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Observing Fetal Position (without one's hands)

In this picture, you can see the RN doing an ultrasound scan. The gel on mom's belly helps the soundwaves connect to the sounds inside the uterus. While it is possible to see the pictures or hear the baby's heartbeat without gel, we get a much less clear image and a pretty spotty sound. The gel helps conduct the information from doppler/transducer to sound/image.

What we are looking at, however, is the shape of this woman's 38 week belly. See the elevated part on the our left/her right? Right above where the blob-line of gel is? That is the baby's bottom under there.

The transducer in the nurse's hand is almost directly on top of the baby's head. Follow the baby's body around our left, curving around, "seeing" the back, somewhat turned sideways, directly under and then rolling over the line of gel. The highest point is the baby's butt, pooching out is part of the back of the bottom and part of the hip. All baby's wiggle around, sticking out their body parts, but it was great to catch the baby stretching somewhat, showing us her booty.

So, "look" where the raised area drops down quickly. That would be where the legs begin to be tucked under the body. If you need to use a doll to demonstrate the position, it can really help with visualizing the baby inside the uterus. Remember, the baby is in a ball, usually with legs crossed and arms closed or near the face... the closer to birth, the tighter in there.

If I was being shown this photo, I might say this is merely an optical illusion, but I checked by looking head-on and yes, the butt is poking out.

The position of this baby is Right Occiput Transverse.

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Reader Comments (5)

I have to get hands on and do some Leopold's to tell position. Not always very clear cut like this picture, to just visualize the position. But yes, some pregnant bellies are VERY easy to just glance at and see the position!

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteratyourcervix

That's pretty cool to look at- I am 37w5d and my little one likes to ride my side alot, like this baby. I can tell where s/he is by looking down, and I can see one side (usually my right) is bigger than the other. Most other people can't tell what I am talkign about, unless they look straight down at my belly. When I was pregnant with my daughter, she was posterior almost my entire pregnancy, and I could tell because my belly looked dished, and I could "see" her feet moving around and poking out! She, fortunately, spun around when my water broke and started labor (very strange sensation!). I always thought that she stayed posterior because I had 2 surgeries through my belly button, and have a ton of scar tissue there. My belly button stays a deep innie during pregnancy, making me look like a tufted pillow! Could that be why this baby likes to hang out on my side, and do you think that s/he will spin OA during labor too? No amount of "spinning" will get this kid to stay OA! Always migrates back to my right side.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen B

A tufted pillow. That is an adorable way to describe your belly! The way you describe things, I wouldn't be surprised if this baby did the same thing, especially if you've tried to spin the kidlet and s/he stays where s/he wants to. Each baby has their reasons and all.

I won't forget that vision for a long time!

January 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

My kiddo used to hang out on my right side and swing his butt back and forth when he rolled. Sometimes he'd briefly park OA, and if I leaned back so my belly dropped away, his square little backside stuck straight out. He was also vertex every single time anyone checked (I had some extra ultrasounds d/t low-lying placenta that didn't clear until 36 weeks), but at one late appointment one of my CNMs asked to do a quickie ultrasound because she wasn't sure which end she was feeling. I had to laugh to myself, because when he rolled, it wasn't hard to tell at all.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

My little guy almost always hung out LOA but sometimes rotated to the right for a few hours, then straight back to the other side. It's it funny how they pick a position and like to hang out that way?

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

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