Abnormal Baby Presentations in Labor

Abnormal baby presentations in labor can complicate the delivery process. Breech, transverse lie (shoulder presentation), brow, and face presentations are all examples of an abnormal presentation. Your doctor may or may not attempt to correct the abnormal presentation before your delivery. In some cases, cesarean delivery is considered safer than vaginal delivery and may be recommended.

The Head-Down Position

At some point during the last few weeks of pregnancy, most babies move into a head-down position. Normally, the baby faces the mother's back, and the chin is tucked in toward the baby's chest. This position allows the head to move through the birth canal with the least amount of difficulty.
 

Abnormal Baby Presentations

When the baby is in any position other than a head-down position, it is considered abnormal. Abnormal presentations occur in about 4 out of 100 births. Abnormal presentations are described by naming the part of the baby that is lowest in the womb, just above the birth canal.
 
Breech
When the baby comes down with the buttocks or feet first, it's called a "breech presentation."
 
Transverse Lie or Shoulder Presentation
When the baby is lying sideways, across the mother's womb, rather than up and down, and the shoulder is right above the birth canal, it is called a "shoulder presentation" or a "transverse lie."
 
Brow Presentation
When the baby is in the head-down position and the chin is not completely tucked in on the chest, it's called a "brow presentation."
 
Face Presentation
If the chin extends even further away from the chest, with the face coming down the birth canal first, it is called a "face presentation."
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Labor and Birth

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