pregnancy tips

Sunny side up: What does it exactly mean for the baby?

There are many pregnant women who are said to experience plenty of back pain. This takes place, especially when her tummy starts to swell, with the progression of the growth of the child in her womb. Majority of the women these days are compelled to go for caesarian section or c-section. One reason for the c-section to be conducted is because, the baby is found to be in the position of ‘sunny side up’. Breech birth is heard by many, but sunny side up is something that is considered to be a common abnormal position especially for the baby.

What does sunny side up baby mean?

Sunny side up has another medical term which is OP or occiput posterior position. The position of the baby in this particular type is head down, however, the wrong way. The head’s back part, which is the occiput is the posterior position. Hence, the baby’s face is found to be pressed against the public bone. It can be real tough in this particular position for the baby to have its head extended out from below the public bone. This may only make the mother’s labor pain to be extended along with time, making the delivery process more difficult.

What is known about OP position?

Several studies had been conducted to find out more about OP position, what exactly it stands for delivery, as well as how to prevent it. Some results of the studies are as follows:

  • During the labor’s initial stage, OP position is found to be common, which occurs in about 30% of all pregnancies.
  • Babies tend to rotate to the normal position during the delivery time. It is just 5% of the babies who have persistent OP.
  • Longer labor, emergency caesarean section or assisted vaginal delivery could the result of persistent OP. 20% – 30% of the babies having persistent OP get delivered by C-section.
  • Persistent OP baby is likely to be during the first pregnancy. This risk is noticed to be about 7%.

What is to be done if baby sunny side up?

Operative delivery, which is done by using vacuum device or forceps is considered to be an alternative to manage the OP baby, apart from the c-section. Besides this are attempting baby manual rotation (during labor through the birth canal) and maternal posturing.

Back pain can be reduced with maternal posturing. It is assumed to be a position on the knees and hands with chest leaning forwards while back stretched out.

Therefore, it can be safely stated that even if the labor starts with the baby being sunny side up, the baby is likely to be into the right position, just before the time of delivery. It can be much better, in case, the odds can be improved with proper posturing. It is only an experienced healthcare who can provide suggestions and knowledge about OP positioned babies and also discuss about the different options available for delivery during such events.


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