What is Back Labor?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2019
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Back labor is a type of labor which is characterized by radiating pain in the lower back which lingers after contractions. This type of labor is extremely common, and there are a number of theories about what causes it, as well as a number of solutions to deal with the pain of back labor. As a general rule, it is not harmful, although it can be painful, and it is not considered to be a sign of danger for mother or baby. However, because it is uncomfortable, most people try to treat the pain.

One common theory about back labor is that it is caused by the position of the baby, which could put stress on the laboring mother's spine. It may also be caused by the position of the mother, as some positions are more comfortable for laboring that others. Some medical professionals also believe that this type of labor could be caused by the cramping pains of contractions, pointing to the fact that many women experience similar lower back pain during menstruation.


Whatever the cause, there are several ways to approach back labor. One of the things which can be done is changing position. Women should not labor on their backs if they experience back labor, as this can increase pain, and they should try moving around. Moving around can ease pressure on the spine and reposition the baby if the baby is causing the problem. Walking, squatting, rocking on hands and knees, and using a birth ball can all help to ease the pain.

Research has also shown that massage and back rubs can help with the pain, as can hot or cool compresses. When using compresses, a towel should be used as padding, to avoid exposing the skin directly to the cold, and compresses may be alternated according to the response of the mother. In severe cases, an epidural or anesthetic may be offered to minimize the pain.

As you might imagine, the early sign of back labor is pain in the lower back which appears with and without contractions. Communicating about this symptom with a midwife or doctor is very important. Because back labor is unpredictable, it cannot generally be prevented, but fast action when the signs are spotted can greatly decrease the pain and discomfort, making delivery much more pleasant for parent and child.


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Post 2

Back Labor is the worst thing you can imagine. Let's be honest here: nothing and no one can prepare you for it. For me nothing eased the pain and i mean nothing as i tried everything on earth to ease it until i got to the point 14 hours later of such horrific pain that i had to have a spinal block because i couldn't keep still and then an epidural (thank god for that).

what you read only tells you the theory of what it may feel like so take it from the experienced: if you're told your baby is in a posterior position, do whatever it takes to turn it around, or if you cannot do that, definitely

consider an epidural for the pain. It's the only thing that'll work and don't go for sterile water injections. The needles are so painful -- almost as bad as the back labor and it only lasted a maximum of 30 minutes and it doesn't ease the normal contractions either, so it's pointless.
Post 1

I want to say that the back labor pain is very uncomfortable and often does not allow you to sleep. When I was pregnant with my daughter I had back labor and what I would do is to take a warm shower and take full deep breaths. This eased the pain a bit.

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