image001Most women, especially those who are pregnant for the first time are always worried about the exact time babies position their bodies ready for birthing time. This position is when the head is facing down towards the birth canal since babies come out head first. Most new mothers think that this process takes place at different times for each mother and this causes nervousness as they are unsure of when to expect this positioning to happen. This article will cover when you should expect your baby’s head to face down and what to do if your baby is breech.

When Does Baby Turn Head Down in Pregnancy?

As you continue to progress through your pregnancy, the positioning of your baby becomes a very important factor to consider. When you are 30 weeks pregnant, your baby should be in a cephalic (head down) position. Unfortunately, this is not the case for at least 25% of expectant mothers.

Even so, it is normal for a baby to turn their head at 34 weeks. It should be of concern only if your baby does not turn their head after the 36 week mark. Even at this stage, it is possible for spontaneous turning to take place. In some cases, the baby turns even on the onset of labour.

Why Do Babies Turn Head Down in Pregnancy?

It is important to understand that the positioning of your baby’s head is determined by the size of your baby and the size of your uterus. During early pregnancy, your baby has plenty of room in the uterus and thus it is unlikely that they can be in a head down position. As your pregnancy progresses, the space decreases and thus your child tries to find a comfortable position. The bottom side of the baby occupies the top side of the uterus while the baby’s head takes the lower side towards the birth canal.

If your uterus is stretched by previous pregnancies and your baby is rather small, it would make it hard for them to adopt the birth ready position. Your baby may also not adopt the head down position if you have any abnormalities in your uterus or if you have fibroids protruding into your uterus. In a twin pregnancy, one of the babies or both may not be able to adopt the head down position.

Watch a video for more on this topic: when does baby turn head down in pregnancy for twins

What If My Baby Is Breech?


A breech pregnancy is when the baby’s buttocks and feet of the baby are the first to be seen instead of the head. A position where the buttocks are seen first is called a frank breech while the feet first positioning is called a footling breech. About 5% of all pregnancy is recorded as breech.

1. Risk Factors of Breech Pregnancy

Breech pregnancies are common in premature births or when the fetus is smaller than average size. Also, breech pregnancies can also occur when the uterus contains fibroids, is unusually shaped, if there is placenta previa or when the mother has little or too much amniotic fluid. Also, if the previous pregnancy was a breech one, there are chances that the other pregnancies will be breech.

2. Symptoms of Breech Pregnancy

During your prenatal visits, the practitioner attempts to feel the positioning of the baby by touching your abdomen. The baby’s head is round and firm and can be felt on the top side of your stomach while the bottom which is softer and round is felt on the bottom side if the baby is breech. The position of the heartbeat is also used to determine where the baby is positioned. In a breech position, the heartbeat is heard on the upper half of the abdomen.

3. When to Be Concerned

A breech positioning of your baby should not concern you as much especially if you are in the early stages of your pregnancy. Most breech babies are known to turn to the head down position during the last weeks of the pregnancy. In case your baby still remains in a breech position when your due date approaches, your practitioner will discuss a few ways of making the baby turn to the head down position. While it is possible to deliver a breech baby normally, most practitioners prefer undertaking a C section.

4. How to Treat Breech Pregnancy

  • External Cephalic Version (ECV)

This is an alternate method used to tilt the baby to a head down position. This method is advisable when a mother is 37 weeks pregnant with a breech positioning. To qualify for this procedure, one is required to have adequate amniotic fluid to cushion the child. This procedure is undertaken in a hospital where fetal monitoring, ultrasound and IV medication are readily available. If this procedure is done before the 37 weeks mark, you risk having premature labor.

The risk involved in this procedure is the separation of the placenta. However, this is very rare because ultrasound is used to guide the process. There are also umbilical cord complication risks.

  • Using Gravity and Try Practicing Some Positions

There are several positions you can get into at least twice daily from 32 weeks of pregnancy. The idea behind these positions is to use gravity to move the fetus to a head down position.

Position one: Lie flat on a level surface and lift your pelvis at least 9 inches off the ground. Use a pillow to support your hips and try staying in this position for at least fifteen minutes.

Position two: Place your forearms on the ground and go on your knees in a position that sticks your bottoms upwards. Stay in this position for fifteen minutes.

Even as you do this, remember that there is no scientific evidence that the position of the mother dictates the position of the child. So, you can stop doing these positions if you feel uncomfortable.

  • Hypnosis

One study found that hypnosis can help in turning a baby when done on women between 37 and 40 weeks of pregnancy.

When does baby turn head down in pregnancy and how to make it happen? Watch videos to learn exercise to prevent breech pregnancy: