Even if you've never given birth, you've probably heard that the whole experience is pretty painful. In fact, knowing that women have to go through such excruciating pain to help bring life into the world makes me wonder why Mother's Day is only once a year. But you may not know that some women experience extreme lower back pain during labor (I hope I didn't scare you.). If you're worried that your labor will be more of a pain in your back than a pain in the butt, you need to know the signs and symptoms of back labor.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) defines back labor as the extreme pain in the lower back that many women experience during the labor process. The pain generally reaches it's peak during contractions, but it can also occur between contractions. According to What to Expect, back labor happens to nearly 25 percent of women.
As the APA further explained, you won't know if you'll experience back labor until you're in the thick of it, but there are things you can do to help ease the pain. A warm bath, strong counter-pressure, and a heated rice sock are just a few effective pain management techniques.
Being able to effectively manage the pain of back labor will help ensure a safe and healthy delivery — and should guarantee you get an extra Mother's Day gift out of the deal.
1. Your Baby's Position
According to the Mayo Clinic, back labor often occurs when the baby enters the birth canal face up rather than face down. This means the back of the head — which is the hardest part – is pressing against your spine. This alone can cause some pretty major back pain.
2. You Experience Strong Lower Back Pain
As What to Expect explained, women who experience back labor will have a pain in their back that gets more intense as her contractions peak. This is different than regular contractions in which the pain comes and goes at regular intervals.
3. Your Labor Progresses Slowly
If your baby is positioned face up, it will most likely experience some issues traveling through the birth canal. As the APA mentioned, women who experience back labor often find that their labor process progresses slower and they have to push longer.
4. No Contractions After Water Breaks
As Baby Med mentioned, a mother in back labor may not experience contractions immediately after her water breaks. Instead, the contractions may begin later in the process.
5. Back Pains During Menstrual Cycle
Your baby's position is not the only cause of back labor. According to the APA, women who suffer from back pain during their menstrual cycle are more likely to experience back labor during their delivery.
6. You're In Labor
In order for back labor to occur, you have to actually be in active labor. Otherwise, it's probably just the back pain that most pregnant women experience while carrying the extra weight.