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Why Counterpressure in Labor is Counterproductive

By Kristen Burgess

Using counterpressure in labor is a quick way to bring pain relief when needed! Most women know “back labor” can make contractions more painful and that counterpressure stops that. It’s a good tool, but it’s also important to understand why back labor happens and when other methods can bring relief and get labor moving more smoothly. Your baby’s position greatly impacts what you feel during the contractions. Using techniques that reposition your baby can speed labor up and make contractions less painful. I’ll discuss what causes back labor, the pros and cons of counterpressure, and other comfort measures to bring pain relief and optimal baby positioning. If you’re hoping for an un-medicated birth, I'll cover tips to get the pain under control, get baby in a good position, and have the natural birth experience you’ve prepared for! 

What is Back Labor and Why Am I Having It?

Back labor is persistent pain in your back, specifically low in your back around and just above your tailbone. Your tailbone (technically called your coccyx) attaches to a bony plate at the back of your pelvis. This plate is your sacrum; above the plate is your spine. 

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