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38+3 baby in posterior position - problematic for natural birth?

(18 Posts)
elizabuff Thu 25-May-06 16:54:23

Just had my (hopefully) last mw appointment at 38 wks +3 and she said that the baby is still in a posterior position (has been for weeks now) and unlikely to turn round as she seems comfortable and is 4/5 engaged. Is this likely to present any problems for a natural birth and is there anything I can do to help with the apparently increased pain of a back labour?


ComeOVeneer Thu 25-May-06 16:59:44

I had this and I had a much longer labour as a result. Same thing with second pregnancy. Spent a lot of time on all fours on the advice of the midwife and ds turned making labour much better.

gothicmama Thu 25-May-06 17:02:41

I leant on dh and stood up a lot during labour

serenity Thu 25-May-06 17:04:34

I've had three OP deliveries, and they've all been fine.

I'm never quite sure what is meant by a natural birth, but with Ds1 and DD I got by with gas and air. DS2 was induced, but for being overdue not because of his position (although his position could have been why he was overdue I suppose).

My main advice would be to keep active during the labour. Lying down really really hurts compared to standing/kneeling.

There will be a big range of experiences on here, some people had a lot more trouble with this type of presentation but it's not 100% that this will be the case. Personly my labours weren't excessively long or painful.

Littlefish Thu 25-May-06 17:06:50

Definitely keep as active as possible during labour. Don't lie on your back at all! Tell your dp/dh/birth partner that under no circumstances are they to let you lie on the bed!

ComeOVeneer is right too. I spent at least an hour a day, for the last month of my pregnancy, on all fours, leaning on a bean bag. Don't lean back on a sofa, try and lean forwards if at all possible.

Apparently, going up and down stairs sideways is supposed to help too.

Start scrubbing your kitchen floor and skirting boards - it all helps!

I had a wonderful, natural waterbirth with gas and air only. This followed about 4 days of contractions however, which I've been told were probably due to dd's posterior position.

Blu Thu 25-May-06 17:18:12

The baby often turns during labour / delivery anyway.

DS was OP - it did take ages and ages, but I wasn't in pain at all - no more than weird discomfort during contractions. I spent the whole time kneeling and leaning forwards on a bean bag, the stairs, anything. I had a pool, and didn't need any other pain relief - until, in the end, we did have a ventouse delivery and I demanded an epidural. Lying down, esp on my back was awful, and made me panic. But it was a first baby with a big head, and I was fine thoughout 3 hours of pushing.

DumbledoresGirl Thu 25-May-06 17:22:05

I had 4 natural births, 2 of which were posterior. Is this your first baby? If so, you might be in for a bit of a struggle - I hope I am OK saying that. My first baby was posterior and was finally delivered by forceps. My fourth baby was also posterior and his birth was easy although clearly not as fast as the MWs were expecting. They had no idea he was posterior but when he came out facing the wrong way there were exclamations of "Ah! That is why he took his time!" The thing is, if this is not your first baby, your body apparently gets better at turning the baby just before the birth, or delivering it posterior.

Anyway, good luck with the birth and don't worry: a natural birth is more than possible.

Oh and for pain relief: a hot shower or a hot bath is great!

Piffle Thu 25-May-06 17:25:57

my dd was posterior at 38+2 I knew this as I went into labour (well felt like it) and had serious contractions for 4-6 hrs at hospital then it stopped
Midwife informed me as she sent us home that dd had gone to anterior - so figure the false labour was her moving.
Went into labour 2 days later had dd in about an hour, sometimes the pre labour process can move them up til very late on.

foxinsocks Thu 25-May-06 17:27:03

I kept on my feet and gave birth sort of on all fours (with my bum facing the midwife iyswim!).

I would get dh/dp/birth partner to practise rubbing your lower back now because I found that was quite soothing when I had contractions.

Piffle Thu 25-May-06 17:27:31

I recommend all fours at any rate

sfxmum Thu 25-May-06 17:29:16

i had thus nearly a year ago with my first baby.
spend as much as possible on all fours
keep active stay home as much as possible
i found the initial backpain hard to cope with labour was long but i had natural delivery

good luck

take food nobody feeds you i was starving after all that

sparklemagic Thu 25-May-06 18:00:34

Hi Eliza, good to see that there are so many varying experiences on this subject! My DS turned OP in or just before labour, as the midwives had told me all thru pregnancy that he was in an ideal position!

It was my first baby and I have to say it was long and hard. Just want to give my experience as I wish I had been forewarned a bit, I think being prepared can't be a bad thing. My labour was 50 hours from start to 'crash' emergency CS (under general). I basically didn't dilate, only to about 7 cms and DS became severely distressed.

However that's just one experience, probably more use to say the things I felt during the long labour....
Sleep if you can, when you can! I had no sleep for over 50 hours because unfortunately my contractions were very regular, and painful, from the beginning. So if you can sleep, do it.

Pack a bag to take to hospital that has twice as much as you think you need, as labour could be long. Take ridiculous amounts of t shirts or nighties, pants, socks, flannels or sponges, take snacks to keep you going with energy....warn your DP/DH/mum that it might be long so they need to remember to keep encouraging you, and keep massaging whatever you need massaged....

Get in bath or water pool as soon as you can for as long as you can!

Don't let anyone pressure you to lie down if it feels horrible, it felt hateful to me! Don't assume the midwives will know that it feels horrible because of OP presentation, mine certainly didn't seem to have a clue and kept pressuring me to lay back in the bath.

If it is a long time, rest upright to save energy..I walked round like a lunatic in order to have an active labour and just ended up completely exhausted.

Mine must be one of the more negative birth stories on here but I survived and bonded immediately with my gorgeous boy, so do not worry!!! best of luck x

tortoiseshell Thu 25-May-06 18:10:17

Definitely not too late for baby to turn - ds turned from OP just at the last minute - literally 30 minutes or so before coming out. Spend lots of time now on all fours - knees below your hips. Sitting backwards on a dining chair can help (straddling it iyswim). I spent lots of time watching tv leaning forward on a chair with this pg to try and get ds2 into a good position, and it worked! If you lie down, don't lie on your back, lie on your side. I think basically their back will flop into the lowest part of the uterus through gravity, so you need to make sure the front bit is the lowest!

In labour, keep mobile, and try and keep the pelvis open. Pupuce (I think) has some good tips on OP labour.

elizabuff Thu 25-May-06 18:30:26

Wow - loads of advice, thank you all.

Yes, it's my first baby, and thankfully I have a high natural pain threshold (though how high remains to be seen ). I had heard that OP presentation could make labour last a long time and make it more painful, so I will certainly be trying to get the baby to wriggle round before she decides to arrive. don't mind 'horror' stories as I'm well-grounded enough for them not to panic me and I would much rather be prepared than scared when it happens. Have been having a great deal of back pain today as well, which is fairly constant so I think must just be down to positioning (thought earlier that it could be something happening, but I guess that was wishful thinking).

Going to go and crawl around the front room carpet this evening with my bum in the air (to general amusement I should think) and may try swimming later in the week as I think that will make my tummy hang down too.

Btw, by 'natural' birth I meant hopefully avoided CS or forceps/ventouse. Don't mind drugs though!

Thanks again, will keep looking in case anyone comes up with more ideas.

liath Thu 25-May-06 21:57:32

Hi elizabuff,

My dd was posterior so I spent most of the last weeks of pregnancy on my hands & knees ! My midwife advised me to get hold of a TENs machine as she reckoned they really help in an OP labour. I was so worried that I insisted on seeing my consultant but she assured me that things should be fine & all 3 of her babies were posterior and no problem. Mind you she did say if things were going t*ts up she'd pop in & give me a caesarian!!

I took raspberry leaf as it's supposed to help with efficient contractions, which you need to turn the baby.

In the end the TENS was fantastic, I'd really recommend it - dd turned during labour and everything went well.

Good luck!

sfxmum Thu 25-May-06 22:00:51

another vote for tens really great help as well as hot water bottle for lower back pain and dh massage lower back huge relief

grumpyfrumpy Thu 25-May-06 22:07:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juuule Thu 25-May-06 23:27:19

Nope. No problem with a natural birth. However, do agree with others - *STAY OFF YOUR BACK* if you want to avoid the horrible back labour. I leaned forward onto the bed while sitting on a birthing ball during labour-no problem and then some silly midwife put me on my back to deliver.........pain went off the scale.

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