evidence-based, respectful maternity care...
I couldn't agree more, my Obstetrician couldn't seem less interested if he tried. With 4 weeks left of our journey here (if baby decides to wait that long) we still have no had a 3rd trimester ultrasound. I didn't do my first trimester bloodwork until my second trimester. I myself have a background in healthcare (thankfully) it has come in handy along with you wonderful ladies to help me through whatever fear and uncertainties I may have.

We are 36 weeks along and only seeing the doctor once every 2 weeks, I feel that it should be once a week by now especially since he has me as a "high risk" pregnancy. I know a few people who are his patients and they loved him and praised him; personally I am not impressed and would expect him to be one to scare me into a section rather than letting the baby work things out.
 
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