Belly mapping is a term you might not have often heard from your gynecologist. Are you now wondering what that means? Well, belly mapping can help you determine the position of your baby in utero. And, if needed, you can then work towards ensuring your baby is in a more optimal position for birth.
When I was having my first baby, I was completely clueless about how she was positioned. All I knew was that she ought to be head down. In fact, I even sought help from a doctor to understand how I can loosen up my pelvic area to ensure a proper birth. I think I overdid it a bit too. I even exercised, climbed stairs, and did squats. However, I was still not sure how she was positioned inside my womb and what would be the most ideal position for her.
What was the result, you ask? I had to go through a really, really long labor. Here, I am talking about a good 26 hours. With the most terrible backache ever. In fact, she got stuck, which stalled the birth for an extra four hours. And, when she finally came out, her head had this peculiar “cone” shape. If I look back, this may have been because my little princess was perhaps posterior and was favoring the right side. Whereas, it is anterior and left that is considered to be more optimal for birth.
When I got pregnant the second time around, I decided to be more proactive. I wanted to ensure that my baby is in a good position to make my delivery a tad easier. And, this is how I came across this fascinating concept called “belly mapping”. Now, the pertinent question in my head was when and how to do it.
Let me tell you what I found out. You should start with belly mapping somewhere in the later portion of the second trimester. This is usually when the little one begins to settle into his/her “birth” position. You may even be able to determine whether or not your pelvic area is balanced. This might be a more ideal time to determine which positions would be good for the baby as compared to later on.
Of course, we want the baby to face head down. If the head is facing up, as in the case of a breech baby, the delivery may be more complicated. At times, the doctor may even have to resort to the Cesarean delivery in such cases. Fortunately, if detected in time, docs can suggest you methods to ensure the baby is brought back to head down orientation.
However, the baby being head down may not be the only thing needed to make sure the childbirth is smooth and natural. Another thing that you may have to look at is whether the angel is in an anterior or posterior position. While anterior is when the baby is looking away from the mommy’s belly, posterior is when he/she is facing in that direction. It is the former that is considered to be the more favorable birth position since the little one can tuck the chin and head. This will help create a smaller head circumference making it easier to pass through the birth canal.
In fact, the posterior may also result in an inflicted pressure on the mother’s spinal cord by the hardest portion of the little one’s head. This might cause an intense back pain during the labor and delivery. Belly mapping is what you need to do to figure out the baby’s position and take the necessary steps.
What do you have to do, you ask? Take a non-toxic marker or a finger paint bottle. Of course, you also need your seven to eight-month pregnant stomach. First, try to figure out where your baby’s head is. In most cases, the baby will be facing head down. The doc will be on the lookout for this and will inform you accordingly. The arms and hands will be somewhere near the head as the babies have a particular fondness for sucking fingers since the womb days itself. Depending on how your baby is moving, you might also be able to figure out whether he/she is in an anterior or posterior position. You can pinpoint the baby’s heartbeat with the help of your nurse or doc. Mark all these areas as part of the belly mapping.
You can go creative with your belly mapping. Make it an art if you wish to. If nothing else, this will help you feel much closer to your baby. Good luck!
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