Exactly What Does It Mean to possess a Sunny Side Up Baby



Video taken from the channel: The Marlers


Baby born sunny side up!!

Video taken from the channel: Christina L


What does it mean when my baby is “sunny side up”?

Video taken from the channel: Ask the Midwife by Beautiful Beginning Birth



Video taken from the channel: Adrienne


BACK LABOR | How to Survive a Sunny Side Up Baby

Video taken from the channel: Mandy Irby


What Does a Sunny Side Up Baby Mean?

Video taken from the channel: Pregistry


How to Reposition a Posterior, or “Sunny Side Up,” Baby

Video taken from the channel: Bailey Gaddis

Also known as the occiput posterior position (OP), or posterior position, a sunny side up baby is a baby positioned head down but facing mom’s abdomen, so the baby’s occipital bone (the skull. Most women have heard about breech birth, but the sunny side up position is actually the most common abnormal position for a baby. The medical term for the sunny side up position is occiput posterior or OP position. The baby is head down but turned the wrong way. The occiput – the back part of the head – is posterior, so the baby’s face is pressed up against the pubic bone.

There is some good news that if even if you start your baby in the sunny side up position, the chances of the baby getting into the right position before delivery are there. It is nice situation if posturing could improve the odds, but till now it has not been of any help. The posterior position (or occiput posterior position) means that the baby is face-up, or “sunny side up,” instead of face-down, so the hardest part of her head rests near your lower back instead.

My baby was sunny side up. I had natural childbirth in a birthing center. I did have back labor, but it was manageable with good comfort measures.

The midwives were able to reach in and turn baby during about three contractions when I was six centimeters dilated. That hurt, but then it all went a lot faster, so it was worth a few minutes of pain. The technical term is occiput posterior (OP) position. This term refers to the fact that the back of your baby’s skull (the occipital bone) is in the back (or posterior) of your pelvis. You may also hear this position referred to as “face-up” or “sunny-side up.”.

I had to have oxygen and they kept having me switch positions [to get her to turn I assume..didn’t work though, I eventually did deliver her sunny side up but it was a big effort]. A c-section was never talked about..I don’t think it’s routine just because the baby is sunny side..it’s totally doable just be prepared to push longer. An average-sized or smaller baby.

Someone whose posterior baby changes from right to left after doing inversions and other balancing work, though the baby is still posterior. A woman with a baby in the Left Occiput Posterior, especially if the baby’s chin is tucked or flexed. The baby’s back shifts right and left and right again, trying to turn his little forehead out of the narrow pointy space at the mother’s pubic bone.

But the pelvis isn’t round so he can’t. He’ll have to come up and out, away from the brim to turn. He can only do that if the mom relaxes her ligaments, and gets upside down a bit each day. You may have heard of ‘back labor’, or a baby born ‘sunny side up’?

These are two indications of a baby in a posterior position, which causes a longer labor due a dysfunctional contraction pattern and more pain.

List of related literature:

Baby is facing “sunny side up” at birth.

“Expecting 411 (4th edition): The Insider's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth” by Ari Brown, Michele Hakakha
from Expecting 411 (4th edition): The Insider’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
by Ari Brown, Michele Hakakha
Windsor Peak Press, 2017

OP babies are sometimes referred to as “sunny-side up,” and while they can absolutely be delivered vaginally, childbirth may be a bit more difficult.

“The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth” by Genevieve Howland
from The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
by Genevieve Howland
Gallery Books, 2017

If baby’s facing your tummy (called occiput posterior, but also known by the much cuter nickname “sunny-side up”), it’s a setup for back labour (see page 365) because his or her skull will be pressing on your spine.

“What to Expect When You're Expecting 4th Edition” by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
from What to Expect When You’re Expecting 4th Edition
by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
Simon & Schuster UK, 2010

The loss of fluids, combined with the demands made on Yin during pregnancy, may lead to there being insufficient Yin in the body, which means that the body can become too hot.

“Pregnancy and Childbirth E-Book: A holistic approach to massage and bodywork” by Suzanne Yates
from Pregnancy and Childbirth E-Book: A holistic approach to massage and bodywork
by Suzanne Yates
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Drying and covering the baby to conserve heat.

“Becoming a Midwife in the 21st Century” by Ian Peate, Cathy Hamilton
from Becoming a Midwife in the 21st Century
by Ian Peate, Cathy Hamilton
Wiley, 2013

Holding or placing the baby, so that the head is lower than the body and is turned somewhat to the side for drainage.

“A Comprehensive Textbook of Midwifery & Gynecological Nursing” by Annamma Jacob
from A Comprehensive Textbook of Midwifery & Gynecological Nursing
by Annamma Jacob
Jaypee Brothers,Medical Publishers Pvt. Limited, 2018

Sunny side up.

“Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs” by Wayne Gisslen, Mary Ellen Griffin, Le Cordon Bleu
from Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs
by Wayne Gisslen, Mary Ellen Griffin, Le Cordon Bleu
John Wiley & Sons, 2006

Placing the baby in skin-to-skin contact with their mother or the father helps the baby in maintaining their body heat, but the baby needs to be thoroughly dry.

“Myles' Textbook for Midwives E-Book” by Jayne E. Marshall, Maureen D. Raynor
from Myles’ Textbook for Midwives E-Book
by Jayne E. Marshall, Maureen D. Raynor
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2020

Possible Positions for Birth

“Infant and Toddler Development from Conception to Age 3: What Babies Ask of Us” by Mary Jane Maguire-Fong, Marsha Peralta
from Infant and Toddler Development from Conception to Age 3: What Babies Ask of Us
by Mary Jane Maguire-Fong, Marsha Peralta
Teachers College Press, 2018

Warm delivery room, drying the baby after birth, skin‐to‐skin care by the mother, covering the baby including the head, and delayed bathing.

“Neonatology at a Glance” by Tom Lissauer, Avroy A. Fanaroff, Lawrence Miall, Jonathan Fanaroff
from Neonatology at a Glance
by Tom Lissauer, Avroy A. Fanaroff, et. al.
Wiley, 2020

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • Had back labor with both my kids but my 1st was way way worse because I was induced. Pitocin made the pain intolerable felt like my back was breaking.

  • 2vbac baby due in late February here! I’m a doula and I am having this one at home �� in water!!! Pelvic pain is real. no way I can birth this time without water lol

  • Omg I had back labor so bad with my middle child. It was my first all natural birth and I just though labor was that painful. It was so painful I just cried and couldnt move. No one helped me cause the nurses were against me going all natural and said I should have gotten epidural.

  • Thank you so much Bailey for making this video!!! It was really helpfull! I found out my baby doesnt want to move because my placenta is in the way for the optimal position… so I think he will move in labor…

  • Thank you so much for making this video. I’m in my 38th week now and in my ultrasound I get to know that baby is in LOP but in my pervious ultrasound it is LOA. Don’t know why the baby has changed the position. Do I still have time to change the position of the baby. Because I want a vaginal birth. Please help me

  • I had a planned homebirth with my first and only baby, and he was posterior as well! I had no idea until he emerged and he was face up! The back labor was INTENSE, I took forever to dilate fully, I pushed for 3.5hrs with his heartbeat dipping, which was terrifying. But he and I are also proof that it can be done!

  • Back labor is excruciating thought I was gonna die my hubby even said my eyes glazed over and he thought I would die so traumatized and don’t even mention the pain of forceps and yes I had an epidural did not touch the pain whatsoever needless to say that was in 1991and I never wanted another child and didn’t.

  • I gave birth to my baby girl in 2018 and had a back labor. I pushed for 6 hours and had so much back pain. My doctor wanted to send me to have c-section and I asked her to help me with a vacuum and on the first contraction with the help of the vacuum I was able to delivery my baby. I wish I knew more about this subject and could prepare better.

  • My son was posterior too! My labor wasn’t induced, was 7 hours long, drug free and as I was entering the crowning stage, more and more midwifes filled the room and they were talking excitedly as if they were watching a sport �� he was born with me on all fours to a roomful of applause (I guess it’s abnormal) and I didn’t even tear ��‍♀️

  • I am 37 weeks pregnant an just found out that our baby girl is posterior and I watched your video on how to get them to turn how long do you have to stay in the polar bear position each day to you go in to be induced and would it work to put the ice pack on your back to try to get them to turn Towards your back so they are facing the right way

  • Hey Bailey, how is a posterior baby confirmed? My midwife thought my baby might be posterior and asked if i had back pain to which I do. Baby is still not engaged (atleast at my 36wk appointment which is fine, im 38 now). Would doing these activities do any “harm” if its not even confirmed if baby is posterior or not, as in would it flip him into posterior if he is already in the optimal position? Thankyou x

  • Hey Mandy! Thank you so much. Had an OP baby 3 years ago and had NO idea about flipping baby or positions to rotate her so i went right into a c section after about 6 hours of active labor. Womp womp…but I am so grateful for your videos! My favorite chill position is on my siiiiide with my preggo body pillow. Praying for a VBAC xoxo

  • My favorite position to chill while 37w+4d is on my exercise ball! When I feel like I need some extra relaxation I roll out my yoga mat for knee padding and kneel over my ball, letting my belly hang. I’ll drape a towel over the ball so I can rest my head on it comfortably.

  • Hello, im 39 weeks and had my cervix checked today, or technically didn’t, they said that I am at a +1 station but my cervix is too high and posterior to be able to check, leading me to believe baby is also OP and not allowing my cervix to move anterior for him to be able to put pressure on. Could I combine the polar bear position and crawling by (carefully) crawling up and down my carpeted stairs? I’ve been having horrible hip pain and wondering if his position is the cause.

  • My second and third were both OP. Definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was a week overdue with my third and was getting (I think it’s called) the stress test and the baby’s heart was decelerating with every contraction so I had to go in. I pushed for three hours with my third after being in labor for about 2 days. Wish I would’ve had someone like you there!

  • Took 3 hours to push my sun out he was sunny side up and had vacuum assist. Im 38 weeks pregnant now and hoping to not have OP baby again lol. I dont renember back pain…maybe cuz i had epidural

  • Very helpful. Nice video, support and subscribe.
    I have just started a channel recording my bilingual son’s daily routine. He wants to be a chef when he grows up. Welcome to visit my channel.

  • Whew girl. Back labor and an epidural that wore off during the delivery process I literally thought I was dying. Pushed for 3 HOURS and almost had to have a c section but I somehow found the strength to get her out. Worst pain of my life and I’d go through it all again to have my daughter.

  • My daughter was a back labor baby and was turned the wrong way, and I had them bring out the mirror so I could watch the pushing process because it was taking so long and I needed motivation, and THEN she literally turned and came out on the next push but since she was so close everyone in the room saw her turn. It was INSANE!!! She’s my first so that was like the craziest thing in the world to me lol

  • How long did your unicorn-baby’s mom push for? I had a sunny side up baby. I labored for total of 60 hours. I really tried for natural but ended up having to transfer from the birth center to the hospital for pain control and dehydration secondary to so much vomiting. I got the epidural for the last 18 hours. But the epidural was not effective the whole time ugh. Anyway I tried to push her out for 2 and a half hours and she didn’t progress AT ALL so I ended up signing the consent and rolling into the OR. I was so disappointed with myself. SO disappointed. But I just wonder how long did this mama have to push her baby with the “unicorn” coning? I think back and wonder if I could have done it. I would have continued pushing but my nurse said I could possibly push for 5 hours and still need a c section anyway… Great video, thanks!

  • I always have a back labor but my babies always coming facing down. I hadn’t have a long labor, my first baby came out after 5 hours and my second baby came out after two hours

  • Two OP babies delivered here. Very little support from the staff. �� The back pain was just terrible. Ended up with a broken tailbone from the second.

  • This is a SHAME! She said don’t clamp immediately. She said she wanted the handles. She was asking what to do and no one answered. Mothers should never be ignored!!!!!

  • I had back labor starting about 48 hours before my water broke and started active labor. Had back labor until my little guy was born. He was actually anterior, and then flipped to posterior sometime during active labor. Went natural, though, but it sucked lol!!

  • I liked this video a lot. 4th pregnancy and 1st with this issue. Thank you for being direct and, frankly, not annoying about it. ��

  • Great tips.. so glad to have found you! I had a back labour with my first child 10 years ago… now 33 weeks with number 4! I’m going to use your tips to help my posture be as optimal as poss before labour. I have pubis symposis disorder tho so find it painful to do wide lunges ������

  • so sad they clamped the cord early. hate how sneaky they do that. without announcing.. heaven forbid they don’t tickle the feet first…..

  • My #4 baby was sunny side up with a nuchal cord. I’m trying to avoid this this time! I’m 35wks currently, and will hopefully have an easy unmedicated 3rd VBAC.

  • I had my baby 9 months ago and wasn’t prepared for back labor. I was in labor for 36 hours. Attempted home birth. Had back labor from the start. I couldn’t even lie on my side or back. My midwife kept trying to get me to do so to spin the baby and I was SCREAMING. It was traumatic and miserable. I thought I was dying. Long story short she was ROP and took the long way around to turn and ended up LOP and stuck in my birth canal. I was transferred to the hospital at 30 hours. Begged for an epidural (which I was horrified about due to have back surgery when I was a teen) anyways got it and tried to labor for 6 more hours. Unfortunately needed a c section after that. It was a very traumatic experience. I’m now pregnant again and am going to do everything I can to have a vbac and not let fear get in the way. I want to make sure to spin my baby early hopefully. And use hypnobabies. As well as a TENS unit. Praying these things work together. ❤️

  • I wish I watched this when I was pregnant! My baby was born in June and he was OP. The back labor was miserable!!! My nurses saved me though with the peanut ball and I was able to deliver naturally but I’m forever scarred with the memory of the horrible pain of back labor lol ugh miserable!!! Thanks for the video I learned a lot!!

  • Hoping you can help me gain some insight. I went into labor with my son (lost mucous plug, heavy bleeding). Took a shower at home and 1.5 hours later arrived at the hospital. I was 6cm. About an hour later I was ready to start pushing..that’s when they discovered he was OP. I pushed for 2-3 hours and he was here! I feel like if he hadn’t been OP, and his head hadn’t been in the 99th percentile, he would have been here MUCH sooner. Before I began pushing, the nurse told me to come to the hospital right away if I had any additional babies. I’m expecting baby number 2 this May, and I’m worried I won’t make the 30 min ride to the hospital. Legit concern?

  • I had back labor with my son 2 weeks ago and it was bad……..I was laying on the back of the bed and then I gave birth and it took 20 mins to get him out

  • Girlll I’ve gained about 60 lbs lol Both pregnancies. Right now I am 38 weeks + 5 days with my second. My first baby was 9.14 lbs and this baby they told me at my last visit last week was already weighing around 8lbs and I’m due June 3rd, so she’ll be another 9 lb hopefully not 10. And I am naturally very tiny. I weighed 103 lbs before this pregnancy. So I know your pain. Also, my first was facing my back and everything was good and normal, but this pregnancy I’ve found out that my placenta is posterior & she is sunny side up. So I started YouTube searching about sunny side up babies and that’s how I found you lol!

  • That was me with #1! Extreme pain before I even got to 4cm. All in back. Pushing three hours. Needed to be turned physically by registrar to get him out! Hard core!

  • My baby was a sunny side up little stinker! It wasn’t even on my radar! I studied so much! But
    I had back labor starting 36 hrs before the birth.
    I wish I would have paid for the spinning babies program. What’s your opinion on this?

  • I’m in early labor with my third boy. Both of my previous boys were born OP but I never had back labor with them. This baby is very different. I am having a lot of back labor and pain. My guess is that he is OP as well because I have never gone longer than 37 weeks pregnant (I’m 36 weeks and 5 days today).

  • Thank u.. I just had a back to back in a ambulance very quick at the end but I had the burning in my tummy and back so strange.. x

  • I had to push for 2+ hours with my daughter in OP position too! My epidural didn’t work either! It was definitely traumatic to say the least.

  • Can having a posterior baby make it take longer for you to go into labor? can it effect the way u dilate before hand? And can it effect having contractions/Braxton Hicks before labor?

  • Hi Mandy!

    Just subscribed to your page after going through a traumatic labor. I’m pretty sure he was OP. I had excruciating back and hip pain. I felt like my spine was being ripped apart. I was in labor for 30 hours and ended up having a c-section because I could not push him out after 3 hours. I received very little support from the nursing staff and left kinda disappointed that I couldn’t have a vaginal birth. I’m planning to have another little one in the future. Is there a way to see if the baby is OP before labor via US? Thanks so much for your video! So informative. I wish I would have watched it prior to my labor!

  • My firstborn was OP and I had a 56 hour labor with 4 hours of pushing. We were close to having a C-section but my OB was able to deliver her. I want to everything I can to have a better labor and delivery experience this second time around! Your channel has been so helpful!

  • Yes you can! I had a 12lb baby born sunny side up. With not epidural. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. But he came out after 40 mins of pushing.

  • I had major back pain with all 4 of my kids and they were all positioned correctly. So back pain is definitely no just with OP babies. This is suck a common misconception. Of course OP babies cause back pain but just because you have back pain doesnt mean it’s a OP baby

  • i had second pregnancy posterior baby i think its because i was told to try break water and start pitocin to early in labor ended c section and i want to try natural this time i feel so motivated and actually after reading believe natural is more comftarble for baby and me