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39 weeks -Baby is back to Back - I am worried! What are you experinces Please!!

(63 Posts)
pinkrangerstartstowaddle Mon 13-Aug-07 21:45:17

I am 38+5 and was told by my midwife last week that my baby is back to back but head down. Now im planning (or was) to have a home birth but this has really worried me as i everything i have read had said that this can cause problems and if i know before hand that there may be problems i would rather be in hospital. This is my second baby but never experinced anything like this first time round!

I have opted for a home birth as i would rather be at home then hospital but if i have to go there anyway then i would rather do that and take what they ofter, i am already struggling with slight SPD and swelling and had enough, really dont want a traumatic birth as well!

Any adivce or stories ( good and bad) please X


maxbear Mon 13-Aug-07 21:50:12

Do lots of leaning forward, cleaning the floors on your hands and knees, walking etc as this is more likely to turn it than sitting leaning back watching telly. (even though that is pretty much all you feel like doing at 39w!) I think about 25% of babies start labour in the back to back position so it is not all that uncommon, most turn during labour, but even if it doesn't it won't necessarily be a problem. Good luck

JARM Mon 13-Aug-07 21:51:40

No advice re the home birth, but DD2 was back to back and face first presentation - she was born lips and nose first.

No tears, and only gas and air, so it can be done. She was 7lbs 3oz.

alucard Mon 13-Aug-07 21:57:46

my second baby was back to back. didn't know until I was in the hospital. The labour was about 40 hours. I found it very difficult to get pain relief because I wasn't dilating. I think mw thought I was imagining my contractions.

Apparently because of her position she couldn't move down and put presure on my cervix so I didn't dilate in spite of enormous contractions. When she turned it all started happening at a normal rate.

I didn't have any problems as such except it was exhausting but I was worried that she might get distressed because it took such a long time.

Someone told me that if you crawl about on all fours it helps turn them. Don't know if its true or not.

Ceolas Mon 13-Aug-07 22:04:39


I've had 3 labours with this presentation.

First was very difficult. Lots of backache, nearly fully dilated, but she also had her head extended instead if flexed to her chin. I was lying on my back for lots of the labour being monitored. Ended up with rotational forceps in theatre. Not a pleasant experience for either of us.

HOWEVER, second two labours began in the same way but babies turned before being born. I believe for 2 reasons.

1) There's more room for baby to turn if it's a second or subsequent birth.

2) I was in a far better position - upright, forward leaning.

I'm not sure if it's more painful, as I've never had an anterior presenting baby (although scan show this one might be). I had an epidural with the first one as I was in theatre and told it would quickly progress to C-section if forceps didn't work. the other 2 I managed with gas and air.

As far as the home birth goes, I don't know how much different your labour would be in hospital. Apart from possible monitoring/intervention preventing you being mobile and allowing baby to get into a good position for birth.

Could you opt to try at home and transfer if things don't progress?

The only other thing is that sometimes OP labours can be stop/start for a while as the cervix isn't receiving the same stimulation as if the baby was anterior. This happened to me last time. I had on/off contractions most of the day but labour didn't start properly til about 5pm. They weren't as painful as later contractions though and I was quite happy pottering about at home.

Hope I haven't rambled too much. Good luck whatever you decide

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 13-Aug-07 22:07:06

both my dcs were babck to back presentations. I had a homebirth with dd last year and only used tens and birthpool for pain relief. It was fine (obv it hurts but not unbearably) both ds and dd were normal vaginal deliveries with slight tears but nothing scary.

Try to birth on all fours as I did that for dd and it really helped - I used a birthing ball alot and also was suported by dh. This was for the hb with dd.

With ds a hospital birth - I was strapped on a bed , on my back, epidural, pethidine gas and air - the lot - hated it - but the outcome was fine - healthy dc's from both.

Do try going on all fours as much as possible - but a;lso don't panic - It is quite poss for baby to turn during labour. Good luck

FWIW I am almost broody just so I can have another homebirth - it was such a positive experience.

MoosMa Mon 13-Aug-07 22:08:51

I had a horrid OP labour first time, easy home birth second time.

Keep leaning forwards at all times. Really. All the time. It's blardy hard work but so so worth it. Whatever you do DON'T lie on your back or recline in a chair, especially once labour's started. Keep walking around (sorry I know that's hard with SPD) and lean on kitchen worktops for support.

Sorry if this post is badly worded I'm on my way to bed!

Good luck!

dazedorconfused Mon 13-Aug-07 22:11:47

No comfort from this camp! I ended up having a emergency c-section. As Dh likes to tell people in pubs, "dd was so stuck they had to push her back up before they could pull her out!" Not info you want to share with strangers!

Am pregnant again and have been advised to sit with knees lower than hips, ideally sitting backwards on chair - straddling a bit Chicago esque! Early days so can't confirm if this works!

hertsnessex Mon 13-Aug-07 22:13:53

i had my ds2 at 36wks (induction due to obs. cholestasis) and he was back to back. 7hr labour. g&a only. was up and walking around then on bed to push. it doesnt have to be as bad as you may think. honestly. i am not a hero regarding pain - but it was manageable.

good luck.


tortoiseSHELL Mon 13-Aug-07 22:15:45

OP labours aren't great, but they're manageable - possibly better at home where you feel more in control of your surroundings.

Have a look here for positions to try and get the baby to move.

MunchiesMama Mon 13-Aug-07 22:16:22

Hi Pink Ranger

My DD turned back to back for about an hour during labour. I have heard that it is meant to be painful but i didnt find the pain any different to the other contractions.

The one aspect which i found hard to deal with was the urge to push (which back to back stimulates), for me it was like someone had taken over my body, sometimes i could control it and not push, but other times i was just too tired (had been in labour for 24 hours at this point) and just couldnt help myself but push - i wasnt dilated enough so everyone was shouting at me to stop pushing. Apparantly only an epidural can take away the urge to push, which i initially hadnt wanted in my birth plan, but ended up begging for, thankfully the hospital was so busy they couldnt get to me for 45 mins by which time i was dilated enough to push anyway!

Perhaps like in my case your buba might turn into the correct position during labour, and my DD was a big baby 8 13, but managed somehow to move there and back again!

Good luck with it all xx

RubyRioja Mon 13-Aug-07 22:20:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ceolas Mon 13-Aug-07 22:22:06

Oh yes, and DS (number 3) was 10lbs. I did all the position stuff before labour and I thought there just wasn't room for him to turn. He did manage in labour though and was born quite naturally and without a stitch

I do recall the urge to push and being told not to the first time. Perhaps that was also part of the reason for the epidural

tegan Mon 13-Aug-07 22:36:58

DD1 was born back to back facing upwards. and if I had known this I would of had a c-section without a doubt.

I had a 3rd degree tear trying to get her shoulders out,

Had I been told what was going on things would of been alot different.

twofalls Mon 13-Aug-07 22:38:11

DD turned back to back just before labour started. The utterly worst thing about it was the overwhelming urge to push when I was only 7 cm dilated. I'd heard that back to back labours were more painful but all I can remember was the pushing urge. Bossy mw just get shouting at me "no pushing, no pushing" and in the end DH just breathed through each contraction with me, we took them one at a time. MW suggested an epidural to stop me pushing but I refused and she then changed my position so I was kneeling over pillows. This and the back massage she gave me helped A LOT. I managed on gas and air and did have some stitches but I think this was more to do with the inexperienced mw just shouting at me to push (second stage was 17 mins!!) rather than being back to back.

Even though I had a back to back labour, I would opt for a homebirth next time around, I just think it would be so much relaxed, especially if I could guarantee that my mw didn't shout at me (afterwards she told me giving birth was all about discipline !!)

oneplusone Mon 13-Aug-07 22:40:38

My ds was back to back and i spent ages on all fours as that was supposed to help swing him round and during labour i was hanging onto the back of the bed and leaning forward.

In the end I had a 4 hour labour, was a bit more painful than DD who wasn't back to back, but still only had gas and air and no stitches so not too bad overall.

I got very worried too when i found out he was back to back but it was fine.

hertsnessex Mon 13-Aug-07 22:41:00

....i also got told not to push ( was chkd 1hr before and was 4cm) left room - out pops 7lb 13oz 36wk baby! oops! she walks back in and nearly cries! luckily i was 10cm - im guessing as didnt tear with him ( but had 3rd degree tear with ds1 who was 5lb 12oz at 36wks and in perfect position)


twofalls Mon 13-Aug-07 22:42:51

Oh, and slightly off topic. Back to back labours can cause some problems (not serious I don't think so don't worry) with the neck area. My dd (16 months) has been a terrible sleeper but after a few visits to a cranial oesteopath, she has got a lot better. CO said labour could have had a lot to do with it. I just wish I'd taken her months ago so just something to bear in mind.

HonoriaGlossop Mon 13-Aug-07 22:52:52

that's really interesting to hear from Ruby about the higher pain levels she experienced with a back to back labour as opposed to other positions. I only have one so have nothing to compare with, and I always find myself blaming myself in a way for having such bad pain; I dealt with it badly, I was nervous and anxious and made it worse, etc's good to hear that it can actually just BE worse.

I have to say I had a nasty long back to back labour and the pain was so much worse than I'd imagined, right from contraction number one. Where I'd imagined a pain akin to period aches (but worse, obv) for the very early contractions, I actually experienced a sort of searing pain right across my cervix. As if someone was bodily trying to pull the cervix apart. Yuk.

My labour ended after 50 hours when poor ds had finally had enough and went into severe distress, I was literally run up to theatre and given a 'crash' cs under GA.

So, sorry, my story is not a good one (but of course it IS a good one because I got a healthy baby) However if it helps at all, if I was doing labour again I would labour at home. I would be more relaxed there (and the place would be cleaner than hospital!) and I think that can only help. Best of luck with it all, as you know there are many positive stories of back to back labours.

Ceolas Mon 13-Aug-07 22:53:30

Definitely get someone to rub your back. The counter-pressure really helps. My DH was tired out afterwards, as he really did need to rub very hard for a long time!

MadAsABagOfFrogs Mon 13-Aug-07 22:59:59

After reading all your stories I feel I must have been incredibly lucky. DS3 was back to back but we didn't know till he made his apperance. All I had was G&A as with my other two. It was the quickest birth at 1 1/2 hours. Pain wise it was no worse than the others, in fact I would say I handled it better. I was on all fours or squatting with my arms leaning on the bed. So there you go it doesn't have to be all bad.

colander Mon 13-Aug-07 23:45:13

DD1 was back to back - haven't read other posts so apologies if I'm repeating. 2nd stage labour was quite long (2 hrs 20 mins) as she was turning at that point. Lots of backache early on - tens helped. DD2 was not back to back - I was advised to sit with my knees below my hips at all times (e.g. with bum on cushion) in the late stage with DD2. Don't know if it made any difference though, or if she was just in a normal position anyway. I found DD1's labour slightly easier than DD2's despite the posterior pos and mostly because DD2 was a chunky monkey nearly 2lbs heavier than DD1. Yes, imo, size does matter. Both hospital births, but you wouldn't get me having a home birth for anything.

Best of luck, hope your labour goes well.

pinkrangerstartstowaddle Tue 14-Aug-07 08:27:50

Thank you so much for all your stories, i do want this baby at home as i want to be mobile and labour in whatever position i want to , as with ds they had me flat on my back strapped up to a monitor!!! - I do have a tens machine and G+A as pain relief and am only 5 mins from the hosptial, just think im getting a little anxious about it all now! you have all helped to settle me

lulalullabye Tue 14-Aug-07 08:40:28

The biggest advantage about a homebirth is that you can potter round the house doing useful things during the lead up to pushing. I had op with dd1 in hospital lying down, dd2 homebirth, fantastic. As has been said already, don't lie down, stay upright, walk as much as possible as this speeds up labour.

Hands and knees, birthing ball, bum in the air etc and just go with the flow, and good luck, you and your body can do it !

RubySlippers Tue 14-Aug-07 08:42:54

my DS was back to back
2 days of sloooooooow labour
quick active labour (10 hours) and delivered baby naturally
also had SPD and found staying mobile was good or on all fours - i actually delivered on my back but that was the only time i was lying down really
good luck!

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