How Can You Tell If Your Baby Is Head Down And Common Cases Of Fetus

Pregnant women often worry about their baby’s position in their womb as this may be an indication how they will be delivered. The only way to tell for sure, however, is to have an ultrasound scan. 


Some clues, on the other hand, may give pregnant women an idea of how their babies are positioned for the meantime. As the pregnancy progresses, it will become easier to determine how your baby is positioned. Here are some of the typical signs that indicate fetal position.

Head Down Position

Head down position is also known as cephalic presentation. This is often used to describe babies are positioned with their head first. This delivery position is considered the most common one and the safest in childbirth.

As a pregnancy progresses, a health care provider can check the position of the baby to make sure that the baby is already in cephalic presentation. However, pregnant women should note that it is the natural tendency for the fetus to fall into a cephalic fetal presentation.

The shape of the uterus is designed in a way that cephalic presentation is promoted as the fetus grows larger and space becomes limited. However, there is also a tendency for the baby to lie in other presentations other than cephalic or head-down. Some fetal presentations can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.

Identification Signs

  • If you have a lump on the left or right upper part of your tummy, you can try pressing on this part gently. If you feel that your baby moves, this is suggestive that he is already in a head-down position.
  • On the other hand, another indicative sign that your baby is already in a head-down position or cephalic position is when you feel his hiccups just below your belly button.

Your baby’s other movements will also feel different depending on which side he is facing.

  • Your baby is in an anterior position or head down with his back on the front part of the tummy when you feel your baby’s movements just below your ribs. In this position, your belly button may also pop out.
  • If your baby is in a posterior position or head down with his back against your back, your baby’s kicks are felt right in front of your tummy. In most cases, the tummies of pregnant women with babies in posterior position often look flattened out.

Bottom Down Position

Popular Cases

The bottom down position is also referred to as breech presentation. About three to four percent of babies assume a breech presentation. This fetal presentation is categorized into three positions: frank breech, complete breech and footling breech.

  • Frank Breech presentation is considered as the most familiar breech position. This means that the baby’s bottom is down and his legs are pointing upward with his feet near his head.
  • On the other hand, the complete breech presentation is noted when the baby’s head is up, and her buttocks are down. In this position, the baby is sitting cross-legged in the womb.
  • Lastly, footling breech position is characterized by the baby’s head up with one or both of his feet hanging down.

Breech presentation is considered an abnormal position. This can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Also, this may require a caesarean section delivery.

Identification Signs

If your baby is in a bottom-down position, the clues to this position will depend on the position of the legs and whether the baby is in an anterior or posterior position.

  • For instance the baby is in frank breech position, the baby’s kicks are going to be felt around the ribs.
  • However, if the baby is in a complete breech position, the kicks will be felt lower or just below the belly button.
  • In most cases, a hard and rounded lump are going to felt just under the ribs. This lump is the head of the baby and may be very uncomfortable.

If the baby is facing backward or in an anterior position, fewer movements are felt. This is important to note as not all pregnancies are the same. It could be that the normal fetal movements for one expectant mother are not the same with another pregnant woman. Instead of comparing with other mothers, it is important to note what is normal for your baby.


Since a baby’s position inside the womb can often change, especially during the second trimester, the position is often determined at 36th to 37th week of the pregnancy. The position may be determined by a midwife or a doctor. For confirmatory testing, however, an ultrasound scan may be prescribed.

On an expectant mother’s side, however, knowing the clues that determine the baby’s position can help reassure and prepare for the possibility of a normal delivery or a caesarean section delivery. Knowing how to tell if the baby is head-down will provide pregnant mothers peace of mind as they await the delivery of their bundles of joy.

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Kathy W. Garrett

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