What is… a back-to-back baby?

It is thought that about 1 in 10 babies will be in a back-to-back position when labour starts.

Why does having a back-to-back baby matter?

The ideal position for a baby to be in for labour is head down, with the back of their head towards the front of your bump. If you have a back-to-baby baby, the back of their head is against your spine.

Having a back-to-back baby at the end of pregnancy can mean that:

  • labour might not start, which could lead to induction
  • when it does start, labour can be long, especially early labour as your contractions can be working to reposition your baby
  • you may experience pelvic girdle pain at the end of your pregnancy
  • you can have an ongoing backache in labour because your baby’s head can put pressure on your lower back

What is... a back-to-back baby?

What might encourage your baby into a better position for labour and birth?

  • movement and positions to maximise the space in your pelvis – use a ball, walk, use the stairs, sit upright rather than reclining back and lie on your left side. In labour it can make a difference to vary these positions
  • leaning forwards can also encourage your baby to move and it can also ease any back or hip pain

Most babies will turn into an anterior position during labour, which can be helped by the contractions as well as using movement/positions. Having gravity and the ability to move into different positions can make a big difference to the position of your baby and how comfortable you feel in labour.

As part of your birth preparation it can be useful to know more about what can make a difference in labour as well as where the challenges might be so you are better prepared with information, options and strategies.

With consultationsdigital guides and courses, my practice is here for you every step of the way. You can also become a member for exclusive content, discussion and a place to ask questions.

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Working with parents since 2002

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Copyright: Janine Smith