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Nancy SullivanBaby is Sunny Side Up
by Nancy Sullivan, CNM, MS, FACNM

Q. I am 37 weeks pregnant, and I am 3 cm and 30% effaced. I know labor is just around the corner but I have been told the baby is facing head down but UP! What the heck does this mean and how can I change it . . . or will the baby just move on its own? I have been told that this can cause back labor and make labor take longer.

A. This is called the "posterior" position in medicalese. The head is down in the pelvis but the baby's face is forward, under the pubic bone, instead of backward, under the sacrum. Many women enter labor with the baby in this position; the baby "rotates" as it comes down, corkscrew fashion. True, there is back labor in many cases until the baby rotates.

To try to encourage the baby to turn before labor, sit up straight with your knees below your hips (don't slouch); lie on your side with the top leg over the bottom, knee touching the bed; do some pelvic tilts in the hands and knees position; and talk to your baby, encouraging her/him to turn around. In labor, try to stay on your feet as long as possible, and avoid or delay getting an epidural. Good luck!

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