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Giving birth to a "sunny side up" baby

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think my baby is posterior right now. I'll be 34 weeks tomorrow, so there's time for her to turn, but I want to prepare myself for a "sunny side up" birth just in case. I hear it causes nasty back labor but after five births I sill don't know what exactly that means.

If you've given birth to a posterior baby, could you tell me what your experience was like, particularly if you had an anterior baby to compare that birth to?

Are there particular positions I can use to help spin the baby? Does the Webster technique help, or is that just for breech babies?

post #2 of 24
My first baby was posterior, my 2nd was anterior...

For me, the difference was night and day!

of course, I'm sure there were other factors outside of their positioning...

however, my 1st labor was 44 hours long - was 4 cm at just over 38w, let my OB sweep my membranes, immediately started with contractions 2-10 mins apart for about 20 hours...had a tiny gush of fluid, panicked, ran to the hospital...contractions never got into a regular pattern on their own, augmented with pitocin, which led me to get an epi (that didn't help, since all the pain/pressure was centered in my back)...2 1/2 hours of pushing, my OB holding of everyone saying "just give her a c/s!"

now, my 2nd labor was polar opposite! never dilated past a fingertip before going into labor...woke up early in the morning at exactly 39 weeks with contractions 3 mins apart...total labor was 2 1/2 hours, no pain meds (barely made it to the hospital for the birth, much less any kind of meds or IV), pushed less than 5 mins

I don't know if it actually DID anything, but after my first son I swore I'd do whatever I could to get my next baby anterior before birth...in the weeks leading up to my 2nd birth, I spent a lot of time leaning over the exercise ball...lots of rocking on hands and knees...
post #3 of 24
Hi! I posted about this a while ago here:

FYI, my second birth was anterior, and the pain I felt was exactly the same as the first, which was posterior. Difference was that it was only 3h15min of labor! I was hoping after reading the responses to my thread above that it would be somewhat different in terms of pain. I don't really know whether I had "back labor" but the only thing that helped me in the second birth (didn't try it with first) was counter pressure from my husband, me in hands and knees position through the intense part. I delivered right sidelying, and he continued to apply that counter pressure until the last push.

The best thing you can do to get baby in right position is to avoid all reclining positions!! Make sure belly button faces out or down, never up! You can also do some of the inversions or other position suggestions from spinningbabies.com.
post #4 of 24
First baby was posterior, but we didn't know until she was born. Labor was 14 hours from start to finish. My body instinctively wanted me to labor on hands and knees, or supported by our kitchen counter. Used a warm labor tub for most transition which was wonderful. Pushing was hard, but productive in a semi-sitting position on bed.

Second baby was anterior, and labor was about 7 hours. (My midwife said that labor for the 2nd baby is "usually" about 1/2 the time of the first labor.) Because water was so calming for first labor, I used tub again. It was awful. No position provided relief, and baby's head got stuck when he had been pushed out up to his ears.

After I (carefully) exited the tub, he was born in a semi-sitting position in bed. One push. Weird.

Both labors were completely 100% drug free.
post #5 of 24
My baby changed sides the day I had her.... there is still plenty of time. Do lots of hands and knees. I hung out on the birth ball (leaned over on my knees) for hours each day. She moved into optimal position when I was in labor and had a quick and easy homebirth.

Good luck. Focus on your baby changing positions and visualize exactly the birth you want.
post #6 of 24
Yup, my experience was like the others'!

First was posterior: nasty back-labor indeed, long, slow progress, 2.5 hrs of pushing, spent the entire birthing standing or on hands and knees, with DH pushing in on my hips for counterpressure with every.single.wave until that baby came out. Seriously, he earned his father stripes on that one!

Second started in the same position but slid into a good position pretty much as soon as things got started. That birth was fast and intense, but zero back labor.

FWIW, I did everything "right" the first time and everything "wrong" the second time, but DD2 just flipped right into place. I think that given how experienced your uterus is, your odds are very, very good that this LO will flip anterior once things get going.
post #7 of 24
My dd was not anterior or posterior, she was born with her whole body facing sideways. I was induced and had really intense contractions low down in my uterus and in my back. When I was pushing the doc said baby was facing sideways but she would turn as I pushed, which she didn't. 2 hours pushing and baby was out, but I was close to a c-section as contractions slowed while pushing and baby was stressed. I think there probably would have been a better position than on my back, so I might study up before this one is due. Good luck!
post #8 of 24
My third baby was posterior which I didn't know until after she was born and the midwife told me. My labour was very erratic, the contractions never really established a pattern and I definitely had the back labour which I would describe more as butt labour because that's where all the pressure and pain was. The birth ball was my best friend. Looking back I know that she flipped a couple hours before she was born because there was this furious movement and all of sudden I could feel all the hands and feet in the front of my stomach.
post #9 of 24
Originally Posted by nova22 View Post
Are there particular positions I can use to help spin the baby? Does the Webster technique help, or is that just for breech babies?
Webster/chiro care certainly isn't going to hurt! At 34 weeks, you still have lots of room for baby to shift around. BabySister (due any day now!) was transverse at 34 weeks. She's now happily ROA.

My first birth was posterior and she did not rotate during birth. It was tough, back labor was tough, pushing was tough. With my second, I was very conscious of how I sat, lay down, etc. He was perfectly positioned but I still had back labor (not nearly as bad). I have a feeling that my pelvis shape leads to back labor and I just need to accept it/embrace it/get over it.

As far as positions to turn the baby, stay off the sofa! I sit on the floor or birth ball when the rest of my family is on the couch.
post #10 of 24
My first was anterior and although a 17 hr labor, all "normal" and she came out easily. My second was posterior and believe me I did everything humanly possible to turn her, always being forward, tons and tons of time spent on hands and knees, 3 different chiropractic techniques done over and over, never reclining...It didn't matter, she was stuck in her position and there was no turning her. And I started all of this at about 27 weeks. Her labor was pretty quick at a total of 5 hours, but really 3 of truly painful labor. I had horrible back labor, the only thing that even kind of helped was my midwife's assistant giving me counter pressure. My cervix had a lip that would not go away and I ended up pushing despite it because my body had to. I also had a uterine prolapse, which let me tell you, I never want to go through those problems ever again in life, I pray that it doesn't happen again this time. So in my experience I would say that a posterior birth is much harder/more painful but sometimes the baby just won't turn. I've heard that the baby faces the placenta, does anyone else know if this is true? Good luck!
post #11 of 24
My 9th baby changed to a posterior position late in labor, during transition. She was born face up, looking at dh under the water. I found it more intense pushing her out and I pushed a wee bit longer IIRC. That could also be b/c was over 10lbs and was a pound heavier than any of my previous babies.
post #12 of 24
I should add that my first was in optimal position prior to birth and she ended up being delivered posterior. Don't know when she changed in labor, but she was born with her face up. I can't say that it was worse (although it was a pit birth, which sucks all on its own), but my second DD's birth was much easier, faster and calmer. I love homebirth!!!
post #13 of 24
I had an 8 pound baby that was Right Occiput Posterior - I had a lot of pain in my left hip, intense, sharp pain that was never like a contraction but constant.

For this one I am doing chiro, and ball and walking around on hands and knees. My experience was pretty painful. She was facing sideways more than up or down. I am also going to try to squat for birthing, I think laying on my back made things worse.
post #14 of 24
Expect labor to take longer (i.e. don't get scared that "something's wrong"...posterior babies come out, it just takes longer...remember, you are safe and your baby will come out! That was the hardest thing for me with my dd1's birth. She was posterior with an asynclitic head and labor took 40 hours even though she eventually turned anterior. I was so scared that something was wrong since I had NO idea labor could last so long! Being scared made it much harder to relax and give her the room she needed to turn back around).

Have someone(s) there to put counterpressure on your back--it helps a lot.

You won't necessarily feel "painless" between contractions (although I must say, with my second who was anterior, it still didn't feel painless between contractions!)

Try to get your baby in a better position now if you can...there's still time, and it certainly is a bit easier to birth an anterior baby than a posterior one! Check out www.spinningbabies.com--they have great reccommendations like:
Webster technique
Don't sit "back" in cushy sofas, easy chairs, recliners, etc.
Do sit forward with your back tilted forward and your knees lower than your belly (I got one of those funky chairs that has you basically kneeling on a pad below the seat...it puts you in the "right" position)
Try to sleep on your side with your leg up on a pillow so that you're slightly tipped over your belly (NOT on your back)
Crawl around on all fours as much as you can during the day
"Hang" your belly for 5 minutes a day to encourage your baby's heavy back to fall towards the belly side instead of the back side (lean forward with your head/upper body on a cusion on a table and your feet on the floor so that your body is in a 90 degree angle--relax as much as you can for 5 minutes and let your belly hang)

Good luck! You can do it!
post #15 of 24
My experience with my posterior baby was much different then most of the other posters. My second baby was posterior and I had no idea until pushing. My labor was only 2 hours and it was very intense and fast but I didnt really have back labor, or maybe I did but I didnt notice because the contractions never let up and I was just straight up in pain everywhere. I only pushed for 10 minutes and the dr. freaked out and gave me an episiotomy without my permission or even warning me and he was out. It didnt have to be as scary as it was for the pushing part but my dr. made it that way. I wouldnt worry yet though cause the baby can still turn.
post #16 of 24
EXTREME pain in my lower back. It really helped to have dh push as hard as he could on my back through every contraction.
post #17 of 24
Yes! My two DS were anterior but my DD was posterior and started coming out face up. I'll be honest with you.... O U C H. By far my hardest labor but it was also my shortest labor (13 hours vs. 17 with my boys). The most challenging part for my was getting her past my pubic bone. Once she came down past that point she was out in 4 or 5 pushes! She actually turned from face up to face down AS she was coming out so I definitely had the "ring of fire". Incredibly, I didn't tear and my recovery has been great! You have time to turn her but just know that no matter what, you CAN do it! Your body and your baby will do the work and you'll make it through. I learned how strong I truly am from her birth and it made me proud.

ETA: Baby was born at home, all natural and was over 9lbs!
post #18 of 24
It's hard for me to say in terms of pain, because I had an epi with my first (posterior) and not with my second. However, the second was posterior until the very end, and she flipped within the last couple of days before birth. My midwife had me watching TV at night on my hands and knees, and I think that might have helped.

The biggest difference IMO was time. My first labor with my sunny-side up girl was 18 hours. My second was four hours!
post #19 of 24
My baby was sunny side up and "military style." I had never heard of military style, but evidently it's when the baby does not flex through the birth canal and is totally rigid. Like a lot of the others, I had back labor and my contractions were always about 6-7 mins apart but never started to get very much closer together. The only position that really helped me was lying on my side and I would feel a very sharp pain in the left groin area.

I would expect to have a longer labor than usual if your baby is sunny side up and also to expect for it to take longer to push. I pushed for 5 1/2 hours.
post #20 of 24
My first was posterior and asynclitic and it was absolutely awful. Ended up transferring to hospital and having a forceps delivery. The thing that got me was that I had NO breaks between contractions - it was basically one giant non-stop contraction for hours and hours on end. I also wasn't aware that she was malpositioned, as she'd been in a good position according to the MW the day before.. If I'd known those two things I might not have been coerced into transferring. Labour was nearly 24 hours long, with about 15 hours of the 'nonstop contraction'.

DD2 - I think she was anterior (my best guess) and labour was about 45 minutes long! Super duper easy, and nearly painless.

FWIW I did everything you're supposed to positioning-wise for both of them, so not sure how much you can affect positioning, but it's always worth trying!
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