Menstrual pain, labor pain, breastfeeding pain, and now, postpartum back pain?
Does the list ever end?
Of course, bringing a baby into the world is one of the most amazing experiences in every woman’s life. However, the process also comes with its fair share of hurdles.
For some women, this includes postpartum back pain.
No one would choose to experience pain of any kind. However, that doesn’t stop it from springing up from time to time. In this article, we’d provide you with accurate and relatable info on the causes and treatment of back pain after childbirth.
What Exactly Is Postpartum Back Pain?
Postpartum back pain is a sore, sharp, or stiff ache at your lower back. For some women, it starts right from pregnancy until delivery. On the other hand, certain women continue to experience it way after delivery.
Let’s talk about some of the major causes of postpartum back pain.
Major Causes of Postpartum Back Pain
Once again, the hormones are responsible. Hormonal change during pregnancy is a leading cause of postpartum back pain for most women.
During pregnancy, hormones like relaxin are produced to loosen your pelvic ligaments and joints to make childbirth easier. However, if these hormones remain in the body long after delivery, it increases the possibility of experiencing postpartum back pain.
2. Weight Gain
The more weight you gain during pregnancy, the higher your chances of experiencing lower back pain after delivery.
As a result of the increased weight in pregnancy, your knees and muscles have to perform a lot of extra work. Sadly, this can also trigger postpartum back pain.
3. Uterine Changes
Of course, your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby during pregnancy. As a result, there is an increased strain on your back muscles which can cause pain in your lower back.
4. Sleepless Nights
Motherhood comes with a lot of changes. One of which is an obvious change to sleep patterns. Due to the midnight feeding sessions and sleepless nights, your lower back muscles may get tense and begin to ache.
5. Wrong Posture
In the early stages, many women struggle with finding the right posture for breastfeeding. A wrong posture stresses the lower back muscles, causing pain and discomfort.
Bring baby up to breast level and support your back and arms with pillows during breastfeeding to avoid back pain. Furthermore, it helps to always stand with your back straight and shoulder high.
There are many easy ways to relieve postpartum back pain.
What Can I Do To Reduce Postpartum Back Pain?
As you recover from childbirth, engage in regular and low-intensity postpartum exercise. Take a walk for about 20-30min daily. Start slowly so that you don’t wear yourself out.
Before you do this, don’t forget to consult your doctor to know what routine is best for you (especially if you had a Caesarean section).
2. Avoid Stress
Avoid lifting heaving objects in order to reduce the stress on your muscles and joints. Remember to avoid strenuous exercise in the early days after delivery especially if you had a C-section. In addition to this, give your body time to heal and avoid standing for a long periods.
3. Always Maintain a Good Posture
A good posture is guaranteed to help you relieve (or avoid) postpartum back pain. For example, if you want to pick something up from the floor, bend your knees and not your waist and lift it off from there.
Always maintain good breastfeeding positions to avoid back pain.
In addition, get close enough to your baby before stretching or kneeling to carry him/her from the bed or floor.
What’s the bottom line?
Avoid stretching your arms from a distance at all costs.
4. Get a Massage
A proper massage would relax your muscles and ease the tension you may be feeling at your lower back.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating right helps you lose that baby fat and reduce muscle strain.
The right meal at the right time and in the right quantity will help you lose all that extra weight and in turn reduce the stress on your back muscles.
Regardless of all these, if the pain persists, consult your doctor. You may need a full assessment and/or physiotherapy.
A Final Note From Edie & Amy
Your health is very important, Mama.
The fact is: If you’re not strong and healthy, it may be really difficult to care for your little one. As you recover, follow the tips mentioned in this article to ease any pain in your back as you continue on this beautiful journey of motherhood.
- Anisha Nain (2019). Back Pain After Delivery. Accessed on 14th August, 2020 from https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/back-pain-after-delivery-causes-and-treatment/
- Maria Masters (2020). Postpartum Back Pain. Accessed on 14th August, 2020 from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/postpartum-health-and-care/postpartum-backache-back-pain/