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  Back Pain During Labour
Since my labour started I have had a terrible backache. Is that a sign that something is wrong?

Back pain during labour is not usually the sign of a problem. Generally it is caused by the position of the baby. Should the baby be lying in a position so that your spines are against each other, or the back of the baby’s head is against your spine, it can cause the mother to have extreme pain during delivery. When the baby lies in this position it is called posterior, and even if the baby turns during the labour, the pain can continue. Often this pain is unrelenting and does not diminish between contractions.

There are a couple of things that can help to relieve the pain. Ask your birth partner to give you a very hard massage. Rolling a firm ball over the area can also be helpful. If you don’t enjoy the movement of massage, just firm pressure in the sore area can help. Sometimes this can be as hard as asking your partner to push his knuckles into your back. This type of massage and pressure can be hard enough to cause bruising, but this should not alarm you.

If massage or pressure are not helpful, try using heat (such as a hot water bottle or a hot face cloth) or cold (try an ice pack). Some women find that alternating hot and cold gives relief.

Movement can be helpful, so experiment with walking, lying on your side, or going on all fours and swinging your hips can all be helpful. You need to try all these ideas until you find one or a combination that helps.

If you have tried all these options, and just cannot find any relief, then discuss your pain relief options with your midwife or doctor. Getting relief from this pain will help you cope with the labour.

See also:

Labour - Birth stages

Labour - Natural Induction

Labour - Overdue Problems

Labour - Reasons for Inducing

Labour - Ways of Inducing

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