What is back labor?
What is back labor?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Back labor means that you're feeling contractions in your lower back, just above your tailbone, either along with or instead of in your belly.

Back labor occurs in about 25 percent of women, and may be a sign that your baby is in what's known as the occiput posterior position -- or "sunny-side up" (meaning your baby is head-down, but facing your tummy instead of your back). This can cause the hardest part of baby's head to rest on the bony part of your spine, triggering the back pain you feel.

But while this position can be uncomfortable for you, it's not a problem for your baby. In fact, nearly 90 percent of babies rotate on their own during labor or can be shifted by your doctor. If the baby does not rotate, a vaginal delivery can be somewhat harder, but is still very safe.

If your back's killing you, try these moves to soothe the pain:

• Do pelvic tilts. Get down on your hands and knees and gently rock your pelvis by tucking your bottom in and then releasing it. This tips your baby slightly out of the pelvis and relieves some pressure. It also gives the baby optimal room to rotate.

• Have your partner or a hospital staff member apply counterpressure to the lower back with their hands or a warm pad or cold pack -- whichever feels best.

• Get on all fours in the shower (be super careful not to slip) and have the warm water spray onto your lower back.

• If your birth plan includes an epidural, know that the pain may be relieved once it's administered.

 Copyright 2009

Answered by Parents.com Team
Community Answers (5)

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Submitted by gargsweta69

I had this ,was terrible. It hurt to lie back.
Submitted by saunderstiffany

I had back labor with my first and I pray I don't with the second. It was so painful I was involuntarily projectile vomiting through each contraction. Other complications I experienced that I later learned were typical for the back labor is that labor progression can stall and the timing between contractions may be erratic. My midwife recommended an epidural at about the 24 hour mark to get relief from the pain and rest.
Submitted by meggallardo

I had back labor with my first child and normal labor with my second, I can tell you from experience that the back labor hurts but not as much as the contractions you feel in your stomach with normal labor, and I did have epidurals with both and plan on having one with my third child coming in July. I have learned thru three pregnacies that you only believe half of what some women tell you about there own labors and not let it scare you.
Submitted by bdluvbug