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What does it mean for your baby to be in the posterior position?

Most babies are born in the occipito-anterior (OA) position. This anterior position means that they’re born headfirst, with their back against your stomach, with their chin tucked into their chest, and with their face looking down. In this position, the baby can move easily down through the pelvis.

About 5-8% of babies are born in an occipito-posterior (OP) position, also known as face-up or sunny-side-up. This means that the baby's back lies alongside your back and their face looks up. A posterior position can lead to a longer and more painful labour.

You might be able to tell what position your baby is in. If your baby is in the anterior position, you'll probably feel them kicking under your ribs. Whereas if they're in the posterior position, you'll most likely feel them kick the front of your belly.

The main thing is not to worry if you think your baby is in the posterior position. The vast majority of babies turn during labour on their own. In fact, babies can even turn while you're pushing. UFO labour positions - that's positions that are upright, forward leaning and with your legs open, such as kneeling over a birth ball - can also really help to shift your baby.

If your baby doesn't turn by the time you're pushing, you may be able to push baby out anyway. A healthcare professional might also offer to try and turn the baby for you and/or to help baby out with forceps or a ventouse.

Remember, your preferences still matter even when things don't go to plan, so it's a good idea to research and think through what you’d like to happen in each scenario.