Many women experience stiffness and soreness in their back after giving birth, which is quite normal, but it also prevents them from having a normal, painless life, which is a major problem. The pain they experience is a result of pregnancy hormones that loosened their ligaments and joints and when you factor in the strained abdominal muscles, it’s easy to understand that it’s not easy to deal with. Also, mothers engage in a lot of bending and baby lifting and rocking constantly, which is not helping their backs.
Are there any other reasons for back pain?
Unfortunately, yes. Extra weight during and after pregnancy means your muscles have to work much harder and that your joints are under more pressure. Next, if your labor was long, your body is completely exhausted and since you didn’t have enough time to recuperate, but had to deal with the baby from the moment it was born, your body never got the rest it needed. Also, many moms, especially new ones, aggravate their back problems by using the wrong posture when breastfeeding. They are more interested in getting their babies to latch on properly than on finding a position that would be good for them. Finally, all the stress and exhaustion related to taking care of a newborn does not help your physical condition.
Will it go away?
The answer depends on many factors. It can go away after a few months but it can also stay with you for much longer. If the back pain started before or early into your pregnancy, chances are it won’t go away easily. Also, if you remain overweight for too long, you’ll run the risk of getting chronic back pain. So, if you didn’t deal with the pain properly before pregnancy, you have to understand that it can only get worse now and more difficult to cope with.
What can you do?
To begin with, you should consult your doctor because only a trained professional can set the right diagnosis and prescribe the most efficient treatment. Taking any steps without proper consultations can make your problem even bigger. You are likely to be suggested some self-care measures first, to see if the problems can be solved that way. They include gentle exercise, such as walking or moving around, despite the pain. You have to take it slow and keep those walks short for the first few weeks. Rest assured that walking is safe to start almost immediately after either a vaginal birth or a C-section.
Your next step could be pelvic tilts, but don’t attempt them until your doctor tells you it’s safe. It’s very important to incorporate exercises into your daily routine after delivery because you need to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. However, if a particular exercise is causing pain and discomfort, stop doing it.
A surgical procedure may be recommended in case your problem can’t be solved using any other treatment. Though it might sound dangerous and scary, you have to understand that recent advances in modern medicine, the right approach and experts like Australian neurosurgeon Dr. Timothy Steel can now help you with your problem in the most efficient way. Such procedures are nowadays performed on a daily basis and you should really have no fear. Instead, you need to listen to your doctor’s advice and try to get ready for such treatment and incorporate advice related to the post-op period into your daily routine.
Changes in body mechanics
No matter what method of dealing with post-delivery back pain you’ve chosen, you need to learn how to utilize your body in a way that will prevent similar problems from happening again. To begin with, you need to stand and sit up straight. Next, whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, pay attention to your body position. Make yourself comfortable in such situations by sitting on a comfy chair with armrests and add pillows to provide extra support if necessary. Make sure your back and arms feel no pain in this position. Don’t forget your legs and use a footstool to keep your feet slightly raised off the floor.
One of the things you’ll also have to learn is to bring your baby to your breast, not the other way around. Experiment with different positions and try to find one in which you feel most comfortable but which also suits your baby. Many mothers chose the side-lying position if they have tense shoulders and upper back pain, for example.
When bending, make sure you do it from your knees and pick up your baby or object from a crouching position to minimize the stress on your back and avoid any heavy lifting, especially if you had a C-section.
Other things to help you
Soreness and tension can also be eased by soaking in a warm tub but make sure the water is not too hot. This may not help you get rid of the pain for good but it may help you feel better temporarily. You could also use a heating pad or a cold pack on the painful area but make sure you protect your skin by covering it.
A massage can really help you feel better too, so treat your pulled muscles, tense shoulders and back with a massage given by a trained professional. Relaxation techniques can also be useful when dealing with the discomfort, particularly at bedtime. Finally, some women opt for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, but you shouldn’t experiment with it unless you’ve consulted your doctor.
The list continues
Naturally, you could try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but only if your doctor has prescribed them. If the recommended dosage isn’t helping, you should consult your doctor about alternative forms of treatment.
Physical therapy can also be very beneficial since you’ll learn exercises that relieve or prevent back pain. When it comes to alternative treatments, such as acupuncture or chiropractic care, the opinions are divided.
Post-delivery back pain is a very common problem that many women face. If not treated properly, it can really cause a lot of other, even more serious issues, which is why it’s vital you don’t do anything on your own without consulting a medical professional. If the right diagnosis and treatment are set, you’ll probably be able to have a pain-free life and enjoy watching your baby grow.
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