anterior placenta/posterior baby?

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Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346
anterior placenta/posterior baby?

I'm just looking for other women's experiences here! With DS1 I had a posterior placenta. This time I have an anterior placenta. The baby is head down and has been that way since 20 weeks. He is also completely posterior. I had another ultrasound at 24 weeks just because they couldn't visualize the heart at my regular anatomy scan. He's still posterior and head down.

As far as I can tell he has never flipped to be facing my spine. With DS1 I could feel his back and butt very prominently from 20 weeks on. I have a nice soft belly this time, you can't see or palpate any baby parts.

I have been reading (Stupid Dr. Google!!!) that since babies face the placenta having an anterior placenta generally means your baby is less likely to rotate normally during labor giving you an increased change of delivering a sunny side up baby or the baby getting stuck while trying to pass under the pubic bone because of being face up and causing terrible back labor.

I plan to talk to my midwife about it next week, but I'm sure some of you have been through this before!! With DS1 I had a 12 hour labor with 3 hours of pushing. After 11 hours the pain was so bad and completely lost control mentally. I got an epidural for the last hour or labor lol. I really think I could make it naturally this time, but I'm worried. A normal birth is very overwhelming, I'm pretty nervous thinking about pushing out a face up baby with back labor!

I guess my question is, if you had an anterior placenta did you end up delivering a posterior baby??

ETA: I don't know if this matters... DS1's head circumference was over the 100th percentile at birth. At my 24 week ultrasound this baby's head was measuring 26 weeks. DH shoulda told me big heads run in his family before I married him!!! lol

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

My DS1's placenta was anterior and he moved all around up until about 36 weeks, even turned sideways a few times, and was facing posterior up until about 38 weeks then turned anterior or mostly anterior and all it took was me kneeling to get him back anterior. IMO a baby is going to face however the heck the baby wants to face in the end.

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Carolyn, I looked this up with my first, and from what I could find there is no real extra worry for a posterior baby. Both my pregnancies were with an anterior placenta, and both girls still remained anterior as well.

I'm trying to remember where that particular article was that I saw. Possibly at Check that out, either way. It can help to get your newbie into an anterior position and keep him there.

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

I had an anterior plactenta last time and did not have a posterior baby. I think I have one this time as well but won't know for another 4 weeks when I have my first u/s. I don't think anterior placenta = posterior baby. So hopefully your little guy turns in the end Smile

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

Jordie: were your babies anterior through pregnancy? Or were they posterior and then rotated and engaged normally during labor?

I have been on the spinning babies website and was reading about inversions for a posterior baby. It says "Don't do an inversion if your baby isn't or doesn't seem engaged and you have an unstable lie. " But then it also says you can do inversions throughout the entire pregnancy. The baby doesn't "engage" till labor is near, so how can I do an inversion throughout pregnancy? I am more than willing to do this 2-3x a day if its the right thing to do!!

Starflyr's picture
Joined: 10/20/07
Posts: 428

Cassandra is having issues staying in one position, she's not engaged and rotating all over creation. I also have an anterior placenta.

My chiropractor told me to NOT do inversion due to the chance that it may cause her to turn breech.

I had an anterior placenta with Brayden as well, and he was persistently posterior from 32 weeks, up to, through, and after we gave up on labor.


tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I have had an anterior placenta with both of my babies.

With DS, he was a footling breech until week 36, and then posterior laying but head-down at the end of the pregnancy and he was born posterior (sunny side up). Back labor was intense and not fun - some things can help if you end up with back labor - WATER (tub, shower), pressure on your back like someone rubbing it, and laboring standing up or kneeling. I pushed for 2 hours and ended up with an episiotomy (heartrate was decel a lot!) because his head was sort of stuck. He was also my first baby, so not sure how much different it would have been if he was not sunnyside up.

With DD, she was side-lying during most of the pregnancy and was born anterior. It was a much easier labor, and only about 15 minutes of pushing.

Do what you can to spin your baby correctly, it can make a whole lot of difference!

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

I had an anterior placenta with both pregnancies as well (how many of us are stomach sleepers?). My first finally turned as I was pushing and came out anterior, although I had back labor with her. My second turned anterior the day before my water broke and stayed anterior throughout labor, but I still had back labor.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

Hi Carolyn! Honestly I've never been told which way my placenta sits, I'm assuming because they didn't feel like it mattered? Only with my first baby was he facing up and I had horrible back labor the ENTIRE time! I went ahead and had him naturally, but I remember it made me not want to have kids ever again. With my second and third babies I was induced with pit in the 39th week (different reasons for both) and because of the pit it made my contractions horrible and I ended up with an epi both times. I really want to go at it on my own this time, no induction, hopefully no back labor, because I know that I can do it... fingers crossed!

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455


I had an anterior placenta this last time around and my contractions during prodromal labor kept going back and forth between back labor and stomach contrax. But I have never been told of baby's position other than head down.

I just delivered on Monday, the 29th. On Saturday, the 27th, baby's head was not engaged and the water bag was bulging (I was 3cm and 80% effaced). The doc said if the water would break, baby would descend. This was just prior to a huge amount of activity by baby and then I had back labor for a while. I did lots of hands and knees to encourage baby to rotate and then when I started feeling them in my belly again (Sunday) I did a technique from spinning babies to encourage engagement. This worked cause the next day they said baby's head was in they way to do AROM. yet nothing on my cervix changed. I delivered that afternoon with baby facing the right way and no back labor.

I, too, was worried or convinced I'd have a posterior baby with back labor.

Starflyr's picture
Joined: 10/20/07
Posts: 428

Ooh, thanks!

I need that, Cassandra is floating to the point of turning oblique anytime I lay down. Brayden NEVER engaged.

I had searched spinningbabies, but never got to that particular page.


Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Fiona was posterior on and off, and was that way for the beginning of her labour, but she turned and I never had any back labour.

Don't worry about inversions for sure, but definitely keep in mind the hammock rule. Try and keep your body so your belly is hanging in such a way that his heavy back bone will be forced to rotate toward your front. Avoid reclining if you can. All fours, leaning over a birth ball, sleeping with your belly button as toward the mattress as comfortable.

You have such a snug little body, so I know it may be a bit different for you, but many second and subsequent babies don't engage before labour. Some don't even engage til they decide to literally crown, then emerge. Some engage, then float back up, too. It's all to do with the muscles being used before.

So keep that belly a nice hammock for him to swing his back to your front and you are doing as best you can.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

This is the article from spinning babies that says anterior placenta doesn't always equal posterior baby:

When I went to the Dancing for Birth prenatal dance instructor training, we talked a lot about fetal positioning. We did a game where people acted out activities women would do in tribal communities, and it was a lot of forward leaning positions, then a group acted out common activities today, and it was a lot of reclining positions and we talkeda bout how perhaps posterior presentation is more common in modern society because of this. Forward leaning positions promote anterior babies and reclining positions promote posterior babies!

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

thanks for all the responses. I do already know my baby is posterior, so whether that's related to the placenta or not I suppose is anyone's guess as there seems to be lots of different views!

I have noticed I can't breathe in a reclining position at all!!! I have to sit up completely straight. I'm not sure if that's related to his positioning.

I think what has relieved me the most is it seems among those who responded either baby stayed posterior, or fully rotated for a normal delivery during labor. I was reading about transverse arrest when the baby tries to rotate too late and gets stuck. That doesn't seem to be too common! I would much rather deliver a posterior baby than get a c-section. Walking, squatting, all 4's won't be a problem for me. I didn't even get on the bed with my last labor till the last hour.

my midwife appt is tomororow I will ask her whether she thinks inversions are safe for me Smile

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

Be careful what you're looking at on Spinning Babies. They have information about turning posterior babies *AND* breech babies, and it seems you're looking at breech information. Transverse arrest and iinversions are things you do to turn a breech baby, not a posterior baby.

Also, your ticker says you're only 26 weeks? Most midwives don't think twice about baby's position until you're at least 32 or 34 weeks, because before then baby has so much room to move it's kind of silly to try to do anything about it. Blum 3

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

True about the breech/posterior thing. Inversions aren't something you need to worry about since he's head down, right?

Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 1346

I'm not sure. Actually I found their website to be tremendously jumbled up! The page about turning posterior babies said that if the baby tries to turn from a posterior position after it's too far engaged it can get stuck halfway between posterior and anterior resulting in transverse arrest. It said at that point they can try to push the baby back up and rotate it, and if not it can end in a c-section.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Spinning babies has organized their site so that it is less confusing than it used to be, but it is still confusing. Deep transverse arrest is when the baby gets stuck engaged in a left occiput transverse or right occiput transverse position (it has nothing to do with transverse lie, the names are similar, so that is confusing) and inversions can be used to disengage a posterior baby to help it have more room to rotate. My understanding is that you wouldn't use an inversion as long with a posterior baby as you would if your baby were breech--just briefly to get them out of the pelvis, and then you'd get in a forward leaning position to encourage anterior presentation. You are early to worry about the baby engaging, though, so I wouldn't worry about inversions at this point.

I've never been told the location of my placentas before, but my DD was posterior until right before labor, and she rotated just fine. Very few babies whose moms are moblie are born in a posterior position because it is harder to fit that way, and they usually rotate until they fit. I had a doula client whose baby was posterior until she was 10 cm (and she actually had a fast labor, though really intense), at which point her OB broke her water and discovered the baby was posterior with a vaginal exam. Mom got on her hands-and-knees and baby rotated and came out anterior, very smoothly.