The consensus is that labor is painful, but every woman experiences that pain differently. For some it can be in their back, others in their belly or in their pelvis. It can vary between short and long, and be accompanied by a huge range of symptoms from nausea through to shaking. ‘Leg labor’ as it’s been nicknamed, is just one more variation of the symptoms women can experience.
Experiencing pain in the legs during labor
Some women experience contractions, spasms, painful pressure or even one leg only nerve pain during labor. There are a range of reasons this ‘leg labor’ can be attributed to.
- Sciatica – some women experience nerve pain in one leg, also radiating up into their buttocks. During labor, baby’s weight against your sciatic nerve can make this worse, particularly during contractions.
- Pelvic pressure – as baby moves down into your pelvis, the weight of baby against your pelvis can also impact on the muscles and bones in your legs, causing an aching pain.
- Ligament pain – during pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps your muscles and ligaments loosen and expand in preparation for birth. This can increase the amount of pain you experience in your legs during labor, especially if you’re placing a lot of weight or pressure on them.
Finding relief for leg labor
Although there’s no quick fix for leg pain during labor, there are a few things you can do to find some relief:
- Take pressure off your legs and feet.
- Put on some soft shoes if you’re standing on a hard floor.
- Request a massage of your calves and thighs.
- Drink plenty of water to combat muscle tension.
- Apply magnesium oil to your legs.