Back pain during labor is from H-E-Double hockey sticks. I'm not exaggerating and if you've had it, you would agree with me. It's almost unbearable. Please take the time to read and comment!
Pregnancy is so exciting and so full of joy. So, don't let my talking about back pain during labor scare you off. Better yet, let it prepare you on the off chance you experience back labor.
Read and let me know if any of these tips resound with you or if you have any suggestions to help my readers, please comment.
Labor pain is usually felt in the abdomen. Some women may have pain in the lower back, but if it is intense back pain =during labor then most likely it's due to a few common causes.
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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#1 Cause of Back Pain During Labor:
The number one reason for back pain during labor is the baby is not in the right position. What does this mean to you? the baby's position is a game-changer as you may already know. If the baby is not head down, many doctors won't consider a vaginal delivery and schedule a cesarean right off the bat.
However, the most common culprit of back pain during labor is when your baby decides to look face up instead of face down. This presentation is called Occiput posterior. You can read about it here: Posterior positions during labor. If you've read some of my posts, then you know this happened to me with my fifth birth. She came out face up and I thought I was dying. I was literally traumatized.
Number 1: If you are not yet in labor. There are some tricks you can do NOW. Please don't wait. Please, because laboring an OP baby is awful.
- Exercise during Pregnancy: Swimming is perfect!
- Side walk-up the stairs.
- Lie on your left side while resting or sleeping.
- Do pelvic tilts
- Do chair lunges, put your foot up onto a chair and gently lunge forward.
- Lean over counters or chair backs to get baby into a good position.
- When reclining, keep knees below hips.
Related post: Belly Mapping to figure out how your baby is positioned.
- Squatting during pregnancy is a wonderful way to open the pelvis and allow the baby to get into proper positions. Start this early. It also helps to prevent tearing, which I address in this informative post.
- The good old cat yoga pose.
- sitting with legs wide open on a birthing ball and doing circular motions with hips
# 2 Back pain during labor as a result of a previous injury or spinal condition
- Scoliosis or other spinal curvature
- back injury
Signs of back labor :
Obviously, if there is back pain during labor without back injury or a spinal condition, that tells you something but what are some other indications that may lead your nurse to believe that your baby is in a malposition.
- Failure to progress. You may get to 1-3 cm but not go further. The baby's head puts pressure on the cervix to dilate. If that pressure isn't happening, it can take a while, especially if it's your first baby.
- Your nurse may feel an abnormal amount of space in your vaginal cavity when she checks you.
- The shape of your belly also tells a lot about positioning. Check this out!
Here's How to Try to Relieve Back Pain During Labor
- Counterpressure just above the sacrum
- As mentioned above, get into a hands knee position.
- My Favorite is the Double Hip Squeeze
- Lift your belly up!
- Get into the tub or use a shower wand above the sacrum.
- Birth Ball does wonders. (see above)
- Dancing during labor! It opens the hips and encourages the baby to move into a better position.
- Ask if your facility provides a sterile water block. Which can bring relief for hours.
Related Posts: Preparing for Labor: Check out these 10 incredible products
Related Posts: The six signs of Labor
Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.
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