A Lesson on Belly Mapping

So you have a peanut living in your body for nine months. You are doing your best to eat, drink, and exercise in the best way for both people occupying the (increasingly large) space that is you. Do you know what else you can do, though? You can do everything in your power to make sure that your baby is in the best possible position for delivery—the Occipital Anterior, or OA, position. This means that the back of the baby’s head is facing your abdomen, and the baby’s face is towards your back.


What are the benefits to that? A well-positioned baby offers these benefits during labor:

  • Lower chance of prolonged labor
  • Lower chance of back labor
  • Lower risk of C-section
  • Less stress on baby

So what can you do?

Well, trying to keep good posture is very helpful. Walking and stair climbing help too. Bouncing or rocking on a birth ball is a great way to strengthen some of the muscles that you will need while birthing, as well as help align your little one (make sure that you are careful getting on and off. Someone should spot you, especially towards the end of your pregnancy). But one of the most useful tools is called Belly Mapping.

Belly Mapping is a way to figure out your baby’s current position in your womb, using clues like kicking patterns and landmarks (because we all know an elbow when we feel one!) to get a general picture of where and how he is nestled in there. Then, if your discover that your baby is facing the other way (Occipital Posterior, also called OP or Sunny-Side Up), you can use various stretches, exercises, and positions to encourage your baby to turn.

Check out Spinning Babies for further Belly Mapping instructions, and then poke around the site for great information on how to turn your baby. They even have tips for turning a breech baby!

Turn, baby, turn!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>