11.2 Feeling the mother’s abdomen
It may be difficult to find the position of the baby before the sixth or seventh month of gestation, and it is not important until 36 weeks (eight months) because it is normal for the baby to move around until the final month. Once the pregnancy is at six or seven months, it will be easier to feel the baby and find its position in the uterus.
To begin, help the mother lie on her back and give her support under her knees and head. Make sure she is comfortable. The questions you are trying to answer when you examine her are:
- Is the baby vertical (up and down)? This is known as a vertical lie.
- Or is it lying sideways across her belly? This is a transverse lie.
- Is the baby facing the mother’s front, or her back?
- Is the baby head down (cephalic presentation) or bottom down (breech presentation)?