Postpartum Back Pain What Causes It
You would have most probably experienced back pain during or throughout your pregnancy due to the extra weight of your baby. It is completely normal to experience back pain even after childbirth. Some mothers experience back pain a few hours after childbirth, which can continue for days, weeks, or months. Here are a few causes of postpartum back pain:
- Hormonal Changes
Your pregnant body goes through many hormonal changes throughout your pregnancy. Your body will release pregnancy hormones, which will loosen ligaments and muscles that are attached to your pelvis, enabling easier pushing during labour. This is your body’s natural reaction to prepare for labour, regardless of your delivery method (i.e. C-section or natural delivery). However, you will have higher risk of straining your back if you have loose ligaments and joints. Simple activities can also cause lower or mid-back pain. These pains will not disappear immediately after childbirth.
2.Strain During Childbirth
Your pelvis will move to help you deliver your baby out of the birth canal. Your tailbone sits at the base of your pelvic, so when your pelvis moves, it could move your spine out of alignment, leading to postpartum lower back pain and pelvic pain. Natural delivery could also cause a huge strain on your back and abdominal muscles, further contributing to your postpartum back pain. Back and pelvis pain usually subsides after the baby is born, but approximately 1 out of 3 women continue to suffer from these pains.
3.Carrying and Lifting Your Baby
Your baby might look small and weigh about 2 – 4 kgs, but it is a constant weight you have to carry everyday. Each time you carry your baby, you will have to bend over and lift them out of the cot, car seat and pram. These movements, coupled with your recovering muscles and ligaments, can lead to back pain. It is important to be aware of your posture when handling your baby, and try to keep your cot and car seat in a position that does not require you to be in awkward positions to lift the baby out.
Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby, providing quality mother-child bonding time, while supplying the baby with necessary nutrients. However, continuously looking down at your baby will lead to a strained neck, which causes neck pain that extends to your back. Breastfeeding with a bad posture can also cause back pain, especially if you hunch your back when breastfeeding your baby.
If you requested for an epidural or spinal block during your delivery, the procedure might cause postpartum back pain. This is because the doctor will inject the anesthetic into the area surrounding your spinal cord or close to your spinal cord, which could cause tissue trauma. This kind of back pain usually lasts around a few days, up to a week.
As your body slowly recovers from childbirth, your backache should subside. Rest well, eat well and maintain good posture, to recover faster.