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baby in wrong position - "sunny side up"?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just got back from an ultrasound at 41.5 weeks, and doc informs me that baby is head down (good) but the baby's eyes were looking up at the machine (not so good). She called it "sunny side up", which sounds very cheerful but in reality is not an ideal position for intiating childbirth. Doc says the baby should be facing my back, not my belly. Have had very little activity and contractions lately, and doc thinks this is why. She gave me some pretzel-y type position to do to help the baby flip over.

Anyone else have baby in this position? How did labor go? Did the baby need to be physically manipulated? Did the baby flip on his or her own?

Any insights would be appreciated!
post #2 of 24

Sunny Side Up

My daughter was sunny side up, but no one checked for it and no one knew till she was there! She just came out that way. My labor was 18 hours. Not a pleasant experience by a long shot, but I believe that was because of the way the hospital workers treated me causing massive amounts of stress and unnecessary interventions, not her position. I wish I knew what it would have been like without the bad treatment.

post #3 of 24
All of mine were malpositioned before the start of labour- first active contractions hit at 3.30am each time, ran my hand over my belly and felt a very clear backbone running straight down my abdomen. My uterus did the work while I slept.
If you haven't already, check out spinning babies and you can also consider homoeopathy and acupuncture and moxibustion to help turn baby. The chances are that he'll rotate of his own accord, though.

You need to know that if you go into an induction with a posterior-laying baby, you're more likely to experience difficulties than you are if you wait it out for labour to start properly- especially if they suggest AROM (rupture of membranes.) Something for you to bear in mind?
post #4 of 24
My son was facing up too all through the 50 hour labor, which was extremely painful back labor until he flipped 1/2 hour before I started pushing. The relief when he flipped... whew! I would do whatever you can to flip the baby now.
post #5 of 24
My son was also sunny side up. I had a 25 hour labor and he finally had to be vacuumed out since I pushed for many hours he did not want to come out. I think I could have delivered him without the vacuum but the nurses made me feel so bad about not pushing hard enough that I pretty much gave up. After he was delivered the said that I probably was pushing very hard and he just would not move because of his position. I would definetely try turning him before delivery. I wish they would have checked to see if my son was the right way or not so we could have tried turning him. I am not trying to scare you. But having him that was was physically and emotionally draining and if you could avoid it you should.
post #6 of 24
ds was posterior too, I had my chiropractor do the Webster Technique on me and then went for a walk, he flipped around into the correct position after that. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 adjustments, but its worth it to save you from back labor. Even if you don't see a chiro, you can call around and ask if they do the Webster technique and get some price quotes.
post #7 of 24
I second third fourth the www.spinningbabies.com

Some babies and some women's pelvises just fit posterior babies better, but I think that's the exception to the rule. I had one posterior baby (my 1st) and it just wasn't as pleasant of a birth experience as I think it could have been. I had a lot of back labor & it was sooooo much longer than my other births. He never did flip, I just pushed him out sunny side up.
post #8 of 24
Dd also was born from this position. I went into labor on my own around 39wks and it was not a huge issue except that she apparently inhaled some fluid/meconium while leaving the birth canal. MW said that it's more likely to happen from this position, but everything else was fine.
post #9 of 24
I have experienced this three times. I think your approach needs to be threefold: 1) exercises to get the baby to flip; 2) see a chiro to get the baby to flip; and 3) learn methods to turn the baby during labor and to cope with the back pain and likely longer labor and pushing phase you will experience. If you don't flip the baby prior to birth, it is likely that you will need to flip during birth -- laboring on all fours helps do this. But the info below has good information on this. Some babies can be born sunny side up, but most need to turn.

My first two were posterior and I didn't try to flip them prior to birth -- I had long labors and long push times (over 4 hours of pushing) -- and they turned while pushing and were born. The third time my baby was again positioned posterior, I did what I outlined above and my baby flipped the 39th week and my labor was 2.5 hours. I attribute the majority of it to the chiro -- see one right away given your time frame! Find one that is experienced with the Webster and with pregnant women. Perhpas your midwife or doula has some recommendations. If you are in the Chicagoland area, pm me and I will give you some suggestions.

I posted this on another thread, but here is some research and sourceds that I found very helpful:

eta: fixed broken links







http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/malpositions.htm (this article is great, it has citation to several journal articles and further resources that I have since accessed to figure out ways to help during labor)




*The Labor Progress Handbook, Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta with Jilly Rosser. Oxford: Blackwell Science Limited, 2000. (I love this book, it is for doulas, midwives and OBs, but I have found the advice in it great. Warning -- it is a "how to" book an things to do during labor, it isn't necessarily an easy ready but very, very informative -- I have taken so many notes from this book)

Back Labor No More!! Janie McCoy King. Dallas: Plenary Systems, Inc., 1993. (specifically about dealing with back labor)

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, Henci Goer. New York: Berkeley Publishing Group (A Perigee Book), 1999. (Offers some advice and techniques.)

Most of these books and resources have good advice on how to turn a baby during labor. Which I believe (after my first two labors) is an important tool and important knowledge for women to know and have.
post #10 of 24
2 out of three of my babies have been born this way. It definately makes for a more uncomfortable labor, but mine were still very short, 6 hours from first contraction to baby being here. I would definately take the advice of the other mamas and try to turn it though. It could make things much better for you and baby.
post #11 of 24
And please update us as to how it went! Good luck.
post #12 of 24
Ds was sunnyside up and also forhead presenting...not the crown of his head. He went into distress (after 3 days of inducing labour) and was delivered c/s. I would try everything you could to spin that baby around.
post #13 of 24
My baby was facing front until I went into labor. At some point she must've turned. My labor was 7.5 hrs start to finish w/ no back labor or problems.

So it's not necessarily a big deal
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

thank you

Thank you for the advice! I will keep you posted!

I will keep diligently practicing the position my doc gave me (mostly involves kneeling on a couch, head down, supporting self on elbows). I have an excellent midwife who I think will help me with positioning too at the hospital. Unfortunately I do not have time to get into the chiropractor.
post #15 of 24
Some babies will flip on their own before labor, some will not. Some will flip during labor, some will not. If the baby does not flip before labor, odds are your labor will be longer and harder (not the experience of everyone, but the experience of many). Especially if this is your first baby.

My (first) baby was posterior going into labor. She also had an acynclitic (tipped) head. This is fairly common with posterior babies, because they just don't fit into the pelvis quite right when they're posterior (and I have a HUGE pelvis, as evidenced by the lack of back labor).

I had prodromal labor for 3 or 4 days before "real" labor started. This was likely due to baby's position, as I think my body was trying to get her to turn. She stayed posterior, and I was utterly exhausted by the time "real" labor started, because I hadn't had much sleep in many days.

Once "real" labor started, I progressed extremely slowly. This was due to the tipped head. It wasn't applying even pressure to the cervix, so I was effacing unevenly (thinner on one side, thicker on the other). This meant my dilation went very slow. It took 24 hours to dilate to 4-5 cm (all natural birth, no pain meds, no induction). I labored at home with a doula/midwife for those 24 hours before going to the hospital-based birth center (as planned). If I'd been at the hospital during that time, I likely would have been induced for "lack of progress", would have begged for an epidural, would have been stuck on my back, my baby would not have turned, and I would have ended up with a c/s. I know this with all my heart, and it's why I didn't go in for an epidural, even though I was exhausted, in pain, and desperately wanted one.

My baby did end up turning at some point, although I don't know when. The midwife/doula had me doing lunges, hands/knees, etc. It was a brutal and exhausting labor. It was also very hard on my baby -- she had heavy meconium staining from the stress, and was taken from me right after the birth and deep suctioned, which caused severe emotional trauma and serious nursing problems (but that is another story).

I advise trying to get your baby to turn. You've gotten some good references, but I'll add one more to the list. Craniosacral therapy can also be used to turn posterior (and breech) babies. I go for an appt every few weeks right now, as it also helps with pregnancy aches and pains, and I also use it to process emotional trauma, etc. I've spoken at length with my practitioner about working on the baby's positioning as we near the end of term. She is also going to try to attend my birth if she is available. I can't recommend this highly enough. The woman we see charges $65/session, so it's pretty reasonable. You can search for a practitioner here. Call and ask if they have experience with this type of thing. FYI, some chiros are trained in CST, so you might be able to find one who knows the Webster technique, CST, etc., and get more bang for your buck. If you're in the Metro Detroit area, I can help you.

Good luck. I hope you get your babe to turn. And don't get induced!!!!!!
post #16 of 24
2 of mine were born posterior. I really don't understand what the big deal is. Really. I had some mild back labor with both of them. Back labor was actually much much worse with my other son who was anterior, but asynclitic.
post #17 of 24
DD was "sunny-side up" before birth and never changed positions. Unfortunately this position caused me great back pain while I was in labor, all 33 1/2 hours of it (I thought my tailbone was going to fall off ). I wish that I would've been give advice on what to do to get her to turn beforehand.
post #18 of 24
Yep, me too. We did an external version at 39 weeks to turn DD1 because she wouldn't flip. It was successful, but her head was asynclitic and back labor was pretty extreme. Luckily, I had a short 1st labor (10 hours of active labor) and a very short pushing stage. She had meconium due to distress, but came out with a 9 Apgar and her eyes wide open. Thank god for home birth and the ability to change position as often as I wanted to!
post #19 of 24
My dd was an 8#14oz posterior baby. I went through 27 1/2 hours of labor. I pushed for 3 hours with the vacuum for at least the last hour. She just wasn't budging. Then she went into distress. That was the end and I had a c/s. If there was a time I could go back to in my life, it would be the day that I went into labor. I wish my Dr. would have checked her positioning past "she's head down", as we didn't find out she was posterior until I was almost to pushing. I had very little back labor with her, which is probably strange.

I wish you luck in getting your baby turned. I'm sure labor is much easier if they're in the "correct" position.
post #20 of 24
All 3 of mine were posterior. I don't see what the big deal is either, really. I had back labor, not fun...but manageable. My MW believes it's just the way I have 'em!

1st labor- DS#1 did have to be "turned" but that's because he was presenting shoulder/neck first. My MW attempted an external and ended up doing an internal version to turn him. He was born occipital posterior. Labor was 7 hrs.

2nd labor- Posterior 2 nuchal hands (one at cheek, one at chin). 2.5 hrs.

3rd labor- Posterior. 2.75 hrs. (I thought she turned right before birthing her head, but my DP said she was looking right at me)
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