Making Decisions About Home Care

What You Need To Know About Having A Baby In The Posterior Position

by Mae Ferguson

If you are pregnant you might be wondering what you should expect from the delivery. The position of your baby will determine a lot about your labor and delivery. The ideal position for the baby is the anterior position, meaning that the back of the baby is facing you and their face is toward your spine. However, in some situations the baby will be posterior, this means that the child's back is sitting against your back. Here are some things you need to know about having a posterior baby.

What Causes A Baby To Be Posterior?

There are many reasons a baby would be posterior. One is that the mother's uterus is very tight and is not allowing enough room for the baby to turn while in the womb. Another reason could be that the mother is very small and there isn't enough space for the child to position themselves correctly. In some cases, lying on your back can cause the baby to stay in a posterior position.

How Will I Know That My Baby is Posterior?

It is hard to know if your baby is posterior. In the first two trimesters it doesn't matter as much what position the baby is in, but as you near labor, it is important that the baby move. You can detect the baby's position from your labor pains. Labor should feel like menstrual cramping. If your baby is posterior, it will be great pressure on your back. You might even experience the sensation that you need to have a bowel movement, although you don't. This is because the baby's head is pushing on the colon rather than the cervix.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Help The Baby Turn?

As you near delivery you should try sitting on all fours, like a cat, a couple times a day. While you are there shift your hips from side to side. This will help to open up the hips and encourage the baby to fall forward and turn.

Another suggestion is to meet with a chiropractor or a massage therapist. In some cases they can get the uterus to relax so that the baby can turn.

What Should I Expect From A Posterior Labor and Delivery?

If you do have to deliver a posterior baby you still should be able to have a vaginal delivery, but you may need more assistance getting the baby out. Your doctor may use forceps or a vacuum to pull the baby out. If you don't get pain medication, you might be asked to deliver on all fours to allow the baby to turn while coming down the birth canal.

For more information, talk to an obstetrician.