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Childbirth with back issues

(14 Posts)
PassTheCake82 Sat 17-Dec-16 14:25:43

I posted this previously in the 'Pregnancy ' thread but didn't have any luck so thought I'd try again here.

Just wondering if anyone would be willing to share their experience of giving birth with a history of back issues? Or, is there anyone pregnant at the moment with back issues?

I had a tumour removed from my back many years ago and some of the spinal processors were removed from my lower back. I'm not eligible for an epidural for this reason and so I'm concerned about back pain and my ability to push. I've suffered from back pain ever since my operation and although I find the pain manageable, this is my first pregnancy and I am really worried about what will happen when I go into labour sad

I've spoken to my midwife about it but I would really love to hear from any other mums or mums-to-be with similar issues.

Thanks for reading! smile

a) back pain
b) ability to push

FATEdestiny Sat 17-Dec-16 19:16:13

I had an emergency discectomy (L2/L3) and CES which left me with perminant saddle anethesia, amungst other things.

I gave birth naturally (no epidural) 4 years later and an EMCS 9 years later, my 3rd and 4th children.

No back pain issues before, during or after birth. The biggest issue for in my case was my bladder. After 12 months of catheter use, I have bladder function back but the signal that tells me I need a wee can be a bit lazy (esp when ill, tired or distracted). It was heavily highlighted in my notes to ensure I was made to empty my bladder at least every 4 hours - catheter or toilet.

It's very difficult to compacompare though because back problems can be and are very unique.

I was concerned I wouldnt know to push and held minor hopes that I wouldn't feel the pain due to my perminant saddle numbness. Both were normal though.

I assume you are under a consultant led birth?

PassTheCake82 Sun 18-Dec-16 00:51:26

Hi FATEdestiny

Thank you so much for getting back to me and for sharing that with me. I am really sorry to hear of all the problems you've had .

I had a consultant anaesthetic review a few months ago to determine whether I would be eligible for an epidural and was deemed 'high risk' and an epidural was ruled out. However, I've been under the care of the midwife since.

It's been over 10 years since my operation - I had a tumour removed from my lower back (along with some spinal processors) and since then I have suffered with back pain which concerns me given that it seems to be getting worse atm AND that many people describe the contractions pain as being predominantly in the back. I am also concerned about my ability to push as my back is a lot weaker now and it causes great deal of effort just to go to the toilet.

You're right, it is so difficult to compare but it is somewhat reassuring to hear that others have gone through childbirth with back issues and 'survived'. I hope you are on the mend now or at least getting there!

MsDinosaur Sun 18-Dec-16 00:56:07

I had to see a consultant anaesthetist and an epidural was ruled out but he identified a location for a spinal injection if I needed a c-section or assisted birth (back up plan being a general). I am a big wimp but managed a long labour on gas and some injected drugs. Ended up in theatre for an assisted birth and the spinal block worked. No issues since. I hope it all goes well!

Obsidian77 Sun 18-Dec-16 01:04:00

You should be referred to consultant and also ask to see anaesthetist. How far along are you?
Not the same issue as you but I have chronic pelvic pain and found my primary midwives really didn't engage with my concerns about my health issues.
Tbh I wish I'd pushed for a C-Section.

Chaotica Sun 18-Dec-16 01:08:53

I sympathise. I don't think there's much help or information out there for women with back problems. I had L4/L5 removed and problems with two other discs (before I got pg). There isn't much info when you're pg and I have to admit the advice I was given was very vague.

I was fine through pg. Saw an anaethetist who ok'ed an epidural but said that it might not work fully. It didn't -- I had epidural and gas and air. One issue I did have was very very long labour (5 days) and it didn't progress, for no obvious reason. Some of the midwives thought this might be because of nerve damage/back problems. Second baby there was no progress at all (labour never started despite induction) and so I had a c-section with a spinal block (which worked, although they didn't know where to put it at first because of scarring).

I'll never know if the problems with labour were due to nerve damage in my back but they might have been. If you have problems pushing, you might well find you have similar difficulties. On the bright side, the midwives pointed out that compared to long term back pain, labour pain is MILD. (Really -- labour hurts, but not compared to a damaged spine.)

Good luck. smile

PassTheCake82 Sun 18-Dec-16 01:09:34

MsDinosaur, did you have a c-section? Thank you for the well-wishes!

Obsidian77, I am 37+3 today. I feel the same. I discussed it with my midwife but all I've really had is a 'You'll be fine' hmm

Chaotica Sun 18-Dec-16 01:10:21

I should point out that I've had no lasting back problems, despite the difficulties in labour.

PassTheCake82 Sun 18-Dec-16 01:10:32

PS At 37+3 I know it's late in the day but tbh I had been completely avoiding all thoughts of labour up until around 36 weeks and now it's all I think about!

Chaotica Sun 18-Dec-16 01:12:48

I think midwives are trained to say 'you'll be fine'. That can sometimes be a good thing, but not when you want to know how your back is going to cope. I suppose part of the problem is that they don't really know. There aren't enough women with previous back problems having children for anyone to have worked it out.

Chaotica Sun 18-Dec-16 01:14:45

Can I just (unhelpfully) add: you'll be fine smile
You'll have a baby one way or another.

MsDinosaur Sun 18-Dec-16 01:15:11

Not a c-section. Ventouse.

PassTheCake82 Sun 18-Dec-16 13:01:31

Thanks Chaotica smile That does sound reassuring. I am suppose all I can really do is wait and see what happens and hope for the best but knowing that others have been through similar issues with childbirth does make me feel more confident. Thank you xx

Chaotica Sun 18-Dec-16 16:03:13

Another thing I remembered -- I was also told that there were certain positions which I should avoid for childbirth because of my back. The idea was to stay upright for as long as possible, not lie on my back and to definitely avoid stirrups because pushing with your feet in that position can put your lower back out of place. (I wanted a waterbirth to make it easier.) As it was, 5 day labour and eventually ventouse ruled out everything but the stirrups (which I refused -- kind midwives held on) but I did stay upright for most of it (sitting on one of those exercise ball things).

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