FETAL POSITIONS AND ADAPTATIONS
The nursing care you may administer to the laboring patient is included in this
lesson by presenting key factors in the relationship of the fetus to the obstetric
passageway. You may not actually determine this information, however, it is vital that
you have a basic understanding of what the nurse or physician identifies. This
information will influence the length of labor, preparations for the delivery room, and the
type of complications that may occur.
10-2. KEY TERMS RELATED TO FETAL POSITIONS
a. "Lie" of an Infant. Lie refers to the position of the spinal column of the fetus
in relation to the spinal column of the mother. There are two types of lie, longitudinal
and transverse. Longitudinal indicates that the baby is lying lengthwise in the uterus,
with its head or buttocks down. Transverse indicates that the baby is lying crosswise in
b. Presentation/Presenting Part. Presentation refers to that part of the fetus
that is coming through (or attempting to come through) the pelvis first.
(1) Types of presentations (see figure 10-1). The vertex or cephalic (head),
breech, and shoulder are the three types of presentations. In vertex or cephalic, the
head comes down first. In breech, the feet or buttocks comes down first, and last--in
shoulder, the arm or shoulder comes down first. This is usually referred to as a
Figure 10-1. Typical types of presentations.