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According to traditional wisdom in rural France, a baby in the womb should be compared to fruit on the tree. Not all the fruit on the same tree is ripe at the same time...we must accept that some babies need a much longer time than others before they are ready to be born. - Michel Odent

When a midwife or doctor is examining your pregnant belly, you may hear them using different terms to describe how your baby is positioned in your womb. The way that your baby is positioned is important because it can affect your labour, and possibly whether baby can be born vaginally. Here are some explanations of the terms you might hear and how it can affect your birth.

A Caesarean section is when your baby is born by an operation. You are taken to an operating theatre where the obstetric doctor makes a cut in your lower abdomen and then your uterus.

Breech means that your baby is lying bottom first or feet first in the womb (uterus) instead of in the usual head first position. At some stage throughout the course of your pregnancy you may be told that your baby is in the breech position. If so there are many factors to consider, including...

Third stage starts when your baby is born and is complete when you birth your placenta. There are two primary ways you can choose to manage your third stage – physiological and active. Some facilities offer a modified active stage.Whats the difference?

Research on pregnancy and birth on a global scale is hampered by the fact it is so far spread and is often specific to certain groups of women. When we try and look at the big picture we find that the information we are looking for is chopped up into little pieces and spread among some other stuff that is kind of like the same thing, only not really. It’s like comparing apples to…well…fruit salad. Sign up now to contribute to important research

Which way's up? How your baby is positionedWhen a midwife or doctor is examining your pregnant belly, you may hear them using different terms to describe how your baby is positioned in your womb. The way that your baby is positioned is important because it can affect your labour, and possibly whether baby can be born vaginally.

When your labour starts, so does the monitoring of your baby and how they are coping with contractions. This is because this is probably the most labour intensive and stressful event your baby has ever had to (and possibly will ever) cope with. It is important to keep an eye on how your baby is doing, particularly if we know that your baby has some extra challenges to face on their journey.

Your membranes, your placenta and your baby all stem from the same clump of cells. The formation of these started with conception. Therefore, your placenta will have the same DNA as your baby. It is, in a way, one of your baby's organs.