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Back labor...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, for those of you mamas who are on pregnancy #2 or more, I'm wondering if any of you experienced back labor?

My labor started with back labor. The horrible back pain I felt did not go away until DS was pushed out. I just learned to deal with it I guess for the 7-8 hours that I felt it.

So, I would love to hear of some stories on how other mamas have dealt with the pain of back labor. I've been reading up on different positions and such. I read that the hands and knees position really helps alleviate some of the back pain. I'm really surprised that my midwife never suggested that position to me. Counter pressure didn't seem to do much for it, although I guess it kind of took the edge off. Barely though! I'm curious what some of you may have done to successfully find relief.

Maybe I won't have back labor this time, but I'm going to expect it. That way if I don't, it will be a really nice surprise. So I'd just like to have an arsenal ready this time.
post #2 of 17
There's a lot you can do to avoid back labor. It's usually attributed to a posterior baby (baby's facing your tummy instead of your back). I very, very highly suggest you do all you can to avoid this, as posterior presentation (as you know) leads to more painful labor, longer labor, and even cesarean birth. Click here to read more about it, and here's a really fantastic book that you may be able to have your library purchase (mine did, I just had to ask!) if you don't have a big book budget. You will be astonished at how much there is to know and how much control you actually DO have to avoid posterior babies!
post #3 of 17
i HAD BACK LABOR (oops, soory) with dd - she was posterior. I coped alright until stupid hospital policy made me lay down to get monitored, and i ended up with an epidural at 8 cm. I did a lot of squatting and rocking, and the birthing ball helped a lot too. Had the OB told me the baby was posterior (he said later "yeah, i knew you'd have back labor, from the baby's position at your last few appointments"), i would have done what I could to turn her.
post #4 of 17
i didn't have back labor with either of my kids; all the pain was between the uterus and the opening. I guess they were in the "normal" position, since i never heard anything different? Wow, that sounded ignorant...
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
dynamicdoula, cool thanks for the links! I bookmarked both of them. I read quite a bit on the website. Happily, it looks like I'm already doing things differently for the better this pregnancy: I've been doing prenatal yoga regularly for the last 6 weeks or so, so I think that is going to help a lot. I have an exercise ball and I'm sitting on it right now instead of a chair (with my knees lower than hips). I am going to check out the book too, I'll see if the library has it or what. My midwife did have me sit on the tiolet a lot, so that's good. I also did squats when I was pushing. Gosh, thank goodness it wasn't a long labor...but it sure was intense! My water broke just before labor started too, so I think that contributed to the intensity as well.

eclipse...yeah, "coping" is what I did too. I can't believe the OB didn't warn you when he knew! I have an exercise ball that I'll be using too...Did you check out the link that dynamicdoula put up too? It's really cool...I'm going to read it and reread it so I know all the tools that I can!
post #6 of 17
I had back labor with my last. I woke up one morning with what I thought was a really bad backache and didn't realize what was going on until I started feeling the need to push an hour later! It hurt soo bad, I'm glad it was such a short labor! Thankfully, I'm more informed this time around in case the same thing happens
post #7 of 17
I'm dealing with this too. Only my dd didn't turn, even with 3+ hrs of pushing and she ended up a csection delivery (not emergency, my choice as I was exhausted). anyhow I posted on the ICAN list (international c. awareness network) and asked about what to do to avoid back labor and basic responses were:

see a chiropractor

avoid sitting in a position that encourages baby to be facing front (I think those are listed on spinning babies)

and someone recommended a book called "sit up and take notice" which I have yet to order, but was just about to do so.

edited to add: apparently someone else had basically the same thoughts I did as I just clicked on AP's links to sit up :LOL
post #8 of 17


I had back labor that started with my wayer breaking as well , I felt as though there was nothing there to cushion any of the pain! I was just given the book Sit Up and Take Notice from a friend and have heard about the spinning babies web-site. My labor from water breaking to birth was 9 hours, only (ha!) 7 hours of EXTREME pain. I have to get on reading the books and doing a ll I can do to not have it again. They got my DS turned in the end, but barely.

Thank you for posting this question ... it is on my mind as well.
DS 02/26/00
EDD 10/13/05
Wife to awesome husband Tony! :
post #9 of 17
okay, not currently pg, but the thread caught my eye..

my first birth was a posterior baby.. 2 days of contrax starting/stopping (i think 'cause he wasn't engaging properly), and then 8 1/2 hours of the most excuriating back pain that i've ever had in my life. whew! would not wish it on anyone! he finally turned either in transistion, or while i was pushing.. took 2 1/2 hours to push him out (he was 9lbs3oz)..

what i did to avoid it the second time around..
1) chiropractor is the way to go!! i totally believe that my chiro helped to avoid the whole posterior baby thing

2) i had a bit of back pain during labour number 2 (minor in comparison, but i was afraid of it worsening.. my back has never been the same since ds's birth!),so my MW gave me "sterile water injections".. which is when you show the MW exactly the spot where it hurts the worse, and then she injects sterile water at four points surrounding that spot. it's supposed to disrupt your nerves sending pain messages to your brain. it lasts for an hour or two, and you can repeat it as often as needed.. no side effects, no drugs involved. totally worked for me. the four injections sting momentarily, but worth it! MW called it "the other MW epidural" LOL (water birth being the original MW epi). you should ask your MW if she knows how to perform this technique

3) be as upright as possible during labour.. walking, squatting, sitting up straight on the birth ball

my labour with DD was 2 hours of active labour, and she wasn't posterior!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Gosh, I'm so glad to be getting such great feedback from everyone.

shelley4, how often did you see a chiropractor for your second pregnancy? I have been having awful sciatica for the last 3 days and will be heading to the chiropractor in the next day or two. I'm going to talk to her about the back labor issue and see what they suggest too. Just wondering how often you went in for adjustments, etc. And those sterile water injections sounds very interesting. I will definitely ask my midwife if she is able to do them. It would great to have some type of effective drug-free pain relief if my back does hurt like that again. Hopefully with all the great advice I'm getting I'll be able to avoid back labor this time!
post #11 of 17
when i first started seeing my chiro, it was 2 times per week.. then just once a week till the birth. i think it all depends on the amount of adjusting you need..

i think the sterile water injections are a relatively new technique.. i don't think my MW for my son's birth knew about them. hopefully your MW does, or can research/learn about them before your birth!
post #12 of 17
I've never had back labor, and here's what I contribute it to (besides luck):

--No reclining in chairs (like slouching)

I have to say swimming is easy for me b/c I'm in FL, but with my third, I would go to the pool with a OP baby and leave with an obedient little one in OA. I'd start working on an OP baby AS SOON AS I knew he or she was one.

I've helped women with back labor, and hands and knees is really good, but exhausting. I also saw an OP baby pushed out and it was really an intense 2nd stage.

Good luck!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
onlyboys, thanks for your tips. Since I'm in Florida, I can definitely swim a lot and do plan on it! I just got out of the pool, as a matter of fact.

You know, neither of the midwives I saw ever mentioned a posterior baby to me. So ...? Well, the belly mapping I read about on spinningbabies.com looks helpful anyhow on seeing for myself what position the babe is in.

Squats are good. I 've been doing them in my yoga routine, and also extra when I think about it. I gave birth to DS in a squat, and since with the first pregnancy I was not good about squats on a regular basis (or enough exercise of any kind for that matter) I was really tired out from all the squatting at the end. :LOL I'm doing so much better with exercise this time around.
post #14 of 17

back labor


I did prenatal yoga before my first birth (had been doign regular yoga up until I discovered I was pregnant) as well as plenty of squats yet I had back labor, with my second I had back labor and with my third pregancy which ended in an early miscarriage I also had back labor (albeit less painful then the births). So I don't think squats and yoga help everyone...wish a solution could be found, after my second birth i was in such pain i considered an epidural for the next one although of course i don't really want it...
post #15 of 17
I had back labor with my first and ever since I have done everything possible to avoid it because for me nothing helped. Check out spinningbabies.com for optimal fetal positioning
post #16 of 17
Oh my yes. She was posterior, and my labor lasted over 37 hours. I felt like my hips were going to explode, and even between contractions I was pretty miserable. I have really never fathomed pain like that. I am being VERY serious about trying to avoid posterior-ness this time around and really wish I had come across the spinningbabies website the first time I was pregnant. I did lots of things entirely wrong without knowing it.
post #17 of 17
Jumping in from the December boards. I'm pregnant with my 3rd. I think a lot of positioning happens WELL before labor actually begins. With my first he was posterior and never did flip properly. I had a long-ish labor (17 hours) and ended up pushing him out sunny side up with his hand against his head. I did HypnoBirthing and that was the main way I got through the back labor. It wasn't so bad except for the last 2 hours. It just got intense, getting through was what had to bedone. I was inthe birth tub flopping around in different positions mainly belly down.

Now, when I was pregnant with my DD I REALLY wanted to make sure that she was anterior for birth. I read up a lot on ideal positioning and what I could do before birth. A WONDERFUL site is http://www.spinningbabies.com/index.html There is such a wealth of information there.

With my DD's pregnancy, in the 3rd trimester, I did not recline at all, I followed Spinning Babies rec's for sleeping and sitting. And, she was LOA perfect, I believe mainly because of the strict posture I kept. Her labor started and 2 hours later I was fully dialated, easily and peacefully (again I did Hypno). Her birth was painfree from the get go.

Best wishes to all ofyou! Happy gestating and easy birthing!
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