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How does back to back differ from birth in regular position??

(19 Posts)
LittleMissSnowShine Tue 16-Jul-13 21:18:05

Hi mums of 2 or more...

When I had DS1 in 2010 I had a sweep at 39+6 and he eventually arrived at 40+2 after a lengthy spurious labour with a lot of throwing up and back pain throughout. Despite the throwing up, irregular but strong contractions and all the pain being in my lower back it took 2 days of this before a midwife listening o heartbeat and hearing it sound 'echoey' mentioned the possibility that he was back to back (you think they might have checked that and let me know what to expect before giing me a sweep but anyway...) It was all v stressful, meconium in waters, needed continuous fetal heart monitoring throughout etc but eventually resulted in natural delivery albeit with lots of blood loss and an infection in my uterus caused by lengthy labour. Not fun and quite traumatic!!

Anyway now I am 36+5 with DS2 and I have quite bad stomach cramps this evening.

I'm pretty sure it's not labour kicking off early but it led me to wonder... Does it feel different having one baby back to back and one the 'right' way round? How does it differ? Is back to back usually a lot slower than normal? What should I be expecting? Thanks!

littlemissnormal Tue 16-Jul-13 21:22:31


I've had 2 back to back births with a not back to back one (front to back?) in the middle.

They didn't feel different to me, but both b2b ones were a lot longer (9 hours established labour as opposed to 1 hour) and required intervention in the way of epidural, episiotomy and forcep deliveries to help the babies get over the bump in the birth canal.

LittleMissSnowShine Tue 16-Jul-13 21:45:11

littlemiss - we have nearly the same name! That's interesting because so far this one seems to be the right way round and I've heard people say they thought labour 'felt' v different but tbh I was hoping to hear what you just said, that non back to back labour is potentially a good bit quicker. Hoping to avoid another 3 day extravaganza!

beckie90 Wed 17-Jul-13 07:31:41

My first was the right way, second was back to back. They never noticed till they finally got his head out, even though I had gone 5 days with regular contractions, and had absolutely no urge to push at all when I was fully dilated. Mine was so dif to ds1, his was fast and not as painful as back to back, also knew when I needed to push. But I'd had no idea that ds2 was back to back in pregnancy, nothing had gave it away, but then again I didn't know anything about b2b back then x

LittleMissSnowShine Wed 17-Jul-13 19:33:14

beckie - It's really annoying that MWs don't just tell you what's going on, because even without giving you a scan to be sure surely they must know the signs that the baby is b2b when you're in labour. It's not like it would be really uplifting to hear, yes, you're in labour and unfortunately your baby is back to back so there's a good chance this might take a long time and be pretty painful but at least (esp if it happens to be your first baby) you wouldn't feel like such an idiot, like someone who just can't cope with childbirth. It really wrecks your confidence!!! Really glad to hear that your other labour was so much different and sounds easier though. Keeping fx same will be true for me!

NatashaBee Wed 17-Jul-13 19:37:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beckie90 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:39:05

I think it can be as the head doesn't press onto the cervix in the right position in back to back sometimes. Not the case for everyone though I can imagine. My first the urge to push was overwhelming Lituraly couldn't stop it. So when my midwife with ds2 said your fully dilated and ready to push I was like umm really?
I think problem with ds2 was, they couldn't tell what they was actually feeling one even said ooo you just can't tell whats what, as I had a tiny bump really petite and he was 9ib so in some sense just felt like a ball which you couldnt tell what was what lol xx

shellsocks Wed 17-Jul-13 21:38:47

That's really interesting abt b2b meaning you might not get the urge to push as I didn't, even tho pushed for 5 hours, and am PG again and this has been worrying me, thinking my body just doesn't know what to do...there's hope yet grin

KeepTheFaithBaby Wed 17-Jul-13 21:43:53

I've only had one baby so far DD went b2b in the last 48 hours before birth. I don't fit with the above - I had a rapid labour (1h 50m from induction pessary to baby out!) and had a very strong urge to push - I was still dressed and had to tell them I thought I was pooing insist I needed to push to get them to check and I was crowning!

Shenanagins Wed 17-Jul-13 21:49:44

Op, i could have written your post as your first labour was nearly identical to mine. I have just given birth to my second who was not back to back.

I was worried about actually knowing when i was in "real" labour this time round but there was no need as when it started i knew!

this labour was long again but it was fine as i knew what was happening and certainly knew when to push.

keep asking your mw to check if the baby is back to back as they should be able to tell.

VisualiseAHorse Wed 17-Jul-13 21:51:34

I've only had one baby (so far!) He was back to back, and I was wondering this exact thing the other day!

I actually had an urge to push the entire time (from 3cm onwards!) It was awful. I was 5 hours in established labour, my legs ached, my pelvis felt like it was going to split apart. I wanted to push the whole time, except when I was lying on the bed or in the pool. Anytime I had to stand or go on all fours, I just wanted to bear down.

SneakyHateSpiral Wed 17-Jul-13 22:02:36

I've posted this on here bbefore, I found it helpful myself especially the bits towards the end.

For what it's worth both of mine were back to back. Labour was long but the contractions were not particularly painful. I dilated very slowly, contractions were quite irregular, but a TENs helped a lot. In my second labour DS turned an hour before he was born and I dilated four centimetres in fifty minutes after that. Dd was born in the OP position.

DS was a home birth, Dd was in hospital, neither time was any intervention or epidurals needed. I went into hospital at 8cm with DD as TEns and moving around made the contractions very easy.

Both times lying on my left side helped speed things up, and I moved into positions that felt right- on hands and knees was particularly helpful. I felt that the long labour gave me a chance to really build up endorphins with the Tens and DSs birth in particular was really calm and lovely.

LittleMissSnowShine Fri 19-Jul-13 21:47:10

Had check up with mw today and 37 werks, head engaged & (at this point anyway) not b2b woo hoo!!

With DS i had crap support from a v inexperienced newly qualified mw who just wanted me to lie flat on my back and then was kind of perplexed that over an hour of pushing hadnt been all that effective hmm Much more confident in mws this time round tho. This time round really feeling a lot of pressure down below when walking or sitting very upright, not exactly an urge to bear down (cos im obvs not in labour at the min!) but it's not a million miles off either.

Exciting but also a bit scary!!

Allthatglitters789 Sat 20-Jul-13 21:28:51

My first child was born back to back and no one had any idea until his head was out, the midwife had being shouting at me saying you are not pushing enough (i was pushing so hard i could'nt bloody breathe) only for her to apologise once his head was born and say 'oh know wonder he was taking so long' hmm
Second child was born normally and labour and pushing stage were much much faster and FAR less painful than back to back.

mamamidwife Sat 20-Jul-13 21:44:16

Back to back is usually longer labour and more painful as most have described, but the bearing down urge is probably affected by the baby's head position rather than the body position, engaged and a tucked in head is best. When in labour, some baby's that are B2b do not have their heads tucked so they don't descend into pelvis well and there is probably not a great urge to push and this combination means it takes a heck of lot longer to deliver!
Being mobile and adopting an upright position should be a great help.
Godd luck smile

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 21:54:22

My first two were both b2b and I had absolutely no urge to push. At all. Wasn't until DC3 that I understood what people were talking about when they mentioned feeling a 'need' to push.

That said, these days women are informed and midwives far more switched on about the difference, so it is much easier to cope, In my day, nobody mentioned it, and you just felt that you were lousy at giving birth.
My DH (not surprisingly now an XH) actually told me I was a disappointment, when DC1 took 27 hours.

sillyoldfool Sat 20-Jul-13 22:01:28

DD1 was the right way, DD2 was back to back all the way out.
DD2 was also over 10lb - 2 lb heavier than DD1.

with DD1 there was nothing I could do to stop pushing, my body just knew exactly what to do and did it. With DD2 I had to be told when to push, it felt all wrong and my body didn't have a clue what to do.

DD2 didn't take long though, 5 hours start to finish, I think her size and gravity helped there - I dilated v quickly.
I'm currently 29 weeks with DD3 and a bit worried about how quickly it could go if this one is the right way around!

NAR4 Sun 21-Jul-13 16:02:49

I have 5 dcs all b2b. Would add to the above that with all of mine I stayed at only 2cm dilated right up until I needed to push. This can be disheartening as it seems like your labour isn't progressing. If you have another b2b don't have your cervix checked if you think you would feel like this.

I found the spinning babies website really helpful and empowering.

LittleMissSnowShine Sun 21-Jul-13 20:22:07

allthatglitters - totally sympathise with that, I had my legs in stirrups even tho I had awful SPD and wasn't even using gas & air because I was trying so hard to deliver naturally and it was making me too spaced out near the end but I just had mws telling me I wasn't putting enough effort in. After 53 hours of contractions. hmm so glad you had a better experience the second time round, it's definitely what I am hoping for!

ipissima - sorry to hear about how unsupportive your XH was for your first arrival. I think women are a bit more switched on but not first time mums unfortunately and I think if your first is b2b and you have an awful delivery it can take a long time before you finally start to realise that it wasn't your fault. It def knocked my confidence and was a big factor in not even being able to consider no. 2 until DS was at least 18 months.

nar4 - I love spinning babies too!! Interesting what you said about cervix - I stuck at 2cm for about 30 hours of horrible spurious labour, eventually got to 3cm and hospital decided to admit me because I was growing up so much and trace on baby's heartbeat had showed a few irregularities but then I stayed at 3cm until probably 11 hours later, hen I got to 5cm and then FINALLY I seemed to go at about 1cm per hour that all he birth books tell you is normal. Hearing how slowly I was dilating though was really disheartening tho and I might ask to get examined less often if it goes slowly this time too cos the last thing you want to feel is disheartened!!

sillyoldfool - wow 5 hours! Hope no. 3 is just as quick for you, good luck!!

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