Postpartum back pain is less common than pregnancy back pain. However, regardless of whether you have suffered back pain during pregnancy, postpartum back pain can still be present.
Postpartum back pain: Back pain after giving birth
Are you wondering why women experience back pain after giving birth?
In Sweden, a study was carried out using 817 pregnant women followed 12 weeks after their delivery. More than 67% of the women experienced back pain directly after delivery, whereas 37% said they had back pain at the follow-up examination. Most of the women who had recovered became pain-free within 6 months.
Factors that correlated to persistent postpartum back pain were the presence of back pain before pregnancy, the presence of back pain during pregnancy, physically heavy work, and even multi-pregnancy. Of these four factors, physically heavy work was found to have the strongest association with persistent back pain at 12 months.
Back pain after childbirth normally lasts six months, but it can last up to ten years. Lower back pain is most common during tasks that require bodily motions, such as walking, lifting, bending, and/or holding a newborn baby, and it can be eased with rest, exercise, and home remedies. The underlying cause determines the type and severity of the pain.
Back pain after giving birth naturally: How does postpartum backache come about?
Why does your back hurt so much after giving birth? First and foremost, there is no need to be concerned. According to studies, about half of all women experience back discomfort in the first few months after giving birth. So, take a deep breath and consider why this occurs.
1. Your uterus develops during pregnancy, weakening your abdominal muscles and pulling your lower spine forward, putting tension on your back.
2. Your lower back pain after delivery could be the result of poor posture when pregnant.
3. Hormone imbalances may also cause back pain after giving birth.
Progesterone and relaxing hormones are released throughout pregnancy to soften the ligaments and joints of the pelvic bone, allowing the baby to come out effortlessly. These hormones stick around for a few more months, causing postpartum back pain.
4. Postpartum back pain: Carrying and lifting a new infant.
You’re always leaning over to get your infant out of the crib, car seat, or stroller. These extra motions and reaches can wreak havoc on your posture, resulting in neck and/or back pain.
5. Sitting or reclining for long periods of time can weaken or stiffen the back muscles.
By compensating for the surgical damage to the abdominal muscles, the lower back muscles might be damaged by a cesarean section.
During recovery, the work normally performed by the abdominal muscles must be temporarily moved to the lower back and oblique muscles. Minor back pain may result because of this.
6. Muscle strain during the delivery of the baby has a chance of occurring.
The lower back muscles are used, along with the pelvic muscles, during vaginal birth and at times, this pushing can cause the muscles or ligaments in the back to strain.
7. Obesity puts additional strain on your back muscles, resulting in chronic pain.
8. Postpartum back pain: Anesthesia’s side effects.
The sort of anesthesia you receive prior to a C-section might also cause pain in the days or weeks thereafter. In preparation for surgery, you may be given an epidural or spinal block to numb the area.
An epidural or spinal block can trigger muscular spasms near the spinal cord after birth, which is an issue. After delivery, these spasms might last for weeks or months.
9. Mental back pain
This is a form of back pain that continues from pregnancy back pain, a result of the subconscious beginning a mentally induced pain syndrome.
How long will my postpartum back pain last?
The back pain after giving birth naturally usually goes away six months after delivery, when the high hormone levels in the body return to normal. Furthermore, your body recovers from giving birth in a few months, and the back pain gradually fades.
However, due to the physically demanding work that a new mom conducts, the pain might last for up to a year. But don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of the most effective treatments to relieve lower back pain after delivery.
Back pain after delivery: Home remedies
How to relieve back pain after giving birth?
You don’t have to lie around and endure postpartum back pain! There are some measures you can take to ease the pain (and no we’re not talking about meds). Here are some ways how to relieve back pain after giving birth.
Set your own pace. Walk for about 10-15 minutes daily. This will even ease your mind up as you relax and enjoy your walk. After a normal delivery or even a C-section, you can begin right away. Yoga is another option for strengthening stressed muscles.
Stand up straight and when you’re nursing, sit up straight.
Keep a footstool around to keep your feet slightly raised when you’re sitting.
4. Bend your knees
Extremely important when lifting objects or the baby. Such a crouching position will reduce the stress on our back. Keep an eye on how you bend and lift. When lifting a baby, doing laundry, a stroller, or anything else, start from your knees, not your back.
5. Warm baths
This helps to ease the tension away. Bathe in warm water instead of cold water to avoid straining muscles and exacerbating back discomfort. Warm water baths after birth will help to calm your tight muscles.
6. Hubby Help
That’s right! Get the husband to give you a gentle rubdown. You’ll be surprised how relaxing this can be!
7. Get a massage
Get a massage from a professional if ever possible.
Image from Pexels
8. Maintain normal body weight
After a month following birth, try to get back to your regular weight. Following the pregnancy, it is critical to follow a healthy diet to keep a healthy weight.
9. Start slowly with some gentle postpartum exercises
Pelvic tilts are a good starting point. To regain stomach and back muscle tone, begin exercising shortly after birth. Hip and back flexibility can be restored with ten minutes of stretching exercises on the floor each day.
When to see a doctor
Back pain that does not go away with rest or at-home treatments like massage, heat therapy, or light stretching and exercise, as well as discomfort that worsens with time, may necessitate medical attention.
Generally, worrying symptoms should be reported to a doctor, such as new numbness or weakness in the leg(s) or worsening of prior leg pain and numbness symptoms.
While back pain after giving birth is typical and usually goes away within a few weeks, acute pain can signal a neurological condition or even an infection.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare professional right away:
- Your back pain is excruciating, constant, or becoming worse.
- Your back pain is accompanied by a fever or was caused by trauma.
- You lose sensation in one or both of your legs, or you become uncoordinated or weak.
- Your buttocks, groin, or genital area lose sensation (including your bladder or anus). This can make it difficult to pee or have a bowel movement, as well as induce incontinence.
If the pain becomes constant and unbearable consult your doctor immediately. Postpartum back pain is not uncommon and you don’t have to suffer in silence!
Being a mother isn’t easy, but don’t let that stop you from savoring this state of endless pleasure! Allow your body to return to normal by exercising patience, maintaining a pleasant attitude, and reducing stress. Remember that you are a powerful person who can overcome any obstacle.
Back pain after giving birth c section
Some mothers experience back pain after giving birth, with pain beginning within hours of delivery and lasting for days, weeks, or months.
Here are some of the possible causes of back pain after giving birth via C-section:
Hormonal changes: Lower back pain after giving birth
The changes in hormones may cause lower back pain after giving birth. In order to get ready to give birth, the body releases the pregnancy hormone relaxin during pregnancy. This hormone makes joints and ligaments more flexible, making it simpler to push the baby out.
Whether you deliver by vaginal delivery or a C-section, the body still releases these hormones.
When joints and ligaments are loose, it is simpler to strain your back, thus even the smallest action may result in lower or midback pain.
Carrying the baby
Even though your baby may only weigh six or seven pounds, which may not seem like much, you are now always carrying around additional weight.
Additionally, you’re always stooping down and removing your infant from the stroller, car seat, and crib. Your posture may be harmed by these extra reaching and moving, which may also result in neck and/or back pain.
Photo by Rodnae Productions from Pexels
Anesthesia: back pain after giving birth epidural
Back pain after giving birth maybe cause of anesthesia or epidural that has been given to you during delivery. In the days or weeks after delivery, the type of anesthetic used before to a C-section may potentially cause pain. To make the area numb before surgery, you could get an epidural or spinal block.
After birth, a spinal block or epidural may result in muscular spasms close to the spinal cord, which is one issue. After delivery, these spasms may last for weeks or months.
Your size will likely expand throughout pregnancy. You are, after all, developing a completely new person. However, adding extra weight can strain your back and spine and cause back discomfort or backache.
Nursing your baby
Too much time spent in the breastfeeding position might strain your neck, resulting in back pain that spreads from your neck. Back pain can also result from poor nursing posture, especially if you slump your shoulders in the direction of your infant.
Keep your shoulders loose to lessen pain, and support your arm by placing a pillow beneath your elbow. During feedings, it’s acceptable to look down but take a moment now and then to look straight ahead to prevent your neck from getting too stiff.
Postpartum back pain: Reminders
Your back pain may be lessened if you are aware of your posture. You can also take a hot bath to relax your neck and back muscles and ease any stress they may be experiencing. Gentle exercises may also be beneficial to strengthen your abdominal muscles and relieve back pain.
Additionally, getting a back massage can make you feel better. Massages can enhance blood circulation and reduce muscle strain. Get a postpartum massage from a professional or ask your partner to give you one.
Lastly, give your back some time to recover and rest. Being extremely active could make discomfort last longer. Additionally, take naps whenever you can. Your body heals itself while you sleep, and taking care of a newborn frequently prevents you from having enough sleep that your body needs.
Updates by Matt Doctor and Jobelle Macayan
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