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how to avoid back labor?

1201 Views 16 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  JeanetteL
Oh heck, I meant to post this here, not in "homebirth". Sorry for the cross-post... Anyway...

Has anybody had back labor with first babies and not with subsequent ones? Did you do something specific to avoid back labor? Please share!

I've had horrendous back labor with all three of mine. First baby I labored and gave birth in a reclining position, second was kneeling and squatting, third various upright positions and then kneeling to give birth. It happens as they are descending (last 1-2 hours of birth.) I don't know for sure that this is because of the baby's positioning, but I'm willing to assume it is and work on remedying that. It also may just have to do with the shape of my body and positioning of my uterus; one thing I'm doing is that I've banned the recliner, and now try to remember to sit upright and forward when I'm sitting down, and I try to remember also not to sleep on my back.

Any other ideas?
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I've never used it, but i've heard that The Pink Kit is useful for this. That and chiropractic care.

Good luck!
I had it baaaaad with my first, and I didn't have it at all with my second.

I avoided the couch, opting instead for a bean bag chair (squatting position) when sitting. In the last trimester especially, I tried hard to keep moving. Even just standing and swaying instead of sitting. When I sat on chairs, I usually leaned forward with my belly between my legs.

I also talked to myself a lot, and I think I more or less convinced myself that I would not have back labor with dd.
Have you seen the spinning babies website? It's all about OFP, optimal fetal positioning, both during pregnancy and during labor.

I think steps you've taken, like banishing your recliner (and replacing it with a birth ball, perhaps?) are key to correcting any sort of 'womb enviornment' that would result in back labor.

Could there be an unusual tailbone deal going on? You mention that the pain is during the decent; is that a low, low sacral pain that could be more intense for you because of anatomy? Is it possible for someone to hurt/damage her tailbone during childhood/young adulthood and have it heal in a slightly unusual way such that it could get 'in the way' and cause some back labor? I don't know anything about this, so I almost didn't mention it, but I thought I'd just throw out another idea, to inspire avenues for you to investigate.

Above all, I'm sure you will continue anticipating your birth with a positive attitude, knowing that back labor is not a guarantee, and your labor could indeed progress very anteriorly! Furthermore, if you do encounter back labor, you have already coped with that scenario...either way, you will have a wonderful, empowering birth.
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Thanks for the link, and bringing up the idea of damage to that area -- I was in a bad car accident about 15 years ago, and who knows, maybe it did throw something off.
a tailbone injury can definitly make labor more painful. I warned about this before I got pregnant as the very tip of your tailbone actually swings out of the way as baby comes up underneath it. a fracture or other injury can make this excruciating. btw I had horrible back labor but no tailbone pain, though I ended up with a c/s due to positioning (ds was aclyntic)
There's a book called "Back Labor No More" that I've heard is great, although I haven't read it. I'm definitely getting it for me next birth. I had bad back labor with my ds. I was careful about how I sat until I went on maternity leave, then I sat around in the recliner most of the day. BIG MISTAKE! While I was still working, I had been sitting straddling the back of a hard chair (sounds obscene, doesn't it?). I think that was much better for keeping baby in the anterior position.

For me, I wasn't expecting back labor so I didn't deal with it very well. When a contraction came, I would do child's pose on a bean bag chair. This was the only thing that helped at all.

BTW, what's the Pink Kit?

Good luck and painless labor vibes!
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Hey, Linda, I just ordered the Pink Kit not too long ago. When it comes, you are more than welcome to borrow it. I've heard incredible things about it.

Darlene, this is the Pink Kit:
I though Back Labor No More was an interesting read!
I had the worst back labor! I was in the shower and tub thru the whole thing. I dont know if I have ever injured my tail bone, but I went to a chiropractor towards the end and had him give me an adjustement. I had to go back once after the birth too.

One thing my midwife did thru the end of my labor was put her two fingers on either side of my spine, right at the bottom near my tailbone. (forget what that is called) IT would totally relieve the pain.......I wish I had had one of those prong back would have saved my poor midwifes hand!
This is an interesting thread. I had back labor and the only thing that helped was having DH push his fists into my lower back down near my tailbone. He did it for about ten hours! It sounds like the same thing rainsmom's midwife was doing. The woman who taught our childbirth classes showed us that, and I gotta say, it was the most useful thing out of the whole class. She had 3 kids, none posterior, but still had back labor with all three. I didn't know there was any way to avoid it. I figured it was just the way my bones are aligned or something. I'm going to have to look for that book "Back Labor No More." One of my best friends had back labor with her first, but then not with her second. I thought that was great; I keep hoping I'll be the same way.
Bc my dd was posterior, she wouldnt/couldnt descend into the birth canal. After 8hours of pushing........I finally got in a squatting position and it was enough for her to change her position and she descended. Just thought Id pass that on......
There is a pamplet/ short book called Optimal Feotal Positioning, which has some really great info regarding what to do to avoid an op baby. Also, chiropractic care is good too. I'll look for that book and try to post a link.
I had back labor with my first and not with my second. I always thought it was just because #1 was posterior (seen on ultrasound immediately prior to induction, though she turned before deliver) and #2 was not.

BUT, I also spent all of labor #2 either standing and swaying or rolling around/rocking on my birth ball-and I had been doing that for weeks. Also, I had problems with my tailbone that had to be resolved with a chiropractor after labor #1.

So maybe there was more to the story and I just didn't know it!

I've really been craving my birth ball again. Time to get that puppy out

Mommy to Meg 5/00, Peter 6/02, #3 due 8/04
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I had back labor all 4 times, but don't think it had to do with my babies' position. My uterus is retroverted, and I even get menstrual cramps in my back. I found the pain was greatly relieved by upright or leaning forward positioning, and by counter pressure. In fact, my dh was so wonderful about hours of counter pressure without a single complaint, that when I'm mad at him I think about how great he's been when I'm in labor and it's hard to stay mad! All 4 of my babies came out OA. I could not tolerate even 1 or 2 contractions lying down in active labor, so have labored upright pretty much the whole time all 4 times.
I replied in homebirth - all things that have been mentioned here, but then also remembered that I have seen a few tidbits come across the doula lists about a type of Mayan abdominal massage that can correct some of the problems with uterine positioning said to lead to malpositioned babies. I know nothing about it, but it might be worth Googling.

Pamamidwife - I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Pink Kit when it arrives. I've been eyeing it, but it is quite expensive.

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