What If…There is Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal–the space where all your nerves go as they travel from your brain to your limbs.

It has, effectively, the opposite implication on labor and delivery as a lumbar disc herniation.

With spinal stenosis, we want to avoid lumbar extension (back bending), and encourage lumbar flexion (forward bending).

Watch this 2 minute, 30-second video for more info, and as always, text follows, and considerations are included in main downloadable on the Special Considerations Landing Page

Delivery Positions to TRY with Spinal Stenosis

  1. Anything that flexes (bends forward) the spine, for example…
  2. Bend forward over chair, ball, or table.
  3. All fours, with emphasis on rounding low back
  4. Medium Squat (not deep, see below)
  5. Sidelying with knees toward chest
  6. Lithotomy (old ‘go to’ on your back with knees to chest), BUT please have a small towel roll under one hip to allow the sacrum and coccyx to open up and move out of baby’s way as they descend)

Delivery Positions to AVOID with Spinal Stenosis

  1. Anything that extends (bends back) the spine, for example…
  2. Sidelying with back and legs extended backwards
  3. Deep squatting, even with towel or birth-bar support, as this traction could irritate the spinal stenosis
  4. Standing positions that involve back-bending of the spine