3. The Occiput Posterior Birth Position

Sometimes the fetus is headfirst but facing the mother’s abdomen instead of her back. Doctors call this face-up, abnormal presentation the occiput posterior position. The problem with this position is that the baby’s neck is straight instead of bent, so he or she requires more space to pass through the birth canal. In most cases, the fetus turns to face the mother’s back before the delivery. If the baby does not turn, complications can arise and the obstetrician may use forceps, a vacuum extractor, or perform a cesarean section to ensure a safer birth.

headfirst straight neck face vgajic / Getty Images

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