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What is the face presentation?

In this rare presentation, the baby is in the normal head-down position, but the baby's face enters the birth canal first, rather than the top of the head. This is because the chin is pointing out rather than resting against the chest. This presentation is usually discovered only once labor has started. A vaginal examination at the start of labor will reveal this presentation, as your doctor or midwife can feel the features of the face with their fingers. The face presentation can make delivery of the baby more difficult and can cause temporary bruising and swelling to the baby's face.

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About this article

Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 1106 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Fertility


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