Back Labor how to prevent

Back Labor: Causes, Symptoms, Easing Techniques and Prevention

Back labor is the pain and discomfort a laboring woman faces in her lower back. It is often accompanied by irregular contractions which means a labor experience which is slow in progress and contains a long pushing stage. However, with some preplan tricks and remedies you can prevent the symptoms of back labor.

About one-quarter of all laboring women face this difficulty during their labor stage which is really a nightmare for them. Though little bit cramp and soreness in the back portion of the body during labor is normal as well as tolerable which can happen at any point in time during labor.

However, in the case of back labor, this pain and discomfort remains quite intense and get more severe during or between the contractions. It can also increase the risk of labor interventions which no women who are trying for natural childbirth will wish for.

The contractions in uterine causes regular and back labor contractions. As a result of constant back labor, your baby turns to the “sunny side up” position in which the baby’s head get down by your cervix and instead of facing your back he faces your stomach.

This particular position creates extra pressure on your spine and tailbone. Hence your soft nerves get pushed by the hardest part of the baby that is head, resulting in intense pain develops.

However, there are conditions where you will feel back labor pain even though your baby is not in a “sunny side up” position. This can happen in cases where your baby had recently changed his position from “sunny side up” position and had made your lower back more sensitive leading to pain and discomfort persists.

In some cases, laboring women faces intense pain in their lower pelvis and abdomen and they have a little discomfort in their back. There can be several underlying reasons behind the back labor pain which develops variations in symptoms of laboring stage of delivery.

However, what best an expectant mother can do for ensuring most possible comfortable labor or delivery experience is by working on their health continuously so that as much as possible they can ease this common and very severe discomfort of labor stage.


Baby’s Odd Position

If your baby has developed odd position such as occiput posterior in which he is facing your abdomen then it can cause intense pressure from his head to mother’s sacrum or tailbone. Hence severe pain and discomfort develop in the lower back portion of the body during labor also known as back labor.

Though Anecdotal evidence supports this particular theory still science is not very clear. Few studies report says that tough “sunny side up” or occiput posterior can be one factor of back labor but this is not the sole cause of back labor.

The tendency of Back Pain During Menstrual Cycle

One study report says that women who have a tendency of developing back pain during their menstrual cycle are more likely to develop back labor pain. In this regard baby’s positioning doesn’t matter.

Means whether the baby is in an odd position or in a normal position the said women can be a victim of back pain and discomfort during their labor stage of delivery.

Bad Posture of Expectant Mother

The body posture of the expectant mother matters a lot for influencing back labor effect. So if your body posture is not a suitable one or comfortable one which is needed in this particular stage you may experience back labor concern.

For example, the woman who stands with locked knees and tucked butt or pelvis tipped forward, chances are there that this inappropriate position may increase their risk of developing back labor issue.

Pelvic Shape of Mother

The pelvic shape of different women varies in structure. Some women have a very perfect pelvis for giving birth to a child whereas some women’s pelvis is capable of giving birth to a posterior baby in a much easier way than the others.

Likewise, some women’s pelvic shape are imperfect for giving birth especially to a posterior baby leading to back labor concern develops.

Women with Short Torso

Cases where an expectant woman has a short torso but her baby size is long then in that particular condition the chances of back labor experience remains quite high.

This particularly happens because the concerned baby has not enough place to turn to get into the perfect shape in the pelvis area leading to more intense lower back pain.

Tight or Weaker Muscles and Ligaments

Women who have very tight or weak muscles and ligaments, during their pregnancy period it becomes quite difficult for their baby to turn easily to get into a perfect position for easy natural delivery.

It can even change the pelvis shape. Hence this creates a favorable condition for developing intense lower back pain or discomfort.

Back Injury and Ligament Pain

If you have previously developed any back injury then you are more likely to experience lower back pain during labor or childbirth. It may also cause ligament pain during your labor stage leading to back labor concern develops.


The fear of extreme back labor pain makes a laboring woman much more stressed and nervous. Hence they fail to discriminate between any normal back pain and labor back pain during their laboring stage. However, the below-mentioned symptoms will help you understand more clearly between the back labor and any other kind of back pain.

  • Back labor increases and reduces with the flow of uterine contractions. That means if you are noticing smoother level back pain without any rise or fall this means it is not back labor.
  • If your back pain intensity is at a moderate level and your body can sustain it which means you are not experiencing back labor because the pain of back labor is usually much intense and severe one.
  • The back labor cannot be developed unless you are in your laboring stage.
  • Though most of the women face back labor during their active stage of labor, however, it doesn’t mean that they cannot face back labor in the initial or earlier stage of their labor.
  • If a woman develops back pain in much intense form without being in labor she should immediately contact an expert practitioner to treat and relieve that pain.

Techniques to Relieve Back Labor Discomfort

symptoms of back laborYou can ease the pain and discomforts of back labor by following the below-mentioned techniques.

  • You can apply a rolling pressure in your back to ease the discomfort of back labor such as tennis ball, water bottle, rolling pin and beverage can.
  • Cold or hot compresses application on your back can help you in instant relief from back labor.
  • Hydrotherapy can work magically in easing back labor discomfort. Some common hydrotherapy examples include a warm bath, birth pool, shower or relaxing in a bathtub, etc.
  • You can use heated rice over your back portion to ease the discomfort. For this, you can keep some uncooked rice in a cotton cloth and let it heat and then apply it over your pain area. Make sure the heat intensity will be within your tolerable limit.
  • For reducing the baby’s pressure from your spine you can get down on your knees and hands for some time. This position will help in reducing the pressure of the spine.
  • Change your position frequently while lying down and avoid lying down on your backside.
  • Change your body posture to see whichever position or posture work in your favor for reducing your pain and discomfort. For example, you can walk, crouch, squat, or lean over.
  • You can ask your partner or a practitioner to apply firm pressure on your back to ease the discomfort.
  • A prior childbirth class before your labor stage arrival can teach you better about positioning and other alternate techniques that can help in easing pain and discomfort of back labor.


Though there is no sure shot way to identify whether a woman will experience back labor concern or not still on the basis of its underlying expected reasons or causes it can be assumed whoever is more likely to develop this concern.

Especially women who have experienced back labor in their previous delivery are more expected to develop this concern in their next delivery process as well. Like any other health concern even for preventing the back labor pain and discomfort, some preventative measures can be taken.

As the back labor issue mostly occurs due to the improper or odd position of a baby some steps can be taken prior to ensure that your baby would position in most possible favorable position i.e. heads down position so that you won’t have to suffer from the back labor difficulties. Some prevention steps are mentioned below-

Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic tilt exercise is one of the most effective preventive back labor techniques. Though in the ninth month of your pregnancy your body structure will not be in a position so that you can workout easily as you used to in your regular days.

Still, the pelvic tilt position is not such that you cannot perform at all. Moreover, it is also safe so you need not worry about the safety concern regarding your pregnancy or childbirth process.

In order to perform this exercise first get on your hands and knees by keeping your back in up position. Stay in this position for a few minutes and then get back to the straight position. Perform this exercise at least for 5 minutes in a day to prevent the back labor discomfort risk.

Sit in the Lean in Position

Make sure that you always prefer sitting in such a position that your knees always remains lower than your hips. To do this you should lean forward not back while sitting.

You can do this trick by leaning over an exercise ball which is specially made for pregnant women. Sit on an armless chair and keep your head and arms on the backside of the chair.

Avoid sitting in couch or any such recliner chair as it will cause you difficulty when you will try to get up. Also, this type of sitting pattern may increase your risk of back labor so avoid them until you give birth to your child.

Prefer using Your Left Side Position More

During your pregnancy, avoid sleeping or resting on your backside, instead prefer your left side position whenever you wish to rest or sleep. This position will help in keeping pressure off from your vena cava which is the artery responsible for blood circulation from the lower body to the heart.

On the other hand, women who lie down on their back during their pregnancy periods their possibility of developing back labor are much more than the women who choose a left-side position for their full-body resting purpose.

Move More

Try to keep your body moving more during your pregnancy journey of nine months as its fruitful result you can see during your labor or childbirth. You can prevent the risk of back labor by staying more mobile.

Practice moderate exercises at least for 30 minutes and try to be regular in it at least for five days in a week. Walking, swimming, etc. moderate activities will be helpful to maintain your baby position in delivery favorable position or condition.

Stay Aware of Your Baby Positioning

Awareness is the key to prevent every hardship of life and that is applicable here also. You should stay aware of your baby position which you can get to know through routine tests which are needed to check the progress report of your baby.

Ask your doctor at every routine visit regarding your baby’s position and follow their suggestion in the cases your ultrasound report doesn’t show the delivery friendly position of your baby.

Chiropractic Treatment

You can take advantage of Chiropractic Treatment during your pregnancy journey as its special medical approved techniques will not let you suffer from the common severe pregnancy symptoms. Moreover, it will prepare your body for an easy labor or childbirth process by preventing the risk of back labor.

No doubt these prevention techniques are worthy to follow however you should never avoid the symptoms of back labor if you notice at any point or stage of your pregnancy and take necessary medical help in this regard.

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