Thursday, March 19, 2009

Avoiding posteriorly positioned babies

So, after talking about baby being in a posterior position (head facing outwards/back to back) in utero, what can we do to help baby turn the right way around?

The main understanding is that the child's back is the heaviest part of the body, so it will naturally try to fall into the position with the least resistance. Therefore, using common sense, the baby's back will fall to the back of the mother's body if you are: lying back in arm chairs (lazy boys - v. bad!), sitting in car seats and leaning back (no boy racer style driving!), and anything with your knees higher than your pelvis. Of course - all these positions are bad for the mother's back anyway. All these positions place the lumbar spine into flexion and create greater pressure on the pelvis and lumbosacral junction - not good.

Positions to avoid:
  • lying on back,
  • deep squatting (to avoid baby engaging into the pelvis when in the posterior position)
  • putting the feet up (with legs above hips)
  • swimming with 'frogs legs' (especially when baby in posterior position - again, to avoid engaging in the wrong position)
  • Crossing the legs. This reduces the amount of space in the front of the pelvis, and opens it up at the back. For a baby to go into anterior position there needs to be space at the front

If the baby is lying in the posterior position, the main aim at the beginning is to avoid the baby heading down further into the pelvis. If baby is too far down, it makes it harder for it to turn around. After the child has turned, then you can focus on getting the child further into the pelvis by doing the exercises like breastroke with frogs legs and deep squatting.

Positions to AID anterior positioning:
  • Kneeling, leaning forward
  • Moving around on all fours (longer than 5 mins)
  • Sit on a chair facing the back of it and leaning over
  • Sit on a wedge cushion in the car, desk chair
  • Swimming with your belly down - i.e. front crawl or breastroke. N.B. If you are trying to turn the baby, don't do frog's legs with breastroke, only do straight kicking of the legs. Only do the frog's legs when baby is in the anterior position and you want the child to settle deeper in the pelvis.
  • On all fours: rocking pelvis from side to side, around in circles, and the 'cat stretch' - arching back upwards.
  • Sleeping on your tummy (obviously support by lots of pillows).

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