The Secret For Curing Back Labor
As a labor and delivery nurse, my job is not always easy.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to simultaneously support a woman during labor to physically get through the pain, while helping her find her own strength to do it.
I know how important it is for a woman to believe in herself as part of the process of giving birth and transforming into the magical world of motherhood, but it's not always a simple task.
Some women are scared; some want me to tell them what to do; some want me to leave them alone; and some want me to never leave.
Every birth is different, and every woman's journey through her birth is different, as well.
But there's one special trick that I reserve in the bag of nursing tricks that I have learned can be helpful in the painful process also known as…
If you've not been privy to this particular brand of labor, don't be jealous. It hurts.
Back labor is caused when the baby's head is rotated as it moves down the birth canal—you may have heard it described as the baby being “sunny-side up.” Basically, instead of facing down, the baby is looking up, as if towards the sky, on its descent through the pelvis. In other words, the back of the baby's head is pretty much grinding down your bones as he or she moves. Or in other words, ouch.
A woman experiencing back labor is actually pretty easy to spot. There is a particular moan, a certain way she moves her body, and a definite agony written on her face.
A woman experiencing back labor will need help to get her through. Sometimes, even an epidural can't dull the pain of back labor, but luckily, my friend, I have the one trick that will help.
If you are reading this as a pregnant momma right now, grab your labor support partner, jot this down, ask your childbirth educator about it, or “pin” this post for later, because it will come in handy. Have a conversation with your partner about the way that he or she can help you in labor if you are experiencing back labor. One simple move may be all you need.
All your support partner will need to do is make a fist with one hand, place the fist along your lower back or wherever you are experiencing the worst pain, and then apply firm and steady pressure with the other hand, basically making a fist right into the small of your back. This action provides a counter pressure point to the baby's head, helping to manually alleviate the pressure that the baby's head is placing on your back while also triggering some of those pain receptors to the “off” position.
I once had a mother, determined to make it through labor without an epidural, start to fade fast once her back labor hit her swiftly and strongly. She turned from a capable, in-charge mother in labor who knew what she wanted, to crying-hysterically, sobbing-for-an-epidural mother. Before I got the epidural order, however, I had her boyfriend try this trick. It made all the difference.
When she held her baby in her arms a short while later, sans epidural, she smiled at me through her tears.
“Thank you!” she exclaimed. “I never would have made it through if you hadn't showed him how to do that. It made all the difference.”
And that, my friends, is why being a labor and delivery nurse rocks.
Did you have back labor? What helped the pain?