REDUCING THE RISK OF BABY BEING IN A DIFFICULT POSITION FOR BIRTH

What is it?
It is when baby is in any position other than head down with nose pointing towards opposite hip or spine. 

What is the Problem?
Having a baby in a posterior or other less than optimal position contributes to:

  • Going overdue, with lots of starting and stopping of contractions before labor truly begins
  • Painful contractions without real labor
  • Longer labors that put a lot of pressure on the back and sacrum (back labor) or hips
  • Hospital transport due to maternal exhaustion caused by long labor and pain of back labor
  • Forceps or vacuum delivery because the baby cannot move deep enough into the pelvis
  • C-Section because of failure to progress.

PREVENTION STRATEGY

  • Stay active.  Humans were meant to move.  When we move and are upright, gravity encourages baby’s back to sling towards the front of the belly.  
  • Purchase and use a “Squatty Potty”, not only will it help with your bowel movements but it will also help improve general pelvic structure and health. 
  • Walking at least a mile a day. It not only engages gravity, but also strengthens the muscles that you will use during labor.
  • Do prenatal yoga 4 times a week.
  • If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, use a posture chair or an exercise ball to sit on.  Exercise balls and posture chairs are great to use anytime and anywhere you sit.
  • Sex, especially on hands and knees, and orgasms.  Uterine toning from orgasm encourages baby into a good position.
  • Avoid cushy, overstuffed furniture.  They encourage bad posture and set gravity to work against you. When sitting, sit upright with your shoulders slightly forward of your pelvis.  Using a back cushion can help with this.
  • Use a back cushion when driving.
  • Cat-Cow pose (pelvic rock)  Do 3 sets of 25 every day
  • Use a maternity band.  Belly bands are widely used throughout the world and for good reason.  They encourage baby into a good position, alleviate round ligament pain, support the back, and many report quicker recovery of the abdominal muscles.
  • Send mental pictures to your baby, showing him or her the best position to be in.

Other General Recommendations

The importance of baby’s position should not be underestimated. Baby’s position can determine the ease with which baby can maneuver itself through and out of the pelvis, and also the ease with which labor is initiated and completed.

Babies can snuggle into mom’s pelvis in many different positions.  The usual way, for the usual pelvis, and the usual baby of a mom who leads a healthy, active lifestyle, is for baby to lie on mom’s left side with his or her face looking towards the back of the pelvis.  Because of the shape of the pelvis and the shape of baby’s head, this is the easiest way for baby to navigate the pelvis and to be born.  This position is called L.O.A; Left (on moms Left side) Occipital (back of baby’s head) Anterior (front; the back of baby’s head is against the front of the pelvis)

Posterior presentation is when the baby is facing outward, not toward the spin or back hip, and can cause problems for some labors. While most variations in presentation are absolutely fine, and may even be the smartest choice for baby to make, many can cause “Special Circumstances” to arise.  “Special Circumstances” are difficulties outside the normal patterns of birth. 

It is much easier to do the things that encourage baby to favor an optimal position for birth than to later try to move a baby out of a non-optimal position. If a mom, with a normal pelvis and an active life style has a baby in a position other than normal, it could be assumed that baby has chosen the best position for his or her situation.

Tips for turning a posterior baby after 37 weeks

  • Acupuncture with an experienced practitioner 
  • Chiropractic with an experienced practitioner
  • Curb walking (walk with one foot on the curb and one on the ground, switch sides)
  • Stair walking (walk sideways up and down the stairs, first leading with one hip and then the other)
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Wearing a maternity band
  • Homeopathic pulsatilla
  • More cat-cow (pelvic rock) poses
  • Communication with the baby