One of the most common side effects of giving birth is so-called “back labor.” Back labor is pain that a woman may feel in her lower back during the labor and delivery process. Back labor is thought to come, primarily, from the pressure that your baby’s head will put on your lower back.
There are others who think that back labor may actually be pain that’s radiating from yoru uterus toward your lower back. This is the same kind of radiating pain that some women experience when they have menstrual cramps during their monthly cycle. In fact, one study shows that women that experience back pain during their periods are also much more likely to experience back pain during the labor and delivery process.
At one time, it was thought that back labor was more common when a baby faced upward during labor. The idea was that the back of the head would press on the bony part of the spine, creating pressure. A study in 2005, however, put this idea to rest. It showed that there was no statistical difference between women with their head up or head down in relation to back labor.
You can’t really do anything to prevent back labor. There may be some thigns you can do to relieve the pain, however.
First, you can get up on all fours. This may help to alleviate pressure on your spine. Pelvic tilts may help to alleviate pressure, too.
Having your labor coach rub your lower back during contractions or between them can also help. Some women find that putting constant counterpressure on the lwoer back will relieve pain, as well.
A warm bath or a shower might help. In some cases, a warm compress or hot water bottle might give some relief, as well. Other women prefer cold packs, or have better luck when alternating between hot and cold.