Head down, seat... what does that change?

Head down, seat… what does that change?

Most often, it’s head down that your baby positions itself for birth. But sometimes, he sometimes plays the originals by presenting his back or shoulder! What does D-Day involve.

Does it matter how your future baby looks? Essential! Because not all presentations are worthwhile: some promote simple birth, others make it clear, may even impose a decision to practice a C-section. The explanations of our specialists.


Your baby is showing up head down and ass up. It’s his head that will first cross every obstacle separating him from the outside: your pelvis, which looks like some kind of tunnel, the cervical, the vagina and the perineum. And since he has the ′′ big head ′′ - she is the one who has the biggest diameter of all parts of his body - once she’s passed, the rest follows!

This is the most common presentation (94,8 %) of future moms. But it can come in several variations.

What does it look like? Your toddler is balled! His head is forward flexed, and he presses his chin on his chest. Its back is to your left (or right) and the back of its skull touches the front left (right) part of your pelvis.

How is this going to go? There is no more favorable presentation and it’s the most common! Your baby has everything planned not to get stuck on the way. He started by steering his head slightly in oblique to offer the smallest diameter of his skull (9,5 cm on average) at the entrance of your pelvis. As he goes down, he does not hesitate to change his orientation several times to best marry the ′′ reliefs ′′ he meets. A real eel! Thus, as he left with his head slightly biased, as if he was looking at his shoulder, he comes out with his head well in the axis of his spine, as if he was looking at the ground. And what’s more, he came to position himself in the center of your pelvis, under your pubis. That’s why he chose the front left (or right) part of your pool as a starting block: to have only a quarter turn to do by the exit.

His head is in the back of your pelvis

What does it look like? The back of your baby’s skull is in support of the back-left (or back-right) part of your pelvis. That’s when you’ll hear about ′′ behind ′′ presentation.

How is this going to go? Your toddler is making it difficult… and yours! Work may be a little longer: your baby needs to do three-quarters of a turn during his descent, instead of a single quarter turn. First, it needs to move from the back of your pelvis forward, then center under your pubis at the time of expulsion. He will succeed in doing this gymnastics thanks to your contractions: it is them, by pressing him, that push him to turn. And if your uterine ′′ engine ′′ is not powerful enough, we’ll help you with an oxytocin infusion that will intensify contractions. Most of the time, despite this ′′ wrong start ", your baby repositions properly during work. This will have cost you a few extra contractions… and sometimes also need forceps or suction cups.

A small problem may arise: sometimes the baby turns the wrong way. Instead of going back to the front of the pelvis, it’s a quarter turn backwards, towards your sacrum. It then has a much too large diameter, which interferes with its descent. If he’s really struggling to progress, the doctor can try a manual rotation: he uses his hand like a shovel to try to turn your baby. If this doesn’t work, sometimes you have to resort to C-section.

He presents by the face

What does it look like? Your baby carries his head high and even completely backwards. It’s his face that comes out.

How is this going to go? Not great position: your baby may have a hard time getting down. The diameter it presents is, again, far too large. Your pelvis is not elastic! Some babies, probably because they’re not too big and their mom’s pelvis is large, still manage to trace their way. Glory ransom: they date little boxer heads… who fortunately will be arranged in a few days. But, in most cases, the babies ′′ head back ′′ remain stuck and fail to even engage in the upper part of the pool. The solution? SOS caesarean section! Don’t worry, this presentation is rare.

He comes through the forehead

What does it look like? Head forward or head backwards: undecided, your baby comes in mid-arrow head, front at the outposts. A situation, too, uncommon.

How is this going to go? If it stays this way, it will be a c-section because the diameter your baby presents is greater than the largest diameter in the pool. He may turn around in every way, he won’t pass! On the other hand, a baby may present his forehead at the beginning of his work, then gradually flexes his head under contractions. Patience, it may be worth waiting for an hour or two…


Some naughty people prefer to go out… buttocks first! They didn’t turn their heads down in the weeks or days before birth. This happens in 4,4 % of cases *. Why? There are many causes. The baby is sometimes fat and the womb is small, hence difficulties moving. Sometimes too, there’s too much or not enough amniotic fluid, which hinders fetal mobility. Another hypothesis: he unfolded his legs upwards, which then prevents him from turning back. But there is a seat and seat, complete and countless!

The full seat

What does it look like? Your toddler is quietly sitting in tailor, feet and buttocks in the back of the collar. This fashionable ′′ yoga ′′ presentation concerns a third of the seats.

How is this going to go? This is not the best case… The pole that presses the collar (feet and buttocks) is not uniform, so not effective: expansion is often slow and hard working. On the other hand, during a birth by the seat, the head comes out last. Moreover, it’s difficult since it’s the largest part of the body. But everything needs to be very quick. Once he has his chest outside, the baby can breathe… but with his head still inside, the poor guy will drink the cup! It is therefore imperative that this uncomfortable and dangerous situation not last forever. For all these reasons, few practitioners have low seats, if they are a first child, preferring the caesarean section. If they opt for natural birth, they will only do so under certain draconian conditions: that the dimensions of the pelvis are sufficient (we have confirmation via a radio), that the baby is not too big, and that his head is well pressed on his chest. Also needs to be rapid expansion of the collar. Finally, nothing is possible without your membership: you will have to cooperate and push to the end, the most important taking place at the end of birth…

The decompled seat

What does it look like? Your baby is sitting but his legs are vertically lifted in front of his face. Like he scratching his nostrils with his toes! Two thirds of the seats are counted.

How is this going to go? This presentation is a little more favorable than the previous one. The support pole on the collar (in this case the small back alone, without the feet) is more uniform: the expansion is therefore faster. But again, fearing complications, obstetricians often prefer the high path.

He’s crooked…

Another originality: your baby comes through… fortunately, again this is a very rare position!

What does it look like? Your toddler shows up horizontally, as if lying in a hammock!

How is this going to go? Your baby doesn’t give you a choice: you’ll have to go get him high and do a c-section. Thus spread throughout, he absolutely can’t get involved in the pool. Only exception: when it comes to a second twin. The first one is already out, the next one sometimes takes the opportunity to get comfortable and get in the way. The obstetrician then doesn’t hesitate to ′′ put ′′ hands on it! He catches the baby by the foot (normally he doesn’t risk confusing with the head or any other part of the body! ) to put it in a vertical position. Following a ′′ classic ′′ birth by the seat.