Spinning Babies is only one piece of evidence for the growing interest in fetal positioning. Parents, midwives, nurses and doulas are increasingly interested in how a baby’s position may influence a birth. Physicians have been studying this connection for decades.
Understanding fetal positioning is not as simple as noting the differences between 1 position, anterior, with another position, posterior. There are many nuances, such as
- how much the chin is tucked towards the chest,
- the shape of the inlet and
- the size of the outlet,
- the synclitism of the baby’s head,
- the activity of the mother and
- the strength of her labor.
- Even whether her amniotic sac is intact or ruptured can make a difference.
As we learn something new about fetal positions and how babies rotate we can forget older concepts that still hold their own value when looking a large group of posterior births.
We know that posterior births involve more complications and interventions that anterior births, when comparing groups of births. (Not necessarily a single posterior or anterior birth.)
We know that in labors where the baby begins labor in a posterior position, about 30% of the babies will still be posterior at the end of birth
that of first time moms whose babies have been posterior in labor, 29% will have a cesarean operation to finish their births.
We don’t know an easy activity for all mothers to do to prevent a posterior labor.
We don’t know an easy activity for all mothers to correct a posterior fetal position.
We don’t really know which babies will rotate out of the posterior position into an anterior (and easier) position and finish the birth vaginally.
But, I do know, that in the mothers I help through pregnancy and in labor, that there are some important activities that mothers can do to either help their babies rotate themselves into a better position, or to descend through the pelvis to be born either posterior or occiput transverse.