My Baby's in Oblique Position

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm due in 3 days and my baby's not engaged and in an oblique position, the doctors have done an ultra sound and found the placenta is not in the way but will do nothing more (eg pelvic measurements or discuss c sections).

Isn't this type of positioning likely to cause a difficult labor and why don't they want to look into it more before labor begins?

I've felt great through the whole pregnancy and not too worried about the birth, but am anxious now and feeling as though they'd prefer I go through complications rather than prevent them.

Thanks for you help.

ANSWER

The reason they are not doing anything is because it could still be 17 days before you deliver and your baby would still not be late.

Usually what happens in these cases is that you will have Braxton-Hicks contractions (pre- or early labor) that put the baby in the proper position. Once it's there, you then proceed to a normal birth. Babies are pretty smart that way :-). If the baby seriously tried to come shoulder first and it couldn't be turned (also a very likely possibility), then of course other delivery options would be discussed.

But no responsible provider wants to give anyone major abdominal surgery which might cause any number of complications both for you and for your baby if the problem can be solved with a little patience.

If you have not been educated about why you would like to avoid a cesarean, you might try:

It sounds to me like your providers are trying to give you and your baby the best possible chance to avoid complications. Let's hope they succeed!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.