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Back-to-back labour... is it really really horrible?!

(76 Posts)
Picante Tue 04-Aug-09 12:28:51

Am 38 weeks today. I can't see this baby shifting her position that she's been in for months.

I had an epidural with ds (I think he may have been back-to-back and no-one told me as contractions were all in my back), but I'm planning a natural homebirth this time round.

How painful is it? Is it longer?

I'm leaning forward and sleeping on my left as much as possible but I just can't see her moving. Might she move in labour?

IWroteOffLightningMcQueen Tue 04-Aug-09 12:32:15

DS3 was back to back, only thing that counteracted the pressure was DH rubbing my back as hard as he could during the contractions.

Birth was an hour and a half long from waters breaking/first contraction, till he was out.

No pain relief except about 4 puffs of G&A.

Would do it again in an instant! Well, that is if I didn't have to do the whole pregnancy and baby thing again as well!

teenyweenytadpole Tue 04-Aug-09 12:34:01

Not horrible especially as this is your second baby and second labours are (usually) easier and shorter - my DD2 was born in that position, stargazers they are called! Have you considered a birth pool, I found this very helpful for pain relief? Also having a willing person (parter, doula) around to give you lots of pressure/massage on the lower back can be helpful. Being upright and mobile and avoiding an epidural will all help the baby to turn, the contractions of labour will help with that process. Good luck!!

twofalls Tue 04-Aug-09 12:41:11

I have nothing to compare it to but for me, the overwhelming urge to push with every contraction when I was only 7cm dilated was really, really hard to overcome. I haven't heard anyone else talk about that though so it might have just been the position she was in rather than just back-to-back.

Get DH to practise his back rubs because loads of pressure on your lower back helps. also kneeling upright supported on loads of pillows when you get too tired to move helps.

I was induced and once it got going had 5 hour "proper" labour, 17 minute second stage and just gas and air.

good luck!

arolf Tue 04-Aug-09 12:43:43

no idea how much this would help, but at ante-natal class we were told to spend as much time as possible leaning forward - so sit backwards on chairs, lean forwards on sofa etc to encourage the baby to move round into the correct position! She said it was using gravity to move the heaviest part of the baby to the front.

stuffitlllama Tue 04-Aug-09 12:45:39

yes two back to backs and they are a bit grim I think

but don't lose hope, one of mine turned during labour, what a relief that was

mobility and so on, don't know much about it apart from my own experience

belgo Tue 04-Aug-09 12:46:21

She may move in labour. Try not to worry about it in addvance. All labour is painful in my experiencegrin. My dd2 was OP, born at home. It was harder, not longer though.

Picante Tue 04-Aug-09 12:49:52

Thanks for the encouragement... I'm just slightly worried about my low pain threshold! I've got a doula though who's great at massage so fingers crossed!

rubyslippers Tue 04-Aug-09 12:50:05

my labour was long

DS was back to back

i had around 2 days of very slow labour when i was contracting every 15 - 20 mins day and night (very tiring)

the actual active labour was 10 hours and i had gas and air

keeping mobile helped, getting on my hands and knees and rocking - agree with the back rubs

Am currently 31 weeks PG and this baby is so far flipping between breech and transverse - think back to back is better than either of these grin

clayre Tue 04-Aug-09 12:51:47

my 2nd baby was back to back and the labour was an hour and a half i was only at the hosp for 6 mins before he was born, it was only really sore when i had to lie down, when i was moving about it was fine, he turned as he was being delivered

twopeople Tue 04-Aug-09 12:59:33

Message withdrawn

shootfromthehip Tue 04-Aug-09 13:00:22

Oh I'm sorry but I'm not going to be fun to listen to re my experiences of back-to-back labour. (It was my first though so horrid) Couldn't get into established labour properly and when I did (3 1/2 days later with contractions every 10 mins), I struggled. It was a slow build up as she wasn't progressing as well as they wanted. But my big problem came at the end when I pushed for 3 1/2 hrs before they intervened. Her head was in the wrong position and I was pushing her down and down but she was stuck.

So after 4 and 1/2 days, forceps and suction, I ended up with a EMCS. All the mess down below and then a section. Great. And they knew she was back to back and still sent me home 3 times when I was in pre-labouring stage. The also knew she was back to back when I was pushing and pushing.

Sorry to be so negative but it really annoys me that they let me go through all that pain and then sectioned me anyway. I know that is not always the case but it was agony and because it was my first I didn't know any better. Maybe because it's your second that your body will be able to physically get the wee one out, but I had a really hard time.

WinomoreTheFruitbat Tue 04-Aug-09 13:03:32

Agony - ended up with epidural because I thought my spine was about to snap in two! I will never ever forget that pain as long as I live. Sorry!

WinomoreTheFruitbat Tue 04-Aug-09 13:05:06

shootfromthehip - very similar experience, I also ended up with emcs after foceps and suction

plantsitter Tue 04-Aug-09 13:05:18

Had a back to back induced labour and it was ok (I mean as ok as labour ever is I guess - not saying it didn't hurt). Found that a scorching hot water bottle on the back held in place with a folded sheet that DP pulled on during a contraction helped. (does that make sense? DP had both ends of sheet).

Sam100 Tue 04-Aug-09 13:06:18

I have had one back to back labour and 2 that were not. I think the difference is not in the pain but just that it took so much longer (baby turning before it came out) and seemed to stop and start. I was told this was because baby's head was not pressing down on cervix and so I was not dilating evenly. I spent over 24 hours in labour with dd1 - and had epidural and ventouse - but 2nd labour was much quicker - only 4 hours.

It is possible to shift baby round - have a look at some articles on optimum fetal positioning here and here.

Hope this helps.

Picante Tue 04-Aug-09 13:07:39

Eek. I'm not going to be a martyr... I will go into hospital for an epidural if it really is unbearable. I'm hoping there won't be time!

Sounds like the worst experiences happened with first babies though which is something positive!

Picante Tue 04-Aug-09 13:09:24

Thanks sam I've got both of those bookmarked already!

Gromit78 Tue 04-Aug-09 13:09:42

My dd was back to back and she was faced up as well. I cannot begin to discribe the pain I suffered in my back during the contractions. I had gas and air for c.8 hours until I could take it no longer and opted for an epidural. I was in too much pain to be able to move and allow the baby to move around as well.

Unfortunately it all ended up in an emergency c/section as she wasn't able to come out

I would recommend a hospital birth if you know your baby is in the wrong position.

oneopinionatedmother Tue 04-Aug-09 13:13:34

DD1 was back to back - normal dlivery at home.

M/w did say it would take a bit to turn her, but the birth was actually faster than DS who was the other way.

I paced up and down between contractions to keep her moving.....

so yes it is possible, and not appalling in every case. DOn't worry about it - whilst you're in labour talk to M/w about what's going on (or, in the early stages - get on Mumsnet and tell us!!!)

al the 'nice' midwives said homebirths generally go much faster as it is easier to realx at home/ without hassle of transfer/ strangers popping out of everywhere whilst your fanjo is on display. and indeed, no time spend attached to monitors cos they can't be arsed with you....

CMOTdibbler Tue 04-Aug-09 13:18:06

Ds was back to back - I laboured on my hands and knees or lying on my side (had to be on bed as continuously monitored as prem, although 6lb 5oz), lots of back rubbing, and hot compresses.

Labour was pretty fast, and I just had gas and air, so the pain wasn't horrific

danthe4th Tue 04-Aug-09 13:25:54

DD2 was back to back and she was out in 1 hour 50 mins from the first twinge,no pain relief. We are all different, lots of positive thinking with me.

danthe4th Tue 04-Aug-09 13:27:10

Good luck with the homebirth, I did that with ds4.

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 04-Aug-09 13:30:49

DD was back to back, when I got to the hospital (after an hour of intense contractions at home) it was 40 minutes until she was out!. The contractions hurt a LOT and I used so much g&a I started hallucinating, but she did turn at the last minute thanks to the birthing ball and being active and she was quick!

It might not be that bad, but it does bloody hurt!

Bettymum Tue 04-Aug-09 13:33:37

My DD turned back to back about two days before labour started, I felt her do a massive shift.
So my labour started at home on Wednesday evening after a sweep...and finished in hospital on Sunday morning with an epidural, syntocin and a ventouse grin.
The thing with planning a homebirth though is the midwives come to you which is great. The reason we ended up going to hospital was that it was taking so long and I was exhausted from the contractions and puking. I went to hospital to get drugs and sleep .

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