Check the baby
Is the baby head down or bottom down?
By the last month before birth, most babies are lying
with their head toward the cervix. This is called a
head-down position. The head-down position is
easiest for childbirth.
If a baby is head up, with her bottom toward the
birth opening, this is called a breech position.
By the 7th or 8th month, the baby’s head has usually moved down in the
mother’s pelvis. Here is how to feel for the baby’s head:
1. Find the mother’s
pubic bone with
your fingers. You can
feel it just under the
skin under the
mother’s pubic hair.
Ask the mother to
take a deep breath
in and then let it
I can feel the top
of your pubic bone
As she breathes out, press deeply just above her
pubic bone. Be gentle and stop if you hurt her.
If you feel a round, hard object that you can
move a little from side to side, it is probably
the back or side of the baby’s head.
If you do not feel anything in the mother’s
lower belly, the baby may be lying sideways.
If the shape is not clearly round, it may be the baby’s face
or the baby’s bottom.
bottom is up,
but the head is
The head may be bent to the side, or the chin may be up. (These could be
signs that the baby will not fit through the mother’s pelvis at birth.)
A Book for Midwives (2010)