Back Labor

Magical as it may be, there’s no getting away from the fact that giving birth is one of the most physically exhausting and challenging processes the human body ever has to go through. Prior to labor in advance of their due date, the majority of women try and practice every trick in the book to boost their help and improve their chances of a manageable and straightforward delivery of their baby. One of the most widely feared complication is ‘back labor’. Remember that back labor can be largely limited with awareness of a few simple solutions and remedies.

What Is Back Labor?

If this is your first time coming across the term, back labor is the name given to a condition whereby a pregnant mother feels often excruciating pain in the lower back each time they experience a contraction. The cause is often said to be that of the baby’s head pressing against the nerves of the lower back, but this isn’t the only trigger of such back pain.

As the pain often persists even between the contractions, some have theorized that the pain actually originates from the uterus and is to some extent ‘transferred’ to the back. The fact that the condition has been reported during menstrual cramps goes some way to support the idea that baby isn’t wholly to blame.

Does the Baby’s Position Cause Back Labor?

Evidence had long suggested that when a baby’s position was upright during labor, the chances of suffering back labor were even higher. However, more recent studies have concluded that this might not be the case after all. A study of over 700 pregnant mothers just a few years ago reached the conclusion that the position of their unborn child had no bearing whatsoever on their chances of suffering back labor. So exactly how the baby’s position of the baby affected back pain during delivery remains a relative unknown.

How to Manage Back Labor

There sadly isn’t a hard and fast way of preventing or eliminating the pain of back labor outright, but there are plenty of ways and means by which it can be managed.

Management Measures


Hands and Knees

It may sound odd, but if your baby’s head really is pressing on your spine and causing you pain, getting down on your hands and knees will see gravity step in and relieve the pressure a little.

Pelvic Tilts

Easy exercises like pelvic tilts will see pressure on your spine reduced.


From a professional or a willing partner, it can usually make a huge difference if you indulge in a simple lower back massage or gentle rub from time to time. Some find that the most relief of all comes with gently pressing a tennis ball into the offending area and rolling it in circles.

Warm Bath or Hot Bottle Massage

Heat is a great pain reliever, so treat yourself to a nice warm bath and soak away your ills.

Or if a bath sounds too much like hard work, try a hot water bottle placed directly on the achy area of your back.

Take a Walk

It might sound like a crazy idea for pain relief, but a walk could be just the ticket to move things around, get the blood flowing and relieve you of your pain.

Breathing Exercises

It’s essential to get enough oxygen into your body in order to allow it to manage pain more effectively. As such, keep an eye on your breathing and consider trying out some deep breathing exercises at least once each day.


Under advisement of course, there are plenty of painkillers and natural supplements out there for you to try, many of which are 100% guaranteed to bring relief.

If you can arrange it with your doctor or healthcare provider, some have reported significant relief after being injected with sterile water. It’s a little painful at the time and the treatment isn’t on offer everywhere, but results have been pretty reassuring, so it’s always worth asking if you’re at your wits end.

Watch the video to learn tips to relive labor pain:

Frequently Asked Questions About Back Labor

1. Can Back Labor Cause Complications For Me Or My Baby?

Despite all the pain and discomfort it causes, you can take comfort in knowing that back labor cannot directly cause any harm to you or your baby. That being said, if the back labor is being caused by a baby’s unusual or undesirable position in the womb, this can lead to potential complications during delivery such as:

  • The need for a Cesarean delivery
  • Call for additional painkillers
  • Use of a vacuum or forceps to assist the birth
  • Longer deliver process and increased discomfort

2. Can Back Labor Be Prevented?

The problem is that there’s no way of knowing whether or not any given woman will experience back labor before she actually goes into labor. That being said, a woman that has experienced back labor during previous deliveries is known to be much more likely to suffer the same discomfort again. As position of the baby is known to be contributory factor – though admittedly not the only cause – there are some tips on how to reduce the chances of experiencing back labor and general back pain to be followed during pregnancy:

  • Each day, use a birthing ball or exercise ball to sit on for an hour or two
  • Resist the temptation to lounge around in reclining chairs or generally lay fat on your back for long periods of time during the day – gravity will work against you!
  • See a chiropractor or book yourself in for a regular massage as there’s a good chance a rub could make a big difference to tired and sore back muscles.
  • Get down on all fours as while this may have you feeling a little on the silly side, it’s a great way of using gravity to give your back a bit of a breather.

Watch the video for a more vivid explanation on back labor—what it is and how to relieve the pain: