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Back to back birth experience

(30 Posts)
Helenback56 Fri 15-Dec-17 09:25:48

Hi all,

I'm almost 36/40 & a first time mum.
My midwife has confimed my suspiscions that our baby is back to back (but head down). I have an anterior placenta, which I gather can increase the chance of this. I'm quite active and well informed on the ways that my body position can help promote a change in baby's position. I certainly don't lounge on the sofa much.

I know each labour is different, but for those who have delivered a back to back baby (especially if you have a non back to back birth to compare to), what was your experience of labour like?
My mum birthed my brother back to back and needed an assisted delivery - albeit this was early 80s and she laboured in bed & in stirrups vs being active, upright/leaning forward. There's also a difference in our respective fitness. I'm well aware back to backs can lead to a longer or more uncomfortable labour, but I'm also aware that might not always be the case. Thinking positive!

ZigZagandDustin Fri 15-Dec-17 09:29:12

There was a thread recently loads if us commented on about this exact question. Maybe do a mumsnet search?

It was a particularly 'hard work' labour for me. But I did it in the end. The trick for me was trying different positions and serious concentration. I tried (all done in water) the position that had worked well for my previous baby, squatting and leaning my face over the side of the pool but weirdly I only got progress when I lay back in the water with my elbows on the pool edge, stretching out.

NaturWilde Fri 15-Dec-17 09:37:46

I gave birth to my back-to-back 10lb-er three days ago!

Compared to first child, this labour (induced by drip) was all pressure. Each contraction just felt like intense pressure rather than cramps as before.

Got through it with breathing, changing position every half hour. When no progress beyond 2cm after 4h despite the regular contractions the midwife suspected back to back. I had to lie on each side for 15 min to rock him. Painful as could no longer use mobilisation to help myself.

Baby wasn’t happy so consultant came in and c-section suggested.

Suddenly felt urge to push! Was fully dilated! The lying on bed had done the trick in less than an hour!! And pushes him out in 9 min! No pain relief.

Sleepyhead1667 Fri 15-Dec-17 09:41:38

Sorry but I had quite a bad experience. Baby was back to back and after over 24 hours in labour (I took the epidural in the end) and over an hour of pushing, baby wouldn’t come out. Assisted delivery was tried but no success. Ended up with emergency c section.

My advice would be to move around during labour. As I had he epidural, I was on the bed on my back the whole time and this would not be the best position to get baby to move.

AnonEvent Fri 15-Dec-17 09:45:53

I had a b2b birth, and unfortunately it ended in csection (I say 'unfortunately' actually I was very lucky, I had a healthy baby and recovered well).

But I think the main reason I ended up having an EMCS was because she turned b2b at the last minute, several days into a slow labour (11 days past due date), I was exhausted as I'd been having contractions every night for four nights, I felt fine during the day and was only 2cm dilated. That exhaustion, plus DD turning on the fourth day is what did for me.

There is a very strong possibility that this won't happen to you, and that you'll be less tired and so more able to deliver vaginally. Anecdotally many people (like the previous posters) have said that being laid flat really helped, so as there was less of a curve to squeeze the baby through.

sumofparts Fri 15-Dec-17 09:48:34

I had a back to back delivery with my first which I didn't find out until quite some time after the birth when a midwife reviewed my notes.

I won't give you the gory details but my advice would be to keep a very open mind, don't rule out trying different things and don't place too much importance on it going how you expect. And have an advocate with you to push for your needs in labour.

earlybirdhasanap Fri 15-Dec-17 09:51:56

I had a back to back delivery. No one realised until she came out. I was only in labour 4 hours. I kept saying I felt like my pelvis was breaking and I think the midwife thought I was being a bit of a drama queen.
It was my only labour so I have nothing to compare it to.

ZigZagandDustin Fri 15-Dec-17 10:17:47

I honestly don't think I could have gotten DD out if I'd had an epidural. It was my third labour and I'd had 2 very different experiences previously but I'm pretty sure that an epidural on my b2b labour would have ended in intervention. I was close to it as it was but with serious concentration and feeling my way along the pushing process, i.e. what seemed to give a little traction and what really didn't move baby at all, that is how I did it in the end. An epidural would have meant not feeling properly what was going on. My previous labour took no 'work' my body just did what it needed to but the b2b one definitely needed me to participate.

SchoolNightWine Fri 15-Dec-17 10:19:37

I had a b2b baby at home. Much longer pushing stage than my first DC, felt like I was getting nowhere and cried to the midwives that I couldn't do it, but one told me to just get on with it (I needed the stern talk at that point!). DD was born shortly after with just gas & air.
Be prepared for a longer birth and try not to get into the mindset that you can't do it, because getting anxious won't help (easy to say afterwards!). And finally, if an epidural, forceps, CS is needed then that's fine too - just do whatever is needed on the day for you and your baby. Good luck

Timeforanamochango Fri 15-Dec-17 10:27:41

I won’t share mine with you as I’m sure it’s not what you want to hear.

However my advise for the labour and contractions is prepare for them to be in your back, get a tens machine if possible. Try being on all fours as that was the most comfortable for me, over a birth ball.

You really need to try and be active, speaking from my own experiance my body didn’t really know what to do during the b2b labour.

If this is your first my biggest advise that no one gave to me is don’t be set set on what you want and how your babies going to come, as long as they are out that is what matters and not everything goes to plan flowers

ZigZagandDustin Fri 15-Dec-17 10:27:43

I remember thinking I couldn't do it over and over in my head which was confusing as I'd delivered 2 babies before, and then a while later the midwife was phoning for 'clean towels' to be brought which was clearly code for send help to our room. I knew I was out of time and got the midwife over, changed position in the pool and got her to look me in the eye as I made a huge effort to engage the baby and push her out. I remember my DH saying something to the mw and she broke eye contact and I screamed to not do that. She was my focus point. I'm still a bit embarrassed about staring at her like I did to get the baby out but it worked! Mw said to me after she had called for help and wasn't even going to let me try that last push but thank god I managed it.

Unexpectedbaby Fri 15-Dec-17 10:45:31

We didn't know DD was back to back until I went into hospital. She was small (4lb13oz) so moved at the last minute.

I managed to labour at home until 7-8cm and the consultant accidentally broke my waters when he did my first examination which is went the contractions changed for me.

I felt 90% of my contractions in my back which I felt to cope with I needed to rock or pace. Would have been great had DD been coping. She got distressed and the monitor wasn't walking because I could not physically stay flat when contracting. They used a scalp monitor for her in the end but I still wasn't allowed up. I was very lucky with contractions considering b2b and only had a handful that I felt I couldn't do it.

Pushing for an hour. Not a huge amount of time but struggled to get her past just crowning. She wasn't happy (had also opened her bowels) and the midwife told me that if I didn't get her out next push she would have to cut me. I needed that threat and had her our next push.

I was lucky with b2b and it wasn't awful but felt I could have coped better if I could change positions. I had diamorphine but too late and I needed to push 5 mins later. Just meant it slowed off my contractions which I needed at that point and I kept falling asleep.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Fri 15-Dec-17 10:58:40

3 of my 5 labours (dc1, 4 & 5) have been back to back, none have turned during the labour/delivery. They weren't more painful but the pain & pressure felt different (similar I suppose to my 2 synto births not being any more painful than my 3 synto free, they just got more painful more quickly). I had very long latent stages with the last 2, this could be because they were babies 4 & 5 or it could be because my body was trying to turn them (I asked my consultant after #5 & he said it was 50/50 as to which). I felt the pain with all 3 much more in my thighs & back compared to the other 2 which I mainly felt across my uterus. Being upright, sitting & being on all 4 really helped me pain wise. As did walking & swaying at the start.

Helenback56 Fri 15-Dec-17 17:10:41

Thanks all. I have a clinical job, so I'm not going to scare or squirm over your birth stories. Its just interesting to hear different perspectives to consider.
I think my bub has been back to back throughout as ive always had a flat belly button and lots of surface kicks. My mum's experience is obviously one from many years ago and if i go in to labour knowing s/he is probably still back to back, i know that it might progress or feel different with the back symptoms.
I'm very keen to avoid strong pain killers and epidurals as it takes away some of the control of the situation.
What will be will be though...
I'll also search out the other recent post.

Nomad86 Fri 15-Dec-17 18:26:44

My first was back to back, though nobody knew until she crowned. I pushed for 2.5 hours until that point and there was no way she was coming out on her own. Had an episiotomy and she practically jumped out on the next push. Painful but the midwives definitely made the right call. If I'd known she was back to back I'd have had an epidural but it was too late for me so I just had gas and air. I think if you know yours is back to back, the midwives can plan around it and you'll have a much easier time.

FellOutOfBed2wice Fri 15-Dec-17 18:29:38

My back to back Labour was better than my non b to b one. The only thing I will say is that the second stage with the b to b was slower going but it hurt less. It’s just that the pain was all in my back.

namechangedcantthinkofnewone Fri 15-Dec-17 20:27:02

My 2nd who was back to back was my biggest and easiest with no pain relief.

I am not sure if it was due to back to back but I had a weird feeling on my bum, like a needed the toilet.

thegrinchreaper Fri 15-Dec-17 20:48:18

Third baby was born back to back, I didn't know he was in that position in advance though.
I had a week of stop/start contractions before I went into active labour, was up and about and even walked to the hospital to get things moving along once and for all.
It was the most difficult labour of the three- really hard work. He was large aswell. Legs in stirrups giving it my all but not seeming to get anywhere. I think I'd have needed forceps if they'd had any available but it all came good in the end.
If I had my time again, I'd have an epidural as it was so painful. I've heard b2b mums say the contractions were just like intense backache and I've heard some say they were like normal contractions just more intense. My experience was the latter. All in the front, very intense, it was actually like one big contraction with no let up. That's just my experience!

TheIntrovertedMum Fri 15-Dec-17 20:53:21

My back to back labour ended in emsc but I think this was more due to the fact it was a failed induction rather than back to back.

I would say back labour is the worst pain I've felt and I would invest/rent/ask about a TENS machine as this was great for my contractions.

Between now and when you go into labour I would say do the exercises on the birthing ball and your wee one may turn!! I really wish I had've done this.

The best way to explain back to back labour is that every contraction you get you feel like you need to do a poo. The pain and pressure is all in your bum blush

Girlwiththearabstrap Fri 15-Dec-17 20:57:31

I don't have anything to compare it to but I didn't have an assisted delivery. I was induced and had an epidural as I was on a magnesium sulphate drip and pretty unwell anyway so I wouldn't have been mobile! Baby didn't turn on the way out and I had a small episiotomy but no forceps or anything. The epidural had worn off by the time I was pushing so I could feel a very intense pressure. It was bearable enough. Maybe without the induction etc it would have been even better?

Timeforanamochango Fri 15-Dec-17 22:08:24

In that case if it gets too much, please say something!

My labour was 3 days of back contractions 5 mins apart and none of my epidurals worked but because they had been administered I had to stay on my back. (Eventual crash section anyway!)

This was over 3 years ago and my backs not been the same since I have to have regular physio and painkillers and it got to the point where everyday life is affected. I 100% know that this was down to how long I was in labour b2b and if I could go back to that moment I would have demanded a c section before it got to this point of no return.

Tashyliza Sun 17-Dec-17 14:20:04

My DS was back to back. Unfortunately I had a 36 hr labour. Started well, up until 6cm then I didn't progress. Long story short, I had an episiotomy and forceps. Baby had done a poop and i had caught an infection from when my hind waters broke 36 hours earlier . However, little man was perfectly healthy and as soon as he was in my arms, it had all been worth it. I'm now being hopeful for my second as everyone and every pregnancy and labour differs. So just do what you want rather than what you feel you should as all plans are irrelevant in some ways when you are in your moment. Hope it all goes well for you x smile

Helenback56 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:38:40

Thanks.
Im full of positive thoughts for a safe and natural labour....plus I've limited my lounging back (that was infrequent anyway) and am trying lots of leaning forward/ball bouncing/all 4s to promote a position change, but i guess what will be will be....

PinkSnowAndStars Sun 17-Dec-17 21:41:25

Helen - it was painful when my little boy was back to back - but I can honestly say it was the Hyperemesis that made me put off having a second rather than the pain of Back to Back. Yes it bloody hurt but he arrived with just a 2nd degree tear and then the pain was gone!

Best of luck with everything

StillSeekingResponsibleAdult Sun 17-Dec-17 21:51:20

1st baby b2b, but they didn't realise until he came out! Contractions were all back pain, nothing to speak of at the front. Arrived naturally with just gas and air.

2nd baby, expected everything to be different and much easier as the right way round, felt just the same through labour and worse actually getting him out. No gas and air though as midwife arrived too late (homebirth).

I'd rather do the b2b again, although 2 was quite a bit bigger than 1, as well as less pain relief, so possibly not comparing very fairly!

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