Cephalic position: what it looks like and why it is the best for giving birth

Cephalic position: what it looks like and why it is the best for giving birth
Fonte: shutterstock

Cephalic position

When the pregnancy approaches the term and the presumed date of delivery is approaching, the ultrasound scans become more and more important and above all they serve to understand in which position the baby is. A cephalic position it means that the baby is upside down and is the perfect position to be born because it is facing correctly towards the birth canal, into which it will have to be channeled to come into the world.

In this article

When the baby gets into the head position

During pregnancy, the baby it will move in the uterus and therefore it is normal for her to be in a variety of positions throughout her pregnancy.

In the initial stage, the baby is small enough to move freely, but as the pregnancy progresses the movements become more limited and above all the fetus will begin to settle into a position suitable for delivery. Generally, therefore, by the 32nd and 36th week of pregnancy the baby will flip over to turn upside down, then move to push down and prepare to go through the birth canal to come into the light.

Read also: images of the fetus in the breech position

How to tell if the baby is in the head position

To understand what position the fetus is in the belly, the doctor will touch the abdomen during monthly visits and ultrasounds they will confirm the position.

Cephalic position with posterior occiput

In this position the fetus is in cephalic presentation, but the face is facing upwards. then towards the maternal abdomen. It's about a abnormal cephalic position which can make labor longer and more complicated and there is a risk of the head getting stuck.

Cephalic position with anterior occiput

Your baby is upside down and facing your back: the child has his nose turned towards the maternal rectum, while the nape and back are turned towards the pubis and the maternal abdomen. In most cases, the baby takes a left anterior position and this is the best position to come into the world.

Breech position

Ideally for labor, the baby should be placed upside down, with the chin tucked towards the chest and the back of the head ready to enter the birth canal. Most babies place themselves in this position between the 32nd and 36th week of pregnancy.

In the breech position the baby has the head towards the top and the feet pointing downwards.

Is my baby at risk if he is in the breech position?

A breech birth is when the baby is positioned with their feet down in the birth canal. While in the womb, the baby is not in danger. However, in this position, the first part of the baby to come out would be the foot. A vaginal delivery is often a very safe form of delivery, however, when the baby is breech, a vaginal delivery can be complicated and the gynecologist and midwife will try to turn it around or schedule a cesarean delivery.

Maneuvers to turn the child into a cephalic position

In some circumstances, an attempt may be made to turn the child from an abnormal to a cephalic position. The so-called external cephalic version of this maneuver, which is scientifically proven to make the fetus turn, should only be done by specialized personnel in the hospital and only if the pregnancy is proceeding in a physiological way, without fetal problems.

After the administration of some drugs that favor the distension of the uterus and under ultrasound control, the operator makes a maneuver on the mother's abdomen aimed at making the baby turn.

Read also: Breech baby: sweet strategies for trying to make the baby turn around


  • Dynamics of changes in fetal presentation and position in late pregnancy

  • fetus position
  • malposition of the fetus
  • give birth
  • weeks 29 40
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