So when SHOULD the baby be head down? — The Bump
October 2012 Moms

So when SHOULD the baby be head down?

I know we keep saying that the babies have plenty of time to turn, etc, but out of curiosity, when do they usually settle in to a head down position?  Or is it something that doesn't always happen until right before birth? 

I had a 38 week ultrasound and my son happened to be head down, then he was born 2 days later.  So I don't know if that is usual that they are head down to stay by then, or he just happened to be.

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Re: So when SHOULD the baby be head down?

  • I'm not sure. But my little girl has been head down since 32 weeks. 
  • It's my understanding that most care providers don't worry until 36wks. Then I don't think the real worry begins until 38wks.
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  • I think most OBs use 36 weeks as a benchmark for that and that it's rare for them to flip past that point, but I think it still can happen even up until you go into labor. It's just really unlikely since they don't have the space. I've heard women say how painful it is when they do flip that late, so I think babies generally go head down around 30 weeks. Both my boys went head down before 30 weeks.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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  • My situation is a little different since I have a Unicornuate Uterus so there's even less space for the baby to turn, but my MFM told me that if the baby hasn't turned by 37 weeks, then they'll schedule me for a C-Section. 

    I'm not sure what the "cut-off" point is for "normal" Uteruses though.

  • My OB won't start to worry until after 37 weeks. Until then, it's fair game when the baby turns.
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  • I think it depends on the baby, their size, etc. DS was head down at every appt from 28 weeks until he was born at 39 weeks. On the other hand, my friend's baby was head down at her 38 week appt, and she ended up having a csection when she went into labor at almost 40 weeks because he had flipped and was breech. He was a very small baby5 lb 12 oz I thinkso he had more room to flip around than most. I don't think most OBs are concerned until you get into the last few weeks.
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  • My doctor told me that they like for the baby to be head down by 32 weeks. Can they flip after that, sure. And they won't start talking c-section until 36 weeks. However, after around 32 weeks, there really is little room for the baby to make that drastic of a move.

    the odds of the baby flipping get exponitially (sp?) smaller after 32 weeks.


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  • My doctor told me babies are usually head down around 30 weeks unless it's a very active baby. Mine was head down at 32.
  • It doesn't really matter because things can change so quickly. My LO has been head down since 28 weeks. My friend just had her baby Wed. and at her last appt a week ago she was head down and then turned sometime in that week at 39 weeks, so she had to have a c section since there was not enough room for them to turn her LO.
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  • My Dr. said 36/37 weeks, then we'll think about versions or c-sections
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  • My daughter has been head down for the last six weeks. I have felt a lot of limb movement, but we'll see at the next appointment if she still is head down. I don't think she's turned - she is running out of space as she's been measuring large.
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