Were you excited when you found out your baby was head down and not breech? You most certainly had a reason to be happy now that you know you will less likely need a c-section.
Unfortunately, most care providers do not inform you about ALL that is going on with your baby’s positioning, and too many women end up with an excruciatingly painful and long labor. Most women believe the myth, “my baby loves to hang out in this position,” and that is simply not true. It isn’t the baby in most cases, it’s you!
Today, more babies are found in less optimal positions such as posterior position. A posterior baby is a baby whose back is against the mother’s back. This is very painful and difficult for the baby to spiral down during labor and birth. Mother’s often need pain medication and increase their chances of a c-section if their baby does not get into a more favorable position.
Take a moment to take your hands and hold your cheeks and squish your face together. Silly or what? Well, I am getting you to feel how squishy, moveable and soft this part of your head is. Now take your fingers and touch the back of your head right above your neck. Pretty hard bones don’t you think?
Would you rather have those hard bones or the squishy and moveable tissue up against your sacrum in late pregnancy and during labor? When women have those horrible back labor stories, unless they have some serious preexisting back injury or condition, the baby is usually in this position.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
• Desk jobs, recliners, lounging around – when you lounge, your baby lounges. Your baby’s back will most likely lean in the direction you lean.
• Lack of exercise and imbalance in the body- your baby needs space so your muscles need to release tension on both sides of the body. If once side is stronger from lack of exercise (dominant side) you become tight and tense and your baby hangs out where there is room.
• Poor posture, alignment – go see a CHIROPRACTOR early on. Don’t wait too long.
• Loosen up- get a prenatal massage, take yoga classes and do your cat/cows and half dogs every day.
• Staying on all fours will help the baby get back into the correct position in most cases.
Signs of a posterior baby
• Back discomfort during labor
• Irregular labor patterns
• During pregnancy, can you locate your baby’s back with your hands?
• Dip in your belly when you lie on your back instead of a nice round belly.
For more information on fetal positioning and finding your baby, go to www.spinningbabies.com and learn more about Gail Tulley’s book Belly Mapping.
You can also join our midwives at our monthly events to learn more and get hands on help with finding your baby’s position and correcting it. Midwives specialize in assisting parents to be a partner in their care and learn about the baby and the process as a whole.
We will have on hand specialists providing demonstrations and educating families on optimal positioning/correcting positions during pregnancy and labor.
Learn unique tips on how to avoid back labor even after labor begins. Often when you arrive at the hospital, there are a series of routine events that often create this problem without parents or the nurses even recognizing the cause.
For more information, go to www.atlantamidwifery.com/meetup and join us at our next educational event.