Pregnancy is one of the most unique experiences any human will ever face — it can overjoy you and terrify you at the same time, especially if your due date is near. The excitement of meeting your new baby can unfortunately be dampened with the fear of the pain you may face during labor. And while labor and delivery are painful enough on their own, the thought of additional pain from back labor can be even more concerning. If you are pregnant, you're probably hoping to avoid it, but is it possible to prevent back labor?
What exactly is back labor? According to the American Pregnancy Association, back labor refers to the pain in a mother’s lower back during labor, which can sometimes be caused by an oddly positioned baby. When a baby’s head is facing the mom’s abdomen, the article explained, pressure on her tailbone can cause this intense lower back pain. When the baby turns or pushes down, a mom's discomfort may go away.
You might have back labor if you have back issues or if you're shaped a certain way, too — it's not always about your baby's position. Mama Natural explained that if you have a short torso or a narrow pelvis, there may not be much room for your baby to twist and turn, which can put more pressure on your back. Moms who have bad posture, tight or weak muscles, or have had a back injury may feel more pain in their back because of the uncomfortable positions of labor, too, Mama Natural noted.
In order to prevent it, you can try a few techniques to help ease some of your pain. Baby Center suggested trying to get up on all fours to take some of the pressure off of your spine, or asking your partner or labor coach to massage your back during contractions. The article also suggested using warm compresses or hot water bottles to ease some of the ache, along with doing pelvic tilts, which can minimize pressure on your back.
The American Pregnancy Association also recommended trying to reposition your baby since the actual cause of back labor can't always be pinpointed, and getting your baby in the correct position is a good place to start. You can walk, squat, sit on a birthing ball, or even sit backwards on the toilet to help ease your baby into a better seat.
So if you’ve suffered from back pain in the past, or end up feeling pressure on your spine from your baby’s position, you may deal with back labor. Your healthcare providers should be able to help you get through it, whether it's changing positions or walking around, but just remember — the best thing about labor pains is that they’re temporary.