Posterior Baby, Part II - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, my midwife is really freaking me out about this positioning thing. Last week I just saw her assistant, who had one sunny side up baby herself and was really positive. But the past two times my MW has felt the baby, and observed how far down in my pelvis his head is, she gets this worried look on her face and talks to me about stuff I can do (pelvic rocks, etc.) to turn him. After I had my 36 week appointment, I read the whole spinning babies site and some other sites, and basically learned that 87% of posterior babies rotate during labor and something like 2/3 of babies who are posterior during labor were not posterior beforehand, leading me to believe that the whole thing is a big crapshoot and not worth worrying about. I do recognize that labor could take longer, could be back labor, etc., so I don't have my head completely in the sand, but I honestly don't think that my trying to turn him is going to work and I feel blamed and defeated that my MW is obviously so dismayed at his position. What am I supposed to do, just give up and schedule a c-section now? I am already inclined to doubt myself, and her assistant's positive attitude last week made me feel so empowered and brave, and now I feel horribly pessimistic and fearful.

Is it worth spending time worrying about his position? Yes, his head is far down in my pelvis, I don't know why or what to do about it. This is my second baby, first baby was anterior all the way through so I didn't have this problem at all before. I really don't like doing any of the positioning things, they are very uncomfortable for me, and I don't think they will work or, if he does turn temporarily, he'll just turn back. I figure labor is the time to try to turn him around if he doesn't do it on his own. But seeing my MW so obviously worried is not good for my mental state. I don't know if she is worried about me skewing her transport rate or what. Advice, please -- from moms who have been through this or from midwives/doulas.

ETA: FTR, I am planning a HB and am now 38 weeks.

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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I had a successful homebirth with midwife and doula with my second baby. He was posterior AND he DID NOT turn during labour. Yup getting him past my tailbone was an explosion of pain but then he was out. He was rather fast given the circumstances (almost 4 hours, 7 pounds 2 ounces). He was delivered fully posterior and no transfer was needed (we did have to call for EMS due to meconium which was unrelated but couldn't transfer becuase I was already too far )
He is a healthy 5 year old who still does things his own way ;P
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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I don't really get why she is making a big deal about him being posterior, from the tone of your posts (I remember the last one) I would of thought he was breech by the way she is going on about it. Yeah, he is posterior now, but could turn or could turn now and move back during labor, no one ever knows and I don't think it is worth getting worked up over. DS was posterior and I had no idea until pushing that he was, though I was wondering about the back labor....

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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My mom had 5 home births and two OP babies, her first (me, hehe) and her last. One of my brothers was a compound presentation with an arm up at his face. She managed to get through labor with all of us. It certainly can be done. Personally, I would still be trying to do as much as I could to get the baby to turn. I would rather try and be uncomfortable now than really uncomfortable in labor, but that is just me. Good luck to you, Mama!

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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I pushed out a posterior 10 lb 13 oz child with a 15 inch head. Labor was about 6.5 hours and pushing took about 2.5 hours. Or so I have been told b/c it certainly didn't seem like it was 9 hours total, but it was.

I remember someone (I think my doula) saying something like "I can see the forehead" while I was pushing but it didn't hit me until a couple weeks later that you shouldn't have been able to see the forehead from that angle.

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Old 07-02-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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can you find a webster certified chiropractor near you?

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Old 07-03-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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My first son was transverse arrest (he was facing my leg, ie, halfway between OP and OA) and came out with 2 fists up by his cheeks. It was a long, hard labor and 3 hours of pushing, but he was born vaginally in a freestanding birth center with only a small pressure episiotomy near the end.

Posterior is hard, but not impossible. I think the key, though, is to really believe that you can birth this baby. Birth is often a self fulfilling prophesy...if you go into it doubting your ability, you may end up not having the ability in the end. If you go in believing in your body, you have a much better chance of a sucessful vaginal birth.

Vallere: Blessed Wife, Doula, Homeschool Mom to Ian Gray(11/20/05), Zollie Isaac(10/14/07), Anna Zophia (8/14/09):, and a GIRL coming June 2010!
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:48 AM
 
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I had a homebirth, my daughter was posterior. She was positioned perfectly at every appointment. She was a little less than 7 pounds, very healthy. 15 hours labor total, about 2 hours pushing. Labor was more intense, painful, than an average regular homebirth. I also had more severe tearing than expected, which was a difficult recovery. In the hospital, it probably would have ended up a c-section.
I can understand why your midwife is concerned. But, I would not be freaked out, either.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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i too had a OP labor. after reading all the above posts i want to ask you to TRY THE POSITIONS. labor is hard as it is, why take the chance and have a more difficult labor if some of these positions could alleviate that!? if your mw is worried about it and she's the one that'll be at your birth, then you're going to need her cooperation. maybe she's afraid or uncomfortable with an OP labor???? yes one can birth an OP positioned baby. but your mw might have an opinion there.

my experience: my baby was ROA. she was head down, on my right side. i knew this for a while, could feel that, but nobody mentioned that it was bad or to do positions. i had a childbirth coach come to the house, she felt around and mentioned a few positions she'd do in labor for turning the baby, but i wasn't putting two and two together and she wouldn't be at the labor anyway.

then my labor started. mw comes over, says she's ROA and could turn OP before the day is out, as most ROA turn OP in her experience. she told me to lean forward and see what happens. my labor was 37 hours long. DD stayed OP, brow presentation, did not turn, and I didn't know to do positions, and my mw didn't mention any during the labor. i was just laboring. well, we transferred and she said it was because i was tired, contrax were stopping and i need some pit for help. i reluctantly agreed. we transferred. there another mw took the lead (she was the backup that my mw called) they told me if they couldn't turn the baby they'd section me. well, she manually turned my DD which hurt more then all the 37 hours of contrax combined, and then they put me in the positions, knees-chest, left side-legs scissored. they were difficult, painful, but i endured. DD turned and then i pushed her out a couple of hours later. she was small, 6lb 5oz. 20" long.

in my experience, i WISH someone told me to do the positions. I WISH i had someone experienced monitoring and watching what I was doing, helping me along, someone very experienced, because turning a baby is a big deal, you want to do it right. i think my mw was scared or uncomfortable with an OP and thus we transferred. i think if I had someone to help me turn her with positions i would have had a natural homebirth. my advice is to hire a birth coach or doula, get a second opinion from another midwife and try to turn her.

good luck, and please keep us all updated!
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Old 07-03-2009, 02:19 AM
 
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I had a c-section due to a posterior baby. But many many women either have a baby turn during labor or give birth to the baby in the posterior position. In the vast majority of cases a posterior baby does not require a c-section. But even if a posterior baby requires a c-section it is not life threatening. With my c-section it eventually became obvious that my son would not be born vaginally, but other than being tired I was never in any distress. Baby was never in distress. I had plenty of time to consider my options and try lots of things before choosing a c-section. A posterior baby is not an emergency.

So I really don't understand why it would be an issue for a home birth. Odd are good baby will either turn anterior or will be born posterior. If all else fails and you've tried everything a transfer for a c-section, while not ideal, is possible. But without any sort of emergency you should be able to make that decision if it comes up. So why is this even anything to worry about before hand?

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Old 07-03-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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I didn't have a homebirth, but I did have 2 posterior babies through most of my pregnancies/labours. They ended up very different.

First was C section (but was induced in hospital, epidural, etc, so that was most likely what lead to that). I didn't even know what a posterior baby was until just before deciding to have surgery! I think her head position was deflexed too, which apparently can make it harder to deliver the baby vaginally.

Second baby I was much more informed, but PARANOID and almost obsessed about the posterior-baby thing. I was convinced that DD1's position was the main issue with her birth, and virtually hellbent on ensuring baby #2 would face anterior (and had a midwife, no epi, no induction, etc). Well, towards the end of pregancy I did get a bit complacent about how I sat, etc and couldn't be bothered, but it was always on my mind. I went to a chiropractor several times to ensure my pelvis was as good as could be too. When I had my midwife visits, she never seemed concerned about her position, it was only me . In the end, when in labour she was posterior (my heart sank when I found this out, but again, the midwives really didn't seem to think it mattered) and my labour was inconsistent til 7cm due to that, but then they broke my water (which I hadn't wanted in advance, but was good in hindsight as things really moved quickly and well after). After this I spent a couple hours on hands and knees position and she was still posterior when I was checked at 10cm. 15 minutes later, she was out in minimal pushes. BUT we don't know which position I pushed her out in, as no one saw it in the end. If it WAS posterior, it wasn't hard, so it can be done. If it WASN"T posterior, then she did turn in a short time, something I was convinced wouldn't happen. (both my babies were 9lb 6oz too if it matters).

So...long story short...posterior birth doesn't have to end in issues. It's a shame your midwife has you so worried. While it's great to be informed and feel you've helped yourself to do "what you can" to turn the baby, it doesn't always happen and you can't beat yourself up over it.
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Old 07-03-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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My first dc was posterior and born at home. She didn't turn in labor and was born face up. The back labor was a huge bummer, because I hadn't been expecting how different the cx would feel, I know that this made the labor much longer than it needed to be. My next 2 dc I did all the positioning and they weren't posterior, and their labors were so much easier.

This time this dc is far down in my pelvis (and has been for some time) and at my last appt. was posterior. I really focused on how I was sitting and did at least 1/2 hour of cross crawling around and all fours time every night. Yesterday she wasn't posterior anymore. I can feel her turning slightly so she is on her side instead of back to belly sometimes, but she is easy to go into anterior, I don't feel like she is apt to flip all the way at this point.

Absolutely you can birth a posterior baby at home, but if you do some of the positioning you might not have to. Not having to is much better. Even if you don't feel like it now, it's one of those things that it's easier to do the work now than having to work that much harder in labor.

Why not also print out or open a birth book to a picture of an anterior baby and stick it on your mirror and remind the baby to turn? Not uncomfortable and relatively easy.
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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My DS was posterior, and my midwife did mention it at my visits, suggested spinning babies, etc. But it was more just to help and inform me, not because she was afraid or thought I should be.
I saw a chiropractor at the end of my pregnancy and it was very helpful, but he still didn't turn until I was in labor.
When my midwife arrived he was still posterior, he was born an hour later in 2 pushes with a total of 1 hr 50 min of labor.
It's good to know what's going on with you baby, and your body, but no reason to be freaked out. IMHO

Mom to DD 7, DS 6, DD 4.5, DD 2.5, DS 1.5 and expecting DD4 anyday now. Planning my second : and ready for fun!
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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Look into ways to help a posterior baby turn during labour, e.g. rebozo method, if it turns out your babe is still posterior by then. Ask your midwife what she can do to help reposition babies during labour. Share what you find with her and make sure she's aware of the slightly unusual things that may occur in a posterior labour, e.g. variable decelerations in baby's HB (normal and no cause for alarm - seems they're quite common with OP babies), cervical lip, irregular contractions etc. Be aware that a posterior labour is often longer and harder than a 'regular' labour, so make sure that your support people are really supportive and know exactly what you want them to do, even if you can't speak up about your wants/needs at the time.

These are things I really wish I'd known before my DD turned posterior during early labour. My midwife didn't seem to know what to do about it, and so did absolutely nothing bar bully me mercilessly for hours until she coerced me into transferring.

I wouldn't freak about it, but I would definitely make some efforts to try to turn baby before labour too. I would also have a chat with your midwife about how her attitude to this is making you feel.

Good luck and hoping for a smooth birth for you - OP or not!

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Old 07-04-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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From what i hear. posterior babies are difficult labors. if there's something you can do now to avoid this, why not? Pelvic rocks, sitting straight, squatting, walking, all can be worked into your schedule. If your budget allows, you might try a chiropractor specializing in pregnant ladies. If not, try talking to your baby. that's alway's free. whatever you do, be positive about it. if nothing works, at least you tried.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses. I feel that I am prepared for a long labor (last time was 17 hours awake, with no real pattern, and it really wasn't that bad until transition) and will find a way to deal with back labor if that's how things roll. I also know that being at home, I have a much better chance of a good outcome than I would in the hospital with a posterior baby. My MW and her assistants do know all the tricks for turning the baby during labor if necessary -- have the rebozo and all that -- so I don't think that will be an issue either. I recently talked to another of her moms who had a posterior baby (her first) and pushed for 8 hours to get her out!

I honestly think the issue is that my MW's personality is a little too much like mine -- she's kind of pessimistic -- which is strange for someone who is so committed to trusting the birth process and has so many years of experience attending home births. I can only assume that once she's in the moment, she's going to do everything she can to help me have this baby at home and be positive. For better or worse, I just can't bring myself to worry that much about this baby being posterior. I am doing hands and knees every day and sleeping in a position that should encourage him to turn, but he seems pretty comfortable back there and impervious to my efforts (every once in a while I think I hear him laughing at me). I think the most important thing is not being afraid and believing that I can do it -- worrying about position interferes with that, so I have to let it go. I've made my bed with HB and have to lie in it even if it is more painful than last time. So that's what I'll do. If I make it to my next appointment, I think I will mention that I need support and positive energy from everyone.

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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There is another option, which is that she may have identified that baby is not well positioned in your pelvis (this is different from posterior.) I'm thinking a face or brow presentation, specifically, which can be a whole different ball game.

In your shoes, I'd go for a swim. Give baby the optimum chance to move with the minimum of discomfort on your part.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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I would not stress about the position of your baby unless it was breech. A posterior baby can turn during labor. There are a lot of positions you can try during labor to relieve back pain that will help to turn a posterior baby. Getting on all fours, lunges on a chair, leaning over a birth ball, etc, etc. Your midwife should know these. Do you have a doula? I recommend reading "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn" co-author Penny Simkin for some good ideas (or The Birth Partner). Anyway, it's possible that your baby is not even posterior. Please don't stress about this. Your body know what to do. Posterior babies are pretty rare, but no reason for a c-section!

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Old 07-05-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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3 posterior babies all turning during labour.

First one was the worse because I was induced and stuck on my back.

2nd was hard work, 3rd was pretty easy.

yes, do the exercises and what you can to get baby to shift, however, don't stress if it doesn't work and try to avoid any lying on your back in labour.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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all my babies were posterior until labor. i dont see the big deal!

mdcblog5.gif   Liz mama to DS 10, DSS 9, DD 6, DS 3, DD 2 , Aquila- dec 19th 2009 died at my homebirth, and....welcome Willow born 9-16-10 (9 weeks early)  nut.gif
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:05 AM
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My daughter was posterior. My labour was very long and I had all back labour but I would do it again in a heartbeat. My midwife (in retrospect) was very laid back about it. We knew it in advance, and I tried leaning forward when sitting and scrubbing floors but she just didn't budge. In retrospect, I'm so grateful my midwife was so laid back because she never scared me and I never dwelt on the notion that labour might harder and longer. She had me spend several hours of active labour in the scissor position. I remember that being difficult. My daughter was born after two hours of pushing, sunny-side up. Once her head was out, the rest of her turned (all by herself).

I'm very glad I was at home. That's what made it bearable for me. I would most likely have had a c-section at a hospital. I went eleven days over, and there's no way an induction would have worked.

It's totally doable and you're better off at home.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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I had a posterior babe, born posterior as well--my third! The midwives didn't always predict what position he was in correctly (I was actually fairly certain that he was posterior). I already did all of the optimal foetal positioning stuff, and it wasn't working.

For me, it wasn't really much longer of a labor (maybe a half an hour longer or so--) but the back labor was very intense. It was my longest pushing stage, 35 minutes....about 5 minutes longer than my first birth. I already birth really well (the birth after that one was an accidental UC--maybe my body pushed for 2-3 minutes LOL).

We discovered after baby was born that he the cord wrapped around his head twice, tight enough that likely he had chosen not to turn and be born that way so he would't tighten the cord.

I'm surprised that they're so concerned right now, especially since this isn't your first...I know with first births it can be rather rough. Because it can add hours to an already long/exhausting process. But, I wouldn't worry about it with a subsequent birth. Sure, do everything you can to encourage baby to take on the best birthing position, but if they don't it is still very doable to birth a posterior babe! So many of us here have done it! Just another variation.

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Old 07-11-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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My DS was posterior, I labored a lot on my hands and knees for the 45 minutes of labor that I had, it just felt right. Nobody knew he was posterior, I just followed my gut and did what felt right. Then all of a sudden the back pain was gone, and he came in two easy pushes. That said, he was born at 36 weeks with no warning, my water broke, contractions started about 3 hours later, and then he was born.

I say follow your gut, do what you feel is right, your body knows far better than anyone else.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Here's a couple of good posts from Well Rounded Mama on fetal positioning. I think it's rather enlightening about what posterior actually means for your labor.

http://wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/...-position.html

http://wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/...ect-labor.html

If it were me I would do what I could with positions and exercises to turn the baby but I wouldn't stress unduly about it. Of course my optimally positioned DS was a 23+ hr labor, so ...

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Old 07-12-2009, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much to everyone for your kind and supportive responses. I'm typing this with one hand and nursing my baby as I type. He was born on July 6, after about 22 hours of early, painless labor (got a full night's sleep and everything!) and then three hours of active labor. Pushing took less than half an hour; I'm not sure whether he ever turned or not, my husband said he came out with his head facing sideways rather than up or down. In any case, nothing bad came of him being posterior while inside the womb. I didn't feel a thing in my back -- the contractions were all up front. I'm glad I didn't worry about it too much.

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Old 07-12-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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: I'm so glad!

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Congrats!

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Old 07-13-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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umm, all my babies were posterior, and it was a complete and utter non-issue. i seriously wouldn't worry about it!

DUHH shoulda read the update--CONGRATS!!! :

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