The human pelvis has a complex shape, making your baby negotiate several maneuvers during labor and delivery. Your pelvis is widest from side to side at the top (inlet) and from front to back at the bottom (outlet). The baby's head is widest from front to back, and the shoulders are widest from side to side. As a result, your baby must twist and turn on the way through the birth canal.
Because every mother's pelvis is widest side to side at the entrance, most babies enter the pelvis looking left or right. The exit from the pelvis is widest from front to back, so babies almost always turn faceup or facedown (visual 1). These maneuvers occur as a result of forces of labor and the resistance provided by the birth canal.
In addition to making these turning maneuvers, the baby is simultaneously descending farther down the vagina (visual 2). Finally, the top of your baby's head appears (crowns), stretching your vaginal opening (visual 3). When the vulva has stretched enough, the baby's head will emerge — usually by extending the head, lifting its chin off the chest and thus emerging from under your pubic bone (visual 4). The baby usually emerges facedown but will turn to one side very quickly as the shoulders turn to take the same route (visual 5).
Next, the shoulders are born one at a time, and with a great slippery rush, the rest of the body is delivered — and now you can hold your new baby.
hand down and feel the baby's head or see it in a mirror. You're very close now! Then, when you're encouraged to, push again. With just a few more pushes, your baby is born!
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