A divine experience of giving birth could be a long and painful process for mothers. This process could be worsened due to many reasons. One of such reasons is the baby being in posterior position (baby’s spine against the mother’s spine) during birth. This kind of ‘back’ labour might cause strong back pain along with the normal labour pain making it unbearable for the mother. Here are a few exercises and tips to prevent posterior labour and help you a bit during childbirth.
Exercises to prevent posterior labour:
These exercises should be started at least 6 weeks before due date and 3-4 weeks for subsequent pregnancies. If you are unsure about the baby being in anterior or posterior position, these could be done anyway. These exercises don’t turn anterior baby posterior.
· Practice pelvic rocks on your hands and knees. It could be done for 20 minutes and at least 3 times a day. Also, you can try playful puppy pose (knee to chest position) for at least an hour every day. This prevents posterior baby engaging until it is in a good position.
· Crawl around by scrubbing the floor with your hands and knees regularly.
· Sleep on your left side keeping your left leg straight and your right leg and 90 degrees. This creates a hammock for your belly and this encourages your baby to rotate.
· Avoid squatting until and unless you are sure the baby is in anterior. Otherwise, it could force the posterior baby into pelvis before he/she rotates.
· Avoid all reclining position. Put a pillow under your bum tilt the pelvis forward if you are sitting on reclining seat or couch.
· Knees should always be kept below the pelvis. A birth ball or an office chair with knee rest is perfect for this.
· Walk as much as possible and keep yourself active.
· Talk to your baby and ask him to turn anterior.
If you are sure there is no specific reason for your baby to be in posterior position and if you have tried the above exercises for a couple of weeks with no change in baby’s position, you can try the following in addition to the above exercises.
· Form an exaggerated arch by lying on your back and keeping a rolled towel under your back. This makes the posterior baby hyperextend the neck and usually makes them turn.
· If you are sure about the baby’s position, assume hand to knee position and gently massage the baby and encourage him/her to turn anterior. It is advised to monitor baby’s heartbeat while doing this.
· Babies tend to turn their backs towards warmth. So, an ice pack on the back and a warm towel on the belly of the mother could encourage the baby to turn anterior.
· If the cord is preventing the baby from turning anterior, try rotating the baby in opposite direction. For example, at night, try sleeping on your right side instead of left. This might help in unwrapping the baby from the cord and encourage the baby to rotate.
Turning posterior baby during labour:
If you go into labour and if your baby is still in posterior position, don’t worry. Majority of the babies rotate to anterior during labour. Here are a few tips to help your posterior baby rotate:
· Assume knee-to-chest position for at least 45 minutes or until the baby turns.
· Climbing stairs, 2 steps at a time, between contractions will jiggle the baby’s head to turn.
· When the baby is not turning and the dilation is slow, belly lifting is one more method that could be tried.
· A water pool could relieve back pain and will help baby to turn.
· Sitting backwards on a toilet could loosen the pelvic area and could encourage the baby to rotate.