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Optimal Fetal Positioning

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I recall reading about a few posters who have a lot of knowledge about optimal fetal positioning (OFP). I read a blog post about it on the ICAN blog and I have spent time on the spinning babies site. Hoping to hear what worked for people and what did not. After having a breech baby, I'm a little consumed by this, but trying to stay sane about it. My first baby was well positioned and I wasn't even trying.

ETA: link to blog post


Edited by lbkw - 2/21/12 at 10:58am
post #2 of 28

I'm an OFP zealot! My main general strategies (apart from doing yoga and getting chiro adjustments) are to keep my knees lower than my butt at all times (so no soft chairs, couches, bucket seats in cars, etc) and to sleep on my left side as much as possible toward the end. Pelvic tilts and squats are useful too, though these fall under the "yoga" umbrella for me. My babies have always been vertex and anterior, though I think both tended to be ROA (right occiput anterior) instead of the optimal LOA (so facing slightly toward my right rather than my left), though it hasn't really posed a problem during labor (apart, I suspect, from the long delay between SROM and contractions beginning with #1--apparently this pattern can be a sign of ROA positioning).

 

As you said, though, there's only so much one can do to achieve specific positioning. Sometimes there are reasons why babies present breech or posterior (like short cords or entanglements or whatever), so all we can do is try to maximize our chances of getting things in the right position (and I see soooo many pregnant women lounging around in armchairs or recliners--there's a reason they say that the living room couch is responsible for a lot of c/sections these days!).

post #3 of 28

I've never had to try and had two perfectly positioned... and one that was born with two nuchal hands... and I am curious as to whether that could be why she, as my third, was born at 41w6d... instead of earlier when my prodromal labor kicked in. Also curious if I'm at more risk of it happening again since it did once before.

post #4 of 28

Definitely--prodromal labor and going post-dates are both often indications of malpositioning/weird presentations. I bet you're not at any more risk of having another baby with a nuchal hand--think that's just one of those random things that can happen!

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the funny thing is that my breech baby was when I was much more fit and doing yoga. I didn't start going to the chiro until 34 weeks or so when we tried the webster almost every other day. I am determined to be more purposeful about positioning for this baby but will have to trust that whatever will be, will be.

post #6 of 28

Yeah, I sort of "knew" something was up because I knew the labor I was experiencing wasn't just normal braxton hicks but nothing was going on. That plus going so late with #3 after having #2 at 38 weeks just really felt "wrong" but everything looked fine so we didn't worry about it... and she was eventually born perfectly healthy, just had both of her arms up by her face and hands on top of her head. My little super-girl... even came flying out in that position lol...

So yeah, I fear the same happening again but knowing I'm not really at an increased "risk" just because it happened before helps.

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post

Yeah, I sort of "knew" something was up because I knew the labor I was experiencing wasn't just normal braxton hicks but nothing was going on. That plus going so late with #3 after having #2 at 38 weeks just really felt "wrong" but everything looked fine so we didn't worry about it... and she was eventually born perfectly healthy, just had both of her arms up by her face and hands on top of her head. My little super-girl... even came flying out in that position lol...


So yeah, I fear the same happening again but knowing I'm not really at an increased "risk" just because it happened before helps.

Good to know. In our ultrasound baby would not move her arms away from her face. I am already getting nervous she will try to come out that way and tear me up!
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole730 View Post


Good to know. In our ultrasound baby would not move her arms away from her face. I am already getting nervous she will try to come out that way and tear me up!


 

She tore me a little. One stitch worth, and even that the midwife was only being safe to give me as it was borderline not big enough to worry about.

 

Our bodies are so amazing in their ability to stretch sometimes! Especially when we are relaxed, I feel in a hospital where I'm automatically stressed out that I likely would have torn more... But she was born at home, in my bed, while my husband held me... So I was as relaxed as I can imagine being.

post #9 of 28
I tore a couple stitches worth with both kids, but nothing bad. My son had his arm up for awhile, but didn't come out that way. Although for weeks after he was born his arm would be straIght up, he was that way during his u/s too.
post #10 of 28

Yeah the spinning babies site is great.  I always have done a lot of yoga, both while pregnant and during labor.  Getting moving and changing those hip angles really helps things along.

 

ND

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post

I'm an OFP zealot! My main general strategies (apart from doing yoga and getting chiro adjustments) are to keep my knees lower than my butt at all times (so no soft chairs, couches, bucket seats in cars, etc) and to sleep on my left side as much as possible toward the end.

 

I have had a hard time sleeping on my left side...I keep gravitating toward the right. I know the baby's head has lately been on the right side of my pelvis and I wonder if that has something to do with it???? 

post #12 of 28

I go back and forth from right to left in the night. I too prefer the right.  No way could I stay on my left side all night. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Most important to be comfortable and get plenty of sleep.

 

Also last time midwives checked position baby was LOA! I sit in a kitchen chair with cushion (or on exercise ball) when I'm sitting, so hips are higher than knees, I don't lounge much.

When I want to relax and watch TV, I lay on the couch or bed on my left side if possible, instead of kicking back on the couch.

 

Also I get "tune ups" every now and then at the chiro.

post #13 of 28

I'm a right-side sleeper only... I cannot sleep at all if I try on my left. I don't know why... I've been like this since I was young.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post

I'm a right-side sleeper only... I cannot sleep at all if I try on my left. I don't know why... I've been like this since I was young.



I prefer the left as well (it's easier for me to breathe that way, for one thing). But I work on at least trying to switch back and forth during the night. I agree that it's not a hard-and-fast rule--that it's ok to sleep sometimes on your left, just as it's ok to sleep sometimes on your back--but in my case, with a tendency (I believe) toward ROA positioning, I'm a bit more focused on it. I think doing hip circles (on a yoga ball, or on hands and knees, yoga style) is equally important to helping baby into the right position.

post #15 of 28

Am I correct in thinking that baby is pretty much preordained to be posterior if I have an anterior placenta? I can't picture how she would end up anterior unless it was right at the end.

post #16 of 28

I shouldn't think so scowgirl. I had an anterior placenta last time, and apart from having both of her hands on top of her head (likely nothing to do with the placenta location, she still does that for comfort, as does her daddy) she was positioned perfectly.

 

according to spinningbabies.com... this is true sometimes, but not always (but i mean, sometimes you'll have a posterior baby with a posterior placenta as well) 

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by scowgirl View Post

Am I correct in thinking that baby is pretty much preordained to be posterior if I have an anterior placenta? I can't picture how she would end up anterior unless it was right at the end.



No, from everything I've read (my placenta seems to be anterior this time too), there's really no evidence that AP makes you more likely to have a posterior babe. I'd still focus on fetal positioning, doing your yoga, seeing a chiro, and doing everything else in your power to try to ensure optimal positioning (in fact, this IS what I'm doing, since I'm in the same situation).

post #18 of 28

OK! That's good to know. I need to look at spinningbabies some more. It's a lot to take in when you don't have experience giving birth. Thanks!

post #19 of 28

I love when topics pop up that have been on my mind already! It's so nice to have a DDC where we are all going through some of the same things at the same times.  

 

I could use some reassurance that it's still very early for baby to be in any specific position, that's true right? It seems like this babe has been lounging horizontally the whole pregnancy so far.  The midwives have confirmed it each time I've been in.  I don't think it's ever made it to any sore of vertical position.  That's "normal" right?  Babies can "spin" all the way to birth right?  

 

Thanks for induldging my first time mom paranoia.  shy.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbkw View Post

 

 

I have had a hard time sleeping on my left side...I keep gravitating toward the right. I know the baby's head has lately been on the right side of my pelvis and I wonder if that has something to do with it???? 

I keep waking up on my back... greensad.gif  It's frustrating.  I think I just fall asleep there when I am in the process of turning over.  
 

 

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliemae View Post

I love when topics pop up that have been on my mind already! It's so nice to have a DDC where we are all going through some of the same things at the same times.  

 

I could use some reassurance that it's still very early for baby to be in any specific position, that's true right? It seems like this babe has been lounging horizontally the whole pregnancy so far.  The midwives have confirmed it each time I've been in.  I don't think it's ever made it to any sore of vertical position.  That's "normal" right?  Babies can "spin" all the way to birth right?  

 

Thanks for induldging my first time mom paranoia.  shy.gif

 

I keep waking up on my back... greensad.gif  It's frustrating.  I think I just fall asleep there when I am in the process of turning over.  
 

 

 

Midwives will let you know when it's time to worry.

Mine's transverse a lot still (using my uterus as a hammock pretty much) 
 

As far as I've ever read, we shouldn't start worrying about baby's positioning until 31 weeks... and not seriously start worrying about it until 35 ... as in by 31, start using spinning babies to coax baby into the right position if they aren't yet, but by 35, use spinning babies and look into other options as well.

 

For now, baby's still small enough to flip over. I can feel the directions baby is laying myself when they are laying sideways or with their back to my front. I can't tell which side is the top yet (later on I can tell head from butt) but I can at least tell up and down from sideways and it changes all through the day, although as I said... baby does love lounging sideways so it's more often that direction. Last night I got a sideways facing down and a ton of kicks (and probably punches) to my bladder and cervix lol.

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