Tips For Birthing A Posterior Baby

You may have read about or seen in your ultrasound that a baby can be posterior, and that news can sometimes be not exactly what you want to hear. However, our birth doulas are well trained in how to provide physical support prenatally and during birth to help, while also are able to direct you to other resources that may help. 


What Does “A Posterior Baby” Mean?

Also known as occiput posterior (OP), this is a position where you baby is head down, but they are facing forward, or the back of his or her skull (occiput) is facing the back (or posterior) of your pelvis. Also known as sunny side up, it usually is perfectly normal, but it is certainly less common.



“Flipping” A Posterior Baby

So many parents have heard that flipping a posterior baby makes labor easier and it should be something they “must” do before delivery. And while sometimes a baby may flip, sometimes they might not.

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Does Having a Posterior Baby Mean I Will Have Back Labor?

We all have that friend that had horrible back labor, and many pregnant folks want to avoid that at all costs. However, a posterior baby does not mean you will necessarily have back labor! 




Routines For Turning A Posterior Baby While Pregnant 

First, they techniques are by no means to guarantee that a baby will turn, so we encourage our clients to try the following if they want to, but not if they are either not comfortable, or if you simply do not want to! Also, you are doing nothing wrong if your baby does not flip! Babies have a mind of their own, and sometimes whatever you do, they will not change.

  • Cat Cow Poses: Getting on all fours and arching your back up and down cannot only reduce lower back pain, but some women claim it helps flip an OP baby!
  • Bouncing and Rocking on Exercise Ball: The thought of this is the movement of your hips and lower body will encourage your baby to flip around. While it doesn’t always work, it does sometimes!
  • Spinning Babies: Some people love the techniques of spinning babies, and bonus: even if baby doesn’t flip, some of these stretches feel great!
  • Visiting a Chiropractor: Chiropractors can provide a little extra space in your body that might encourage baby to flip. We encourage you to find a Webster Certified Chiropractor who has advanced training and experience working with pregnant people. 
  • Nothing: We know, not exactly what you want to read, but you can exhaust yourself doing the above exercises, and baby may not flip around. That disappointment can be disheartening, so don’t be too hard on yourself if baby doesn’t flip.


Techniques For Laboring With A Posterior Baby

While you may have been told your baby is sunny side up during one of your last prenatal appointments, babies can change at any moment! Even during labor! Based on research, there is no evidence that the position before labor has any impact on the course of labor. However, if you are super uncomfortable, try some techniques for temporary relief. Doulas are extremely helping for support you during labor of a posterior baby.

  • Counter Pressure: Counter pressure on your lower back and hips can provide a welcome relief.
  • Laboring and Pushing on Hands and Knees: By being on all fours, the babies skull is not pushing on your pelvis which can feel great. 


We would love to hear your positive experiences with a sunny side up baby in the comments!