Labour after back surgery

After having Darcey I wrote a blog post about my delivery. I was really worried about labour after back surgery and exactly how different and more difficult it was going to be. I had my two boys before any of my back problems began and although no two labours are the same I was really nervous this time around.

When I first found out I was pregnant I did some research into what labour was like and other people’s stories, I found a lot of scary stories of pain and caesareans being recommend from the beginning. My experience was somewhat different, I really didn’t want a caesarean as my back muscles are very weak and my stomach muscles help keep me upright, cutting through them would be a long road to recovery for me.


I did have a difficult pregnancy and at 37 weeks my consultant decided to induce me, the baby was a good size and I was only getting worse. So I went into hospital to have the pessary inserted and waited for the labour to begin.

When labour started I immediately started to feel it more in my back than I had done with the previous 2 deliveries. I used my tens machine from early on, this is a medical tens machine not a labour one, so it emits a constant pulse. This really helped at the beginning as well as hot water bottles.

Pain relief

The hospital was great and at 2-3cm dilated I was allowed gas and air and pethidine. The pain was completely in my back and not like the cramping period pains I had in early labour with the boys. I was lucky that the delivery suite was quiet and they took me in and started giving me pain relief very early on.


With the boys I was happy to lie down on the bed and wait for things to happen. This time around I didn’t want to put any pressure on my back or have anything touching it. I was mainly on all fours or sitting and bouncing on the birthing ball during the labour. I was expecting to feel this way during labour so I was more open to different positions and options during this labour.

As Labour Progressed

It was much more difficult to rest between contractions this time around as the pain was more intense from the baby’s position and the pressure on my back. The anaesthetist did come and see me during the labour and offered me an epidural saying she was sure she could get it to work. I did refuse this as with the fusion I don’t have a normal anatomy and previous epidurals I have had for back pain haven’t worked, I certainly didn’t want anyone to try and put a rather large needle in my spine without having seen my x-rays.


To get things moving my waters were broken and I had another dose of pethidine, after this things moved quickly. I was on all fours when I delivered Darcey as this was the only way I felt I could get through the last stage. Also I didn’t feel the same urges to push as I had with the boys but that was the main difference. Then she was here everything I had dreamed she would be and so worth all the pain!

So how did it compare to labour before surgery?

Well I’m not going to lie it was a lot more painful. In all three of my labours I had gas and air and pethidine, so I am comparing them as best as I can. The pressure and pain in my back was as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I got through it. I wouldn’t be scared into having a caesarean if I was going to do it all again. If you can get through back surgery and back problem’s then you can get through labour. Go into it with an open mind as you would with any labour and just try and listen to your body getting into whatever position you feel is most manageable.


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  • Reply lisalambert38 -

    I found labour with my second much easier until it came time push them my back was broken I had issues all through the pregnancy I was gutted I couldn’t have twins naturally because I had to have them at 34 weeks 🙁

    November 29, 2016 at 6:41 am
    • Reply Lisa

      You just never know what is going to happen during labour. The main thing is that you guys were all OK at the end of it x

      November 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply Chloe Ciliberto

    I’m glad your delivery went as smoothly as it could. It sounds like you coped amazingly well. I’ve only given birth once, luckily it wasn’t too bad but hopefully I won’t go into labour next time with rose tinted glasses. x

    November 16, 2016 at 9:02 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Chloe. We soon forget about labour don’t we or we’d never have anymore!

      November 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm
  • Reply Evelina

    I never gave birth yet so I can’t imagine the pain.. but it does sound scary

    November 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm
  • Reply ChelseaMamma

    I have not had back surgery but I did have a car accident when pregnant with Kian which left me with a lot of back pain. He was back to back too and I remember it being agony and like you I could not lay on my back

    November 12, 2016 at 7:35 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Oh no hope your back is better now. Ben was back to back in labour, still a little monkey now and doing things the hard way!

      November 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply fashionandstylepolice

    Back pain is horrible. I suffer from one every now and again.

    November 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    I did wince as I was reading this and was almost rubbing my back in sympathy with you, sometimes back pain is just, well there are no words to describe the pain x

    November 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm
  • Reply wha2wear

    omg, I don’t have kids and I try not to think about this moment, but it’s definitively something that we should proud of! Specially people like you that also have another conditions. I hope you feel better now x

    November 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks I’m pleased I got through it in one piece. I try to look on the bright side at least the worst of the pain is over 🙂

      November 10, 2016 at 7:42 pm
  • Reply Fi Ni Neachtain

    Back pain is the worst. It’s already so bad in pregnancy so I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you in labour.

    November 10, 2016 at 11:26 am
  • Reply clairejustine

    I got a little back pain when pregnant but thankful not to serious. Back pain is awful 🙁 Hope everything is OK now ..

    November 10, 2016 at 5:41 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Claire, I’m getting back to normal, well as normal as I ever am!

      November 10, 2016 at 11:46 am
  • Reply Cathy Glynn

    Oh no, I am recovering from back surgery and could not think of anything worse at this time than going through labour. I can imagine the pain being more intense in the spinal area. x

    November 9, 2016 at 4:25 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Hi Cathy I hope you’re OK and recovering well from the back surgery. Just make sure you take it easy and don’t do too much too soon x

      November 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm
  • Reply motherhoodtherealdeal

    I too only have one daughter so have no comparisons but I feel like if I went through labour again it surely couldn’t get any worse…famous last words!

    November 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Yes but it’s all worth it in the end. Second time round I think you’re more prepared for it.

      November 10, 2016 at 11:44 am
  • Reply five little doves

    This was really interesting, I think it must be a worry for many women. I gave birth to my youngest with a broken coccyx and that was horrific, with hindsight I should have asked for an epidural and not been such a martyr, but funnily enough it hurt a lot less afterwards than it did before!

    November 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Honestly I was able to hobble out of hospital with out my crutches. Just not having the weight of the baby made such a difference.

      November 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Dean B

    I only have one daughter, so I don’t really have any comparison. But the pain was just indescribable!

    November 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm
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