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Baby is back-to-back - what now? What do I need to know e.g. about turning in labour?

(51 Posts)
aufaniae Sat 30-Mar-13 21:37:46

Due in 12 days, the MW seems not too concerned about DD being back-to-back, and says she may still turn - even in labour.

However I know a couple of people who had horrendous labours because of their baby being back-to-back, both experiencing loads of pain and ultimately ending in C-section. Ideally, I'd really like to avoid a c-section if at all possible!

Does anyone know what happens if they try to turn the baby in labour? Are there risks involved, what should I know?

Is is common for back-to-back babies to end up being delivered by c-section?

TIA smile

Flisspaps Sat 30-Mar-13 21:42:34

AFAIK they won't try to turn the baby - they only attempt to turn breech babies, and that's before labour starts.

Back to back babies are left to it but it may be a more painful labour as their spine is pressed up against yours.

Have you looked at the spinning babies website? There may be suggestions of positions on there to try. It's entirely possible your baby will turn before or during labour anyway all on their own.

onedev Sat 30-Mar-13 21:46:07

All 3 of mine were back to back & sorted themselves at some point before delivery. My midwife had told me to rock on all fours & bounce on the birthing ball - which I did do lots of. Not sure if that actually made the difference but they were in the right position when they came out having been back to back for most of the pregnancy.

Carolra Sat 30-Mar-13 21:47:30

My dd was back to back and turned during labour, which is a good thing!! My contractions were mostly in my lower back, I didn't feel them in front until right near the end. She took 12 hours to pop out but it was a straightforward delivery, gas and air, no tearing.

I don't think you need to worry too much about it yet, no one made a big deal about it with me and nature just took its course. Your dc might turn in the next couple of days anyway... Try not to be too concerned until it happens, wait and see how your labour is going and trust your instincts. Good luck!!

mumarchy Sat 30-Mar-13 21:49:37

Mine was back to back. Gave me an awful backache but turned in time for delivery. Ever thankful to the trainee midwife who gave me a lovely back massage during labour thanks.

BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 30-Mar-13 21:50:50

Get on your hands and knees wih your bum in the air, that encourages baby to turn I think.

DD1 was back to back, she turned in labour and shot out. Midwife did say it caused my waters to break early though, due to position of her head.

ShootingStarsss Sat 30-Mar-13 21:53:58

My dd was back to back she turned during labour, yes it was a lot if pain in my lower back instead of front, in fact I'm not gonna lie it was agony.

thingamajig Sat 30-Mar-13 21:54:07

DD1 was back to back, I had a backachey labour, but didn't need pain relief, and had her at home. Back to back isn't a death sentence to simple birth.

aufaniae Sat 30-Mar-13 21:57:10

Thanks for the replies smile

Please can I ask, when you say "a more painful labour" what do you mean exactly?

I know it's hard to describe pain, but FWIW I was augmented for may last labour (induced after it's started naturally, basically). They gave me the synotocin drip which really, really hurts, but their attempts at epidural failed. I also had a relatively large baby (9lb 4). All of this together led to me experiencing pain like I never knew existed, it was awful, screaming agony.

So, by "a more painful labour" do you mean pain that's possibly dealable with, with Gas & Air, or screaming agony where I'll be begging for an epidural?

balkanscot Sat 30-Mar-13 21:58:24

That's what they kept telling me, that the baby would turn during labour. It turned out DS had other ideas. I wanted a lovely birthing centre birth, pool, gas and air only, etc., ended up not dilating properly, baby still not turning and, after 28 hours in total, doctors decided to do a forceps, with manual turning (forceps turning was offered but I refused) beforehand. They were very reluctant to do a C-section as the baby was already well in the birth canal. Despite such turn of events DS was delivered safe and sound, after an initial slight worry about his heart rate dropping/cord getting around his neck en route to the operating theatre.

I hope I didn't sound too scary or negative - I am sure your baby may turn during labour as described above. Good luck! smile

My ds was back to back. While the labour was long and painful, I had a fan-bloody-tastic midwife and ds was born with no interventions. The pushing stage was long which I think is common in back-to-back, 2 hours and 20 minutes to be precise. I did have an epidural because I just couldn't take the pain and it gave great relief until it wore off and they didn't top it up

Zoomania Sat 30-Mar-13 22:01:36

I think it is difficult to say aufanie as everyone has a different labour and different pain threshold etc. my baby turned back to back at 37 weeks and I was so worried but had a normal delivery after about 5 hrs labour. Very very intense and close together contractions but managed with pool and gas and air. Don't have anything to compare it too!

aufaniae Sat 30-Mar-13 22:02:58

Thanks balkanscot, no worries, not too scary or negative! It's reassuring to hear everone's good stories, but I'm well aware it might not be plain sailing.

DO you mind if I ask if there's a specific reason you refused the forceps?

BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 30-Mar-13 22:08:06

It's not a productive pain imo, not like front contractions where it hurts but you know why. DD1 it just hurt all the time, it didn't come and go and I found that hard to deal with. Water did help hugely though.

Ime though the hurting all the time was more irritatingly painful than intensely painful - in the case of "normal" contractions.

FrantasticO Sat 30-Mar-13 22:11:21

I've had one total back to back delivery, one normal and one that turned.
Back to back or me was more painful.
Normal in comparison was no problem, but may have just been a different labour.

I'd say keep your options re pain relief open and see what happens on the day.
It's all just means to an end so you have your baby safe with you, don't beat yourself up whatever happens.

Good luck on meeting your new little person!envy

I have had three back to back labours.

DS was 1hr 51mins start to finish unplanned and unexpected home birth no pain relief apart from two paracetamol.

DD1 was a planned home water birth she arrived before the midwife did at 50 ish minutes from start to finish. One Capri Sun drink as pain relief this time!

DD2 I was induced as I was an inpatient for the last two months of pg for other complications. I ended up on the drip with artificial rupture of membranes etc. I was continually monitored and I had 4 contractions which were 10 minutes apart I was not in established labour according to the midwife. DD2 begged to differ so 40mins for her. Half a chocolate orange for pain relief for this one grin

I dread to think how quick they'd have been if they were the right way round.

It is not all doom and gloom.

slimyak Sat 30-Mar-13 22:14:46

Both my DDs were back to back and came out star gazing. I did lots of time on the birthing ball and painted the skirting boards of a whole house when heavily preg with DD1.
Can't say if was more painful than normal as I only have the 2, however I had only gas and air with both and first was an 8 hour labour and second a 4hour labour, with not interventions.
I was aware that sitting or lying down made the pain too much for me so I basically danced them out.
Interesting someone said about back to back meaning waters broke early hadn't heard that before, but my waters broke both times at home at the onset of labour. The second time while sat on the loo blowing my nose, which was very convenient!

Both of mine were back to back. I was advised, with ds, to crawl around on all fours for 20 mins a day- probably from 36 weeks. That was 7 years ago. With dd they didn't really advise anything, just stated she was back to back.
I had that many issues during both labours that I couldn't really say whether it caused any problems directly. They both turned of their own volition during the first stages of labour anyway! smile

Dogsmom Sat 30-Mar-13 22:26:58

I had my daughter 3 weeks ago, she's my first so I expected a long labour but she was back to back too and it took 30 hours from start to finish.
I have to admit the pain was horrendous, gas and air did nothing, I have a high pain threshold but after 24 hours I was shaking uncontrollably with it.
I had an epidural at 26 hours and it was a million times better, the contractions were mildly painful but a breeze compared to before.
I ended up only having to push 3 times to get her out and did have an episiotomy and ventouse but that was because she was in distress and nothing to do with the epidural.
She did turn herself but literally just before I had to push and I'd laboured for over 25 hours.
With regards to turning her beforehand I was told by various midwives that getting on all fours was a myth and wouldn't do anything, I can't say I'd it's true as I didn't try.
Before having her I didn't believe people who said that you forget the pain but you do, within minutes it all seemed a haze and we're already planning number 2!

derbyshire Sun 31-Mar-13 03:27:53

I've had Two b-b labours.
Best advice is stay on your feet until as late as poss and then all fours to give birth. All the pain was in my lower back.
I couldnt bear lying down and midwife had to time her internals carefully!
Did it with gas and air though and baby turned in the last hour.
Still can't stand to see women lying on their backs in tv labour - makes me cringe.

aufaniae Sun 31-Mar-13 07:25:23

Last time I gave birth I had to have an IV drip and continuous monitoring. I got a midwife who refused to work with me unless I was on my back. I suspect because of the continuous monitoring and her lack of ability to deal with this, but I don't know as she wouldn't offer my a proper explanation. Most of the birth was a stand off between us (I'd been to ante natal classes where I'd learnt about active labour).

I remember actually bargaining with her, agreeing I'd go on my back for half an hour as she ws so insistent then looking at the clock and realising 2 hours had passed (I was very high on the gas and air).

I gave in, in the end as so exhausted, and gave birth on my back, feet in stirrups, with no serious pain relief, in screaming agony. (She actually had the cheek to tell me I shouldn't scream!)

Because of this experience, I really want to understand what my options are and what will help in labour so I can stand my ground better if I cone up with someone as rubbish as her again.

cupcake78 Sun 31-Mar-13 07:30:31

My ds was back to back. Yes it hurt but then all labours hurt.

I got very bad back pain throughout my labour and it was a slow labour but the speed was more down ds head being too big to fully engage until I was more dilated.

The birthing ball and back rubs were my saviour. Ds was born with no intervention. I had backache afterwards but that could just be because of the pregnancy and he was a big baby.

Don't be scared about back to back deliveries its not a deal breaker and can be done.

cupcake78 Sun 31-Mar-13 07:33:33

When it came to the pushing stage I was told to lie on my left hand side. I'm still not sure why but I only pushed for 40mins which for a first birth isn't badgrin

HanBanan89 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:07:45

I am first time mummy to a 3 week old DD. all the way through my pregnancy DD was in te correct position but turned during labour into a back to back position. I have to say the pain then was terrible and because she was b2b and her head was more at my tail bone than pushing on cervix I stopped dilating. Anyway long story short they tried to turn her internally 3 or 4 times with no joy so we then got taken to theatre where I had to have foreceps delivery and episiotomy. DD was fine no worse for all the drama. No matter what happens it will be so worth it when your LO arrives, fingers crossed that baby decides to turn for you during labour and good luck when the time comes

SneezySnatcher Sun 31-Mar-13 08:08:47

I'm due on Saturday with another (so far) b2b baby.

DD was b2b and induced, so I expected the labour to be agony. It was bad, as the contractions were all in my back and there was no let-up, but I did cope with gas and air.

My tip is to sit on the loo (yes, really) during labour. I went to the loo and then couldn't be bothered to move, so stayed there for ages! By the time I got up, DD had turned and the labour got much easier. A birthing stool or ball would be a more hygienic pleasant option!

BTW, I'm pretty annoyed this one is b2b as I have been so active this pg. I've completely avoided sitting on the sofa since 34 weeks (sat on ball instead), been swimming three times a week, loads of walking etc with the express purpose of avoiding b2b labour. He does keep switching though, so there's still time!

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