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Would you still homebirth an OP (back to back) baby?

(39 Posts)
PipCarrier Fri 13-May-11 14:20:46

36 weeks with DC2 and was planning on a homebirth. DC1 very easy, straightforward 4 hour labour, no tears etc. so thought a hb this time would be a wise move time-wise and be lovely.

However yesterday midwife said baby is 2/5 engaged (3/5 palpable) and currently back to back. She has advised me to try and move him/her and warned that my labour this time may be longer and more painful.

Any experiences? Now wondering if hospital may be a safer bet in case I need any intervention.

I would, but then all three of mine were OP and I had no real issues with any of them (had no need for anything stronger than gas and air). From previous threads though that's not always the case, some people on here have had very long, very painful labours because of it.

PipCarrier Fri 13-May-11 14:27:32

Thanks MrsDmitri that's encouraging.

I don't know if it's an advantage that my first labour was quick and straightforward - ie. does it mean that even though this one's OP I might still not have an issue.

I read only 6% don't turn so am hopeful that even if I can't turn it before then he/she might turn in labour and be ok.

WidowWadman Fri 13-May-11 14:30:39

Well often they only turn into the final position during labour.

That said having seen the bruise which covered all of my friend's sons forehead and hearing about her 3rd degree tear doesn't make it sound like a fun time. She did it without epidural though (as it was too late to put one in) and didn't need forceps or anything.

reikizen Fri 13-May-11 14:32:44

bloody midwife (excuse me talking of one of my colleagues that way). The fact is that most babies turn before labour or in the early stages. And there is a school of thought that OP labours being longer and more painful is a myth not supported by evidence. Certainly I have a couple of memorable labour/delivery where woman labours well & without issue only to deliver a 'stargazer' baby, i.e. still in the OP position. If you had a problem free first delivery I expect this one to be no different.
In addition to that, you can transfer into hospital if you find it hard going (don't make any assumptions before hand though) no big emergency. In hospital you will be encouraged to have an epidural & syntocinon. Stay away, and stay upright is my advice! Walking the stairs can be a good way to change the dimensions of the pelvis if baby is OP in labour. Good luck.

4pudding Fri 13-May-11 14:36:13

I just had a hospital VBAC, but she was back to back and although I needed some stitches there was no muscle torn and the whole labour took less than three hours. And that was my first vaginal birth.

So not always more difficult smile

minimoonumbertwo Fri 13-May-11 14:37:02

My first was super quick & easy so was disappointed when second was long & difficult! He was back to back but I didn't know until labour had started - not sure when he turned. With hindsight it certainly wasn't a terrible labour it just took a lot longer (10 hours as opposed to 5) & all the contractions were in my back which I found a lot more painful. It was also just a lot more tiring as it was longer. However, I did get him out with just gas & air so no intervention needed. The birthing pool felt fantastic although I didn't end up actually having him in there. I don't know if all that means it's better to be in hospital or at home really, the only thing I would suggest is that your older child is out of the house for a couple of days/overnight at least in case it is a longer labour. I guess altogether mine started at 8pm and he was born 2pm the next day, at no point would I have wanted to have seen/been in the same house as ds1 during that time.

I hope this doesn't come across as negative as it certainly wasn't a bad labour, I was just surprised as it had been so 'easy' the first time so I prepared for even quicker the second time. Also a good friend of mine gave birth to her back to back dd with no problems at all and in 6 hours.

fifi25 Fri 13-May-11 14:41:05

Hi my first and 3rd dd's were bb. In my experience the labours were a lot longer. I seemed to push and make little progress. I also couldnt lie flat on the bed. I found bb to be a lot harder. 2nd dd was fine.

I didnt need any intervention. I would go into hospital as the labours can take a while and mine were more painful. All the pain is in your back and it feels like your pushing the baby out your bum.

1st labour bb 12hrs
2nd not bb 4hrs
3rd bb 14hrs

I had gas an pethadine smile

rasta Fri 13-May-11 14:54:24

My baby is currently back to back and I'm planning a home birth. Midwife said a very, very high amount of babies will turn even during labour itself and she's made no indication that it's a problem at all for me to still go ahead with the HB.

TBH you've got ages yet, you're only 36 weeks! If you go overdue to say 42 weeks, you've still got potentially 6 weeks for the baby to turn.

I've been reading Spinning Babies which is really interesting and full of good tips to encourage the baby to turn.

craftynclothy Fri 13-May-11 15:19:47

I had a quick birth with dd1 (in best position).

With dd2 I planned a homebirth, she was in a good position at the last check before I went into labour. During my labour she was found to be OP. It was a different labour totally but not more painful (more just that the pain was in a different place). I did transfer in for pain relief (epidural) after 12 hours of labour, 3 hours on G&A, an hour for epidural to work, and a couple of hours later she started to turn (was born quickly after that).

I would certainly go for a homebirth again even if it were OP. The thing is that there's no big rush to get into hospital iykwim. Being OP doesn't mean your labour isn't going to turn out well. It's not like you have to choose before you're in labour. You could start with the plan of having a homebirth and then go in if you need/want to.

craftynclothy Fri 13-May-11 15:22:28

Oh I forgot to say. I'd been to a childbirth group before having dd2 and a woman there showed us a massage thing for pain relief. It basically involved the man pressing his thumbs in, either side of your spine between the hard bits iyswim. I found that was really really helpful for a b2b labour. I had dh pressing on my lower back for a significant amount of my labour!

mintpurple Fri 13-May-11 15:23:45

Most babies will move around a lot in the next few weeks and hopefully will be in a better position when you go into labour. You can still do this at home though, especially as its your second, so stay positive!

I have found that in many cases, OP babies do tend to give you a longer latent phase, with a couple of days of tightenings and mild contractions before you get into labour and the labour can be a bit slower, with more backache and often a pressure in the bowels or an early pushing sensation which can make you want to labour on the toilet. Not in all cases, as often the baby will turn as labour progresses, or turns when the head hits the perineum.

If you had an easy labour last time, your chances of needing intervention are very small so Id still go for it. You can transfer in labour if its necessary, but Id be surprised if you needed to.

camdancer Fri 13-May-11 16:34:16

I've had 2 homebirths that were back to back and it looks like this will be another. DS wasn't completely back to back before labour just decided to turn the wrong way round so went back to back during labour. But he turned pretty easily and was absolutely fine.

DD was also back to back and got stuck on an anterior lip. I am convinced that if I had been in hospital they would have insisted on a CS to get her out. As it was, I had two very experienced midwifes helping me move around so that she did turn in the end and was also completely fine. She turned just as the midwife was getting her phone out to call the ambulance for a transfer as it looked like DD wasn't going to get past the lip.

This time, I'm 37 weeks and it looks like this one is also back to back. Definitely still want to have a homebirth. I'm going to try to keep changing postitions every 5 mins or so but also try not to push quite so soon. With DD I was quite scared and worried and I think I just pushed too soon, which in turn didn't help the lip. The idea is that I'm going to be all relaxed this time and DC will just fall out. (No laughing please!)

frida75 Fri 13-May-11 16:52:03

Hi, ds1 was OP and took forever but I was epiduraled up to the eyeballs and flat on my back throughout. Ds2 was also OP but I had a home birth and was active throughout, leaning over the side of the cot and generally being in positions that would encourage him to turn. Just before transition I was kneeling on bed and he wriggled himself the right way round! It was amazing and I didn't really understand what was going on at the time - He was squirming and every time he shifted more of my waters gushed out. It was great!

Firkytoodle Fri 13-May-11 17:58:37

This article might help

DD was OP and born OP and I had a long labour, irrregular contractions and slow dilation which are apparently normal for a back to back labour. She was 8lb 4 and I had a TENs, G and A and an ill-advised shot of pethidine before she was born due to incompetent midwife. Pushing stage 2 minutes.

DS was OP and turned in labour, I think he must have had more space than his sister. He was born at home. Again TENs and G and A. He was 9lbs 6 and his birth was absolutely wonderful and I would do it again. Again a long labour, irregular contractions and slow dilation. Pushing stage 3 minutes although I breathed him out over time rather than actually pushing.

DD was delivered on all fours/kneeling upright against the bed after lots of walking around/bouncing on a birthball. My OP labour with DS was much easier at home, I could go for walks, climb up and down the stairs, sit in the garden in the sunshine, watch tv, listen to music, eat when and what I wanted and there was hardly any pain, mostly just pressure. Plus being at home made it much easier to refuse any 'help' from the hospital, like augmentation for my slow dilations. He was delivered whilst I was reclining semi-upright on the sofa with my knees over the edge as it was the most comfortable situation. I'd do his labour and birth again tomorrow it was that enjoyable.

thisisyesterday Fri 13-May-11 18:02:15

yes, i had a homebirth with ds2 and he was back to back

now, i had a really long hospital birth with ds1, 18 hours, lots of pain relief, ventouse delivery after 2 hours of inefective pushing.

ds2 however was 6 hours from start (very first twinges) to finish. it WAS bloody painful, but I'd had so much pain relief with ds1 that i couldn't honestly tell you if it was more painful than him (ds3 was more painful but was a very quick and intense labour anyway).
I found it much easier to deal with the pain at home though, and being able to be very mobile etc etc.
aaaanyway, i had 1hr 20 mins of pushing, and they said he probably would have been out a lot quicker had he been the right way round!
he was born back to back, which i think is less common cos a lot turn during labour, bu tnot sure of percentages or anything.
he also had a giant 38.5cm (iirc) head and weight 9lb 5.

so if i can birth that monster back to back then so can you! grin

I can honestly say, hand on heart, he was my best labour out of all 3 and I would gladly do it again if I had another baby.

thisisyesterday Fri 13-May-11 18:03:54

oh and like firkytoodle, I gave birth leaning over something (the sofa in my case)because that was the position i felt most comfortable with, it just felt right

afterwards the midwives said it was an excellent birthing position..?

Secondtimelucky Fri 13-May-11 19:51:13

My DD was back to back and born in hospital. This time round I am planning a homebirth. No. 1 was an extremely long and painful latent phase, then syntocinon, epidural and forceps. Even if I knew this one was going to be OP, I would still plan a homebirth. The type of transfer you might need if you feel you want more pain relief is a very controlled and measured one, so shouldn't be scary, and I honestly think that I would have had better coping techniques at home if I hadn't been wondering when to go to hospital. Who knows, I might have avoided some of the interventions.

CrystalQueen Fri 13-May-11 19:55:05

I planned a homebirth and it was only during labour that DD got herself into a bad position, so there's no guarantees there! I ended up transferring in, but I don't regret going for the homebirth. It was a drama-free transfer and I had a nice relaxed first stage at home. Are you far from the hospital?

Crawling Fri 13-May-11 20:22:29

Ds was op and born op I had 24 hours of constant cc but I coped no epi and no stiches. DD was normal and 12 hours so I may have long labors which contributed. However on DS I was admitted from first cc and I found it much harder being in hospital I would of been happier at home so I would go for it my birth was hard but not that hard and would not of been as painful if it was in my house.

DialsMavis Fri 13-May-11 20:32:34

Wih DS I had a quick and easy waterbirth with gas and air. I was desperate for a home birth but was advised against it because they thought DD might be a whopper (they are also incredibly short staffed near me). She was also back to back.

This time I went to Hospital; was already fully dilated (just like with DS) and hopped on the bed to have her quickly and go to pick Ds up from school. I just could not get her out no matter what I tried and ended up many hours later with EMCS. But DD was just over 10lb so I think it was the combination of postioning and size. The surgeon also said she was trying to come out face first! (brow presentation?).

My lovely midwife said that had i pressed for a home birth it wouldn't have been any more dangerous as they would have simply transferred me to hospital when it became apparent intervention was required.

I have since thought that had I been at home in water I may have been relaxed enough to get her out, as i dispise hospitals and it was all a bit of a shock after my brilliant first birth.

girlfromdownsouth Fri 13-May-11 20:42:40

I had a homebirth with my first child and she was back to back. It took a long time and all the pain was in my back but I managed with no painrelief other than accupressure on my back which was basically a Shiatsu practitioner pressing on my back for all she was worth.

So - yes it was long and yes it was more painful than DS born again at home (normally) 19 mths later, but eminently do-able.

PipCarrier Fri 13-May-11 20:43:59

Thanks for all the positive support here.

thisisyesterday very encouraged by your story - lots of respect to you for that smile This is what I'm hoping, that even though it's OP, it will still be quicker than first time, or at least the same length.

Crystal no we're not far from hospital so a transfer in wouldn't be a problem.

I'm not really worried about the level of pain, I have a high threshold and cope well with pain, it's more the length of labour that worries me.

Tbh I thought giving birth last time felt like needing a massive poo! I had a lot of back pain and a long pushing stage but DC1 was born the right way - whether he'd had a twist about during labour though is a possibilty.

I had a really active labour last time and gave birth on all fours kneeling over a beanbag so I wouldn't plan anything other than that this time - there's no way at any point I'd be lying on a bed or flat on my back, I wouldn't want to.

mouseanon Fri 13-May-11 20:44:13

My first was OP and ended up stuck and I needed an emcs, my second was not OP and was born in just over 2 hours, so the OP obviously made a huge difference. When things went wrong it all happened very fast. There wouldn't have been time to transfer from home to hospital.

PipCarrier Fri 13-May-11 20:46:11

That article's great Firky - thanks.

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