Monday, October 1, 2012

Occiput Posterior

The occiput posterior position, otherwise known as "OP" or "the baby is posterior" is when the baby head down but the face is looking up or facing the mother's pubis symphsis.  Another common term to describe the occiput posterior position is: the baby is "sunny-side up"
More commonly, when labor begins and the baby descends into the pelvis, the baby is facing the mother's spine and has his face looking at the mother's back.  This position is known as occiput anterior or OA.
These pictures to the right are examples of the baby descending in the occiput posterior position.
When a baby is posterior, this may envoke anxiety in a mother as she has heard stories about the difficulties this can bring on in labor.  However, often when the baby is posterior, there may be a reason: either the shape of the mother's pelvis, position of the placenta or umbilical cord, or size and gestation of the baby. This position may be the prefered position for some babies.

Turning a baby that is occiput posterior
Most babies that begin labor in the posterior postion will roate on their own to the favorable anterior position.  For some labors it can be advantageous to attempt to assist this rotation before labor begins or in early labor by:
  • Remaining upright and walking/hiking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Doing squats and lunges
  • Avoid recliner chairs or an excessively reclined position
  • Do the cat/cow yoga pose 
  • Acupuncture can assist in rotating the baby and getting the baby to engage into the pelvis
  • Consult your OB provider about homeopathic remedies to ready the cervix & uterus
  • Ask a provider to determine if the baby is right, left or center posterior and try different side-lying positions accordingly.
Always consult with your OB provider before attempting any exercise routine in pregnancy or labor. 

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