Sometimes the gorgeous design for fetal positioning is tampered with by cultural habits (slouching on the couch), poor nutrition (low iodine), or even the mistaken habits of the health practitioner or other helper (over use of epidural, esp. before 5 cm dilation).
A good, ideal, or optimal fetal position is flexed (curled), and facing the mother's right hip or mother's back. These positions are called anterior or left occiput transverse.
Malpositions are posterior, direct posterior, right occiput posterior, right occiput posterior, oblique lie, transverse lie and, in modern culture, breech. There are various reasons babies may end up in a less than ideal position. Some babies will face more than one factor reducing their chance at a good fetal position.
Cultural habits include:
- Slouching on the couch
- Crossing our legs
- Driving, which causes an imbalance between the right and left leg and hips
- Too little walking and exercise or over exercise (super strong "core")
- Sports injuries
- Injuries to the pelvis, neck, jaw, or sacrum
Poor nutrition in these areas might increase
- Low thyroid function\
- Low Vitamin D (hormonal health)
- Calcium Magnesium imbalance (muscle tone)
- Lifeless foods (function!)
Labor management habits that encourage malposition
- Restricting mothers to bed by monitoring, medications, or epidural
- Epidurals which may soften the pelvic floor (and occasionally this is good but not for a first time mother before 5 cm)
- Ignoring signs (because they aren't recognized!) of posterior presentation or waiting to see if baby rotates without moving the mother
The main thing to know is that its not the mother or the baby's fault. We all have to live in our culture, in a body in gravity and things happen. But we can do simple things and get wonderful results - most of the time!!