Thursday, July 01, 2010

How to UP: Baby Positions

To start with, the only belly I've palpated is my own. Experienced palpaters (I made up a word!) can even feel for fluid levels. I don't have that ability.

First, I start with finding the heartbeat. I usually hear the heartbeat best through the upper back of the baby. You can't really hear it in the front of the baby because there are things like arms in the way. To start with an educated guess of where the heartbeat is, I base it off of where I feel hiccups. If hiccups are low, then the upper body is low (and the baby is likely head-down). If you feel hiccups up high, then the upper body is high.

When we took pictures last night, the last place I had felt hiccups was my lower left, so that's where I started looking for the heartbeat. And there it was!

So far: heartbeat and hiccups are low, so the baby is likely to be head-down.

Then I go looking for other things. There's a big bulge here, so that's either the butt or the head, but since I'm leaning towards head-down, I'm saying it's butt.

There a foot here. I can feel its length and it's definitely too long to be a hand. Also, it is very strong. Legs tend to be stronger than arms, so foot is my conclusion.

Down here in my right hand is mush. There isn't much there at all. Sometimes I feel little movements there, but it's pretty empty.

So total: heartbeat in lower left of belly, butt in middle/left, feet in middle right, and mush (hands?) in bottom right. That puts my baby around LOA-ish. Though as I sit here and type, the butt is right in the middle of my belly, so maybe more OA than LOA at the moment.

Margaret was LOA a lot, but when I was 2 or 3 days before my due date with Margaret, I suddenly felt kicks on my left! When I went to find the heartbeat on my left, there was nothing there... but it was on the right. She had moved to the right side. Most right side positions are posterior, so I spent the next couple of evenings on the birth ball to move her back. She did turn back to LOA on her due date and then wasn't born for 3 weeks! Oh well.

I really like for information about baby positioning and turning. Spend some time over there! Also, an Internet friend, Kayce, just blogged about palpating. She doesn't start off with the heartbeat: and you really don't need to. If you know what you're looking for, you don't need it, but I need a little help.


  1. I could always tell that Miriam's head was up. That little head was so hard and round and easy to feel. And the last couple weeks I could totally feel her feet up by her face kicking me on the left side. Interestingly, I always felt her hiccups down low even though she was head up.

  2. My baby likes to hang out in the ROA position. I think it is because I favor laying on my right side when I am in bed. I'm still trying to get a hang of palpating. Most of the time, I think the butt feels big, round and hard, like a head would. But then there are a bunch of other signs that suggest baby is head down. Some people say that the heady is more wiggly than a butt, when you push on it. Like, if you push the butt, the whole body moves, but if you push the head, it just kind of rolls away or bobs.

  3. mush? i love it. lol. Jaxon was sideways for most of the pregnancy and then was head down/sideways... made for some tearing when he was born. Can you tell location with twins or is it just a jumble of butts and limbs?

  4. Mallory, this baby is often on the right because that's the side I nurse Margaret to sleep on. It just happened to be on the left this time.

    Jaclyn, I think it is possible to tell with twins, but I've never had twins, so I can't say. Someone more experienced can probably find everything.

    Katrina, Yeah. Heads are bobbly. I don't have anything bobbly to go off of, so I'm guessing it's butt. :)


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