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Back to back labour - how does the midwife determine presentation during labour?

(9 Posts)
MammaCici Mon 01-Apr-13 20:58:17

I don't recall my tummy being checked during my first labour. Do they determine presentation when they check dilation?

fuckwittery Mon 01-Apr-13 21:31:05

My tummy was checked.

NicolaSeal Tue 02-Apr-13 12:20:28

Mine didn't at all. Got to 10cm with a bit of gas & air for 10 hours, they let me push for approx 2 hours and, when she wouldn't come out, they gave me an epidural (in prep for an emergency section). Tried forceps first & she came out that way. I was told after that she was back to back. I wish I'd known beforehand so, with dc2, I'm going to ask them to check!

SoHHKB Tue 02-Apr-13 12:22:59

During an internal examination to check dilation, the midwife said she thought she'd just put her finger up the baby's bottom. That's when they realised dd was breech... shock

showtunesgirl Tue 02-Apr-13 12:25:49

Nobody had to tell me that DD was back-to-back, my contractions told me! I felt nothing across my front but everything through my back which was agonising.

catlady1 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:16

showtunesgirl me too. All but one midwife I saw said they couldn't tell and then finally one confirmed DD was back to back. Then she turned at the last minute and wrapped the cord around her neck, scared my mum to death when she was watching her being born! But all was fine, just an awful long, painful back labour.

MammaCici Tue 02-Apr-13 14:35:25

I have an anterior placenta and baby has been b2b for weeks now. I'm 35+3. I also have prolapse issues and baby is down very low already. I'm seeing a doctor from the delivery ward on Monday to discuss a possible c-section (I think I want it - I suspect she doesn't as my midwives prefer the vaginal route). On paper my first delivery was straight forward with just 3 small 1 stitch tears, however my prolapse became apparent a year+ later. In reality I found my first labour horrendous. I'm really scared of a b2b vaginal birth and what the long term effects on my prolapse could be. The midwives I see keep assuring me it will be fine but it's easy for them to say. If a normal birth caused so much damaged what would a OP do to me? I would like to give baby a chance to turn but I've been wondering how they monitor that during labour. If baby isn't turning to OA I don't want to proceed vaginally. I just don't believe my body can do it without major damage.
I've been reading different b2b threads and there seems to be a lot of stories with the midwives being surprised to see a sunny side up face emerging. Sounds like a lot of guess work on their part.

MrsPatrickDempsey Tue 02-Apr-13 15:33:06

There are two ways to determine presentation (which bit of the baby enters the pelvis first ie breech or cephalic) and position (where the baby's back lies in relation to mum's). Firstly by abdominal palpation and secondly by vaginal exam. Presentation is easier to determine although sometimes missed on palpation. Position is more accurately determined on ve because landmarks on the baby's head are used. It is a skill that is acquired with practice and depends on the extent of cervical dilation to be able to feel as much of baby's head as possible.

MammaCici Tue 02-Apr-13 16:21:15

Thanks MrsPatrickDempsey, That''s exactly what I was wondering.

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