Most people with a basic education in natural childbirth know that having a baby in the Occiput Posterior ("sunny side up"--facing the mother's pubic bone instead of her spine) position can cause back labor. I've never had back labor, but I've heard it can be excruciating. You hear a lot about optimal fetal positioning in the natural childbirth community, and if the techniques on the Spinning Babies Site work to get your baby in a better position, that is great for you. However, some babies will stay posterior no matter what, and, what's more...
Not all back labor is caused by the baby's position
Some women will have back labor even with a perfectly positioned baby. I have two good friends who both have had intense back labor despite having anterior babies. Back Labor No More explains that women may experience back labor if they have:
- A "short rise" (short torso)
- A swayed back (tends to stand with knees locked and pelvis tilted so that her rear-end sticks out)
- pelvic abnormality
- back injury
A simplified explanation is that, in back labor, the force of the contraction (the vector) is directed at the woman's spine. You can solve this problem by changing the direction of the vector, which is done using a relatively simple technique called the belly lift. King is not the first to use this technique and have it work, but she is the first to explain why it works. Vectors. Read the book. You'll get it.
Misty used Hypnobabies and the belly lift to have an easier birth with her posterior baby. This video was uploaded two years ago. In the comments section, Missy explains that she had a wonderful experience using hypnosis with her third baby (anterior), but then her fourth baby was posterior, and she found that hypnosis didn't help as much with the back labor as she wanted. After that birth she found out about the belly lift, and used it for the birth of her fifth baby, from which this footage comes.
This technique is not only reported to get rid of the back pain (though apparently it may have to get worse before it gets better), it also sometimes speeds dilation significantly. It has also been reported to help women have faster births who don't have back labor. I believe this may have been the case in the video below, which I saw on Bellies and Babies, who posted it because she liked the way it was edited, with the music, narration, and combination of still shots and video footage. In it, Jodi explains that her midwife recommended the belly lift to her because of her posture (possibly she was sway-backed?), and it shows her husband helping her with the lift.
I'm serious when I say that Back Labor No More is a must-read for all doulas, childbirth educators, doctors, midwives, maternity nurses, and pregnant women, especially pregnant women who have had back labor before, think that one of the categories above may describe them, or have a baby who tends to hang out in the posterior position (or the right occiput transverse position, since these often rotate to posterior). Although you won't find this book in your bookstore or local library, the information makes it worth ordering. It is very easy to pay for it through PayPal on the author's website, and if you are paying with a credit card, you don't even need a PayPal account. You can also order it through Amazon.