Back to back baby-what do I need to be aware of?

(32 Posts)
Em1503 Wed 23-Jul-14 17:04:22

I'm 39+4 so labour could be any time soon! Baby was breech for weeks so I went for a scan a couple of weeks ago and she had turned. However my midwife last week said that she thinks she's now lying back to back.

I've been doing all the spinning babies exercises, but IF she doesn't turn and is still back to back during labour what do I need to know? For example I've just read a thread about the use of keilands forceps which I now definately do not want, however I wasn't aware of this a few minutes ago! I feel I need to educate myself on what could happen do I am prepared and can make the best choices.

I was feeling ok about the birth but now getting worried that it's going to be long and painful and distressing for baby.

moodymary Wed 23-Jul-14 17:21:09

Ds was back to back all through my labour. I didn't need any intervention at all and just had gas and air. It was my second delivery and I don't think it was more painful than my first, but the contractions were pretty much constant without any recovery time in between as the baby tries to turn themself apparently. Obviously every labour and birth is different and I'm not suggesting yours will be the same as mine, just wanted to reassure you that it isn't a total nightmare!!

yomellamoHelly Wed 23-Jul-14 17:26:51

I had a back to back with nr 2. Managed without anything and labour wasn't any longer than the other 2. Even managed half an hour kip before pushing!
Midwife was desperate for me to lie on bed nicely and play ball. Felt like totally the wrong thing to do so did it my way.
Could turn out okay for you.

rubyslippers Wed 23-Jul-14 17:29:40

both my babies were back to back

first labour was quite long - the latent phase particularly but after that active labour was 10 hours and natural delivery with gas and air. didn't turn was born star gazing ...

second baby back to back and turned in labour - shot out in 2 pushes. I think this was because i had a water birth and i could move and labour well

keep active and mobile - squat and lean and try not to be flat on your back

slightlyglitterstained Wed 23-Jul-14 17:43:30

I don't know when DS turned. All I know is that when scanned in the afternoon sometime, he was in the perfect place (on the left, facing my spine) - by about 12 hours later he popped out face up!

I think the midwives had an idea he'd turned in hindsight, but I had no idea, had no back pains (pain was at front & manageable, esp with gas & air), contractions regular etc. And labour was about 7 hours so not long. I did have an episiotomy, but he had an Apgar of 10 so was just fine. Not sure if this is helpful but wanted to give you an example of baby coming out face up & it being okay!

WhyBeHappyWhenYouCouldBeNormal Wed 23-Jul-14 17:55:22

Do you know a good chiropractor? My back is still suffering 3 years on after back to back dd decided to turn half way through!

I had felt no contractions in my back, only in my stomach. I had a water birth at home with gas and air and tried to spend most of my time on my hands and knees, any time spent on my back was agony.

I had to turn around onto my back to birth her to give an extra push which was agony but seemed to work well.

The midwives moniter the babies heartbeat to pick up any distress so don't worry about that, birth is distressing for mother and child whatever direction you're in! However my labour was very very long. 2 days of regular contractions.

Good luck! Remember - if this is your first baby, you won't know any different!

Sorry if my other thread scared you. It wasn't just that my baby was back to back, I was also being induced which carries a much higher risk of requiring intervention. In my case my contractions got me dilated but they were inefficient until the syntocin drip was ramped right up. Also baby was massive and that definitely didn't help!

I would highly recommend reading about the different interventions that can happen and deciding what you're comfortable with. I was a bit naive, didn't think anything like that would happen to me and it was chance I'd read about those forceps (in the Daily Mail of all places!)

ouchouchow Wed 23-Jul-14 20:30:35

After 34 hours of labour my back to back baby wasn't turning so I was taken into theatre to try ventouse, forceps then C section if necessary.

I bitterly regret consenting to ventouse and forceps, they did terrible damage to me (2 lots of surgery needed) and were traumatic for the baby. Really wish I hadn't consented and had pushed for a c section when it became clear I'd need help.

The labour itself wasn't too bad. I had 18 hours of mild contractions as the baby's head wasn't pushing in the right place to get them going properly. When I finally got to 4cm and was admitted, they gave me syntocin to get them going but I had an epidural so no pain. Staying mobile may have helped my baby to turn but I was just too tired to go on without pain relief, having missed a night's sleep already.

Many babies turn on their own - hopefully yours will. But I'd research forceps v carefully just in case - wish I had!

ch1134 Wed 23-Jul-14 20:56:11

I had an awful birth experience with my back to back baby and wish I'd thought to get informed first. My contractions were strong and constant for about 18 hours and the pain shocked me. I had been adamant that I would have a water birth with no pain relief but in the end needed an epidural and ventouse. I felt very disappointed and it's taken a long time to heal but both me and baby were very well looked after. Now I think that the epidural and ventouse were simply necessary, and I would suggest that you accept an epidural much earlier than I did if your labour is anyway near as slow or intense as mine. Best of luck. Remember to accept help and trust the professionals. They are very good at keeping mums and babies alive against the odds.

NatashaBee Wed 23-Jul-14 21:06:33

DS was back to back. Whilst at home in early labour I was sitting backwards on a chair, leaning against the chair back, and was managing pretty well. Then we went into hospital where they made me lay on my back for monitoring - it was agony and I was begging for an epidural. I would try and labour upright for as long as you can. Pushing him out was really hard (but then I only have DS so didn't know any different) but I managed to do it without forceps or ventouse.

And yes, if you have any back issues after the birth go and see someone. B2B labour can be really tough on your back. I struggled on for a year before getting referred to a physio which really helped.

BigfootFiles Wed 23-Jul-14 21:10:10

There are very few genuine reasons why a midwife will need you to lie on your back. Most things can be done in other positions, it just makes it harder for them. DH was brilliant at arguing my case on that in my back to back labour with DD. Lying on my back was beyond agony, all fours or standing up leaning forward took the pain out of my spine somewhat. I delivered DD on gas and air without intervention, though the pain in my spine was awful and I wished I'd had more drug options.

As an aside, in my second pregnancy I had pretty serious back problems and I think these originated from my first back-to-back labour. Long story short, the ligaments in my back became over-stretched and it was extremely painful - now I have to keep my core muscles strong so the muscles take over the work of the ligaments, which are permanently weakened (though as long as I look after my core on a day to day basis it's fine). I wonder in hindsight if I'd had a stronger core before getting pregnant second time around if some of the pain could have been avoided.

Poolbirthx2 Wed 23-Jul-14 21:50:24

Dd1 was back to back and although it was a very long labour (26 hours) I had no intervention or pain relief, and it was not as painful as dd2 who was not back to back x good luck x

Coffeeaddictforever Wed 23-Jul-14 21:55:49

I was in labour for 14 hours with dd. she was back to back until the last hour when she turned. I didn't have any pain in my tummy it was in my back the whole time. I didn't understand why my labour was so stressful so I met an independent midwife after to go through my notes.
She said the baby was probably back to back because I had my knees raised above my hips for the last few weeks ( to help with valorous veins on my legs). She said next time to sit on the ball and keep active in the last month to prevent back to back.
I only had gas and air and she said I couldn't have put up with the pain if I had not gone in the water bath.
In the end I felt it was traumatic but I can't wait to have another :-) try not to worry and keep active. Good luck

Em1503 Thu 24-Jul-14 11:08:23

Thanks, I have been trying to keep active and use the ball as much as possible, but like today I'm just so tired that being comfy on the sofa or bed is the only option.

It's the forceps and ventouse that scare me, I hate the thought of possible risk to the baby, plus the damage it seems they could do to me! I think it's those I need to research more and possibly be prepared to argue for a c-section instead. I am fine with the thought of a c-section and felt a whole lot better when baby was breech and this was what I thought would happen.

Hopefully she'll turn and it won't come to any of this, but I just need to know and be prepared for the worst !

jessplussomeonenew Thu 24-Jul-14 17:32:34

There's a chapter in Juju Sundin's book Birth Skills specifically about back to back labour - she recommends various positions/techniques to use (she suggests once contractions start that you use all fours and other positions with the back parallel to the floor, and avoid upright positions and fit ball bouncing) Might be worth a read. Good luck!

PinklePurr Thu 24-Jul-14 17:37:42

I just want to mention that lying on my back was the ONLY comfortable-ish position for me, so don't rule it out completely. I know that all advise is that you shouldn't but I actually kicked a midwife who tried to get me on to my side. Poor woman was only trying to help!

ShadowFall Thu 24-Jul-14 19:27:34

DS1 was back to back. All the pain from the contractions was in my back - it took me hours to realise that the bad, intermittent backache might be labour, and I don't think I really believed for sure that it was labour until my mum talked me into going to hospital to get checked out blush

I also found that staying active in labour really helped me to manage the pain as well.

AnnaMariaWhiskers Fri 25-Jul-14 21:39:14

My ds was back to back, just had gas and air (and paracetamol!) in birth pool. The base of my spine hurt the most during labour so I made my DH put pressure there with the bottom of his palm. He complained it hurt, but didn't stop him watching the Bourne Trilogy on his phone held in the other hand! It hurt, but not at all unbearable, I just kind of zoned out, focused on a song that was in my head, and prayed quite a lot! All the best x

dennant Thu 31-Jul-14 22:50:58

I have justvhad my baby by emergency c section, but she was back to back all the way through. Turns out her umbilical cord was wrapped around her legs, not sure if that stopped her turning?
Anyway, prior to the section my labour went like this: woke up at 9am.sunday morning with what i would describe as period pain, this went on throughout. At lunchtime i started getting cramps which then converted into contractions across my lower abdomen. Weirdly none of my contractions felt across the top of my tummy at all. Went to hospital at midnight that night and laboured all throughout the night and into monday with the pain spreading from my lower abdomen to my back. My contractions when they got stronger literally felt like every muscle in my back was trying to rip my spine apart! Really intense back pain throughout. Laboured on like that all monday when they checked me i was still only 6cm. They broke my waters, but no improvement acfew hours on. The pain became so bad that i had to go againstvall of my plans and accepted an epidural so i could get some sleep and hopefully progress the labour. By lunchtime tuesday, still only 8cm so i was taken to theatre. Very sad i didnt makecit through but justvwanted to explain how my labour felt with a b2b baby, had my cervix opened properly then it may have been a different story. Hope everything goes well for you xx

WillowB Fri 01-Aug-14 14:04:36

Bear in mind that back to back babies can and do turn during labour. My DS was back to back for most of my pregnancy but he had turned when I was examined at the start of labour. I dud go on to have a c section but that another story...

BeyoncesCat Fri 01-Aug-14 14:33:01

DD was back to back. I was induced and I only had an 8 hour labour from first contraction to birth. It wasn't too bad however the back pain in labour really was horrific! I had every drug going but you may have a higher pain threshold than me. smile

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 01-Aug-14 20:01:04

There's a chapter in Juju Sundin's book Birth Skills specifically about back to back labour

mine was back to back and no one knew until she came out, just felt horrific pain in back...prior to birth however for weeks, I had been inadvertently on all fours scrubbing etc...and was very active.....

My baby had not turned etc...

there is only so much you can do

its a shame section is looked on as last resort benhind forceps etc..

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 01-Aug-14 20:01:33

I begged for epidural and was denied one.

Jellymoo Fri 01-Aug-14 23:58:44

The midwives at the hospital didn't realise my son was back to back till I was ready to start pushing. My midwife while giving me a sweep thought he was bold but she must have been touching his forehead! I'd been in a water bath for hours but because I wanted pethidine I had to get out and be monitored.
Going on all fours was incredibly painful for me so was on my back the whole 2 hours of pushing. The midwives were all ready to assist me as I was coming up to the time limit but I managed it with gas and air.
I will however mention that my little ray of sunshine turned the right way while his head was born causing my tail bone to fracture/break. He is 16 months old and it's still not right sad hopefully you'll not have to suffer any of this!

NatashaBee Sat 02-Aug-14 01:08:20

shock Jellymoo - have you tried physio? that sounds awful.

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