Malpositions and malpresentations of the fetal head

Vikram S. Talaulikar, Sabaratnam Arulkumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


In normal labour, the fetal head presents with the occiput in lateral position in early stages of labour followed by anterior rotation in advanced labour. Malpositions of fetal head result when the occiput persists in a lateral or posterior position while malpresentations occur due to extension of the fetal head causing brow or face to present. Malpresentations of fetal head are usually diagnosed in labour and are associated with difficult labour and increased risk of operative intervention. Regular systematic clinical examinations to monitor progress of labour and fetal wellbeing are necessary once the diagnosis is confirmed. Although vaginal delivery is possible in many cases, caesarean section becomes necessary when the malposition or malpresentation persists and labour fails to progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Brow
  • Face
  • Malposition
  • Malpresentation
  • Occipitoposterior
  • Occipitotransverse
  • Slow progress of labour

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