SafeMotherhood
safe motherhood

YOUR BABY'S EXPERIENCE OF BIRTH

HELPING YOUR BABY TURN

Pregnancy

The ideal position for birth is for your baby to be head-down and with his spine facing outwards. This is an 'anterior' position. Some babies try to get into the pelvis the other way round, with their spine against their mothers' spine. This is a 'posterior' position and it tends to give you backache during pregnancy, and make your labour longer and more difficult.

There are things you can do during pregnancy to help your baby to turn from a posterior position to an anterior.

• Spend 10 minutes twice a day on your hands and knees to swing your baby round so that his spine is at the front or side of your bump.
• Scrubbing your skirting boards and kitchen floor are excellent activities for turning posterior babies!
• Don't cross your legs when sitting down. Knees below hips is best.
• Check that your favourite chair at home or at work isn't raising your knees above hip level as this will tend to keep your baby in a posterior position.

Labour

A lot of backache during labour, especially backache that goes on in between contractions, is probably a sign that your baby is in a posterior position.

Try:

• Rocking your hips in circles to help move your baby round
• Using an all-fours position to drop your baby off your spine.
• Using a birthing pool. Warm water helps soothe the backache. Being buoyant will make it easier for you to get into positions which will encourage your baby to turn round.

Most posterior babies do turn during labour, although a few are born in the posterior position, facing towards the mother's front.