Babies come out of vaginas, so why do we keep hearing the term "back labor"?
What is back labor? Simply put, it's pain in your back during labor.
Why does this happen? Sometimes your baby is facing your pubic bone during labor and the hardest part of the baby's head is against your low back (sacrum). This position is usually referred to as an "OP" or "occiput posterior" baby.
Can I prevent back labor? Sometimes you can't. Sometimes just like to stay right where they are BUT, I like for my clients to do daily balancing excercises along with prenatal yoga during pregnancy to increase the probability of optimal fetal positioning. Spinning Babies is a great resource and sells a very simple, and in my experince, effective video.
Click here to find a Webster certified chiropractor to help make sure your pelvis is aligned well for the most symmetrical exit and rotation route for your baby.
What if I have back labor? How can I fix it? Again, sometimes you can't....but if you know someone (usually a doula or midwife) who is familiar with the spinning babies recommendations for back labor, there are some positions that can encourage your baby to turn, and effectively end the pain in your back.
Sometimes those Webster certified chiropractors can do an adjustment during labor to help your baby to turn.
Sometimes you can manage the pain by using "counterpressure" by pressing against the sacrum with the heel of your hand, a tennis ball or hot pack. Try hip circles while in a hot shower. A TENS unit can also be effecting at eliminating/diminishing back labor. (A TENS unit is included as part of my doula services for each of my clients, as are techniques to prevent and manage back labor)
The worst thing for back labor is to lie on your back and take it. Do something about it! Get up and go.
The more you move, the more likely your baby is to move. Getting off your back helps your labor to move from your back to your front. And that's ideal! Shake your hips, get on your hands and knees and rock your pelvis, hula dance! Send your baby the message to move. Think Shakira hips!
Managing your back labor may include things like belly sifting, inversions, belly lift and tuck, knee chest position, and even something called Walcher's position.
If you have back labor, let your doula know immediately so she can help you get started on the things that might make your labor easier for you!
Thanks for reading!
Fort Worth Doula
Abbey is a birth and postpartum doula and placenta specialist in Dallas/Fort Worth and a mom to 4 children between the ages of 21 and 7.