Many new mothers experience back pain post-delivery. During pregnancy, your expanding uterus weakens and stretches your abdominal, altering their position and hormonal changes can lead to the loosening of ligaments and joints making everyday tasks difficult or painful. During labor, you may have engaged new muscles, causing some lingering pain. While mild to moderate back pain is often expected during pregnancy, many women are surprised that the aches and pains don’t disappear immediately after delivery.
After delivery, poor posture during nursing, constantly carrying infant car seats, baby wearing, lifting older children, exhaustion, and lack of time for excise and strength training can prolong your back pain. Unfortunately, your abs, contrary to what many tabloids would have you believe, don’t bounce back within a few days or weeks. In fact, back pain can linger for women for quite some time, but there are things you can do to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles and alleviate your postpartum back pain.
An exercise program can go a long way towards eliminating back pain. Once your doctor or midwife gives you that “all clear”, you can start exercising. Walking is a great way to jump start your post-partum fitness plan, and you can put your baby in the stroller and take him along for the ride. A little later on, you can incorporate swimming into your routine- it’s a great full body exercise and really works your core and back.
Unless you’ve had a C-section, your can start incorporating the pelvic tilt a week after delivery. After six weeks, you can scale up to pelvic bridges, heel raises, and leg stretches, all isometric and low intensity exercises which strengthen your lower body. Yoga is another full body exercise that gently engages and strengthens your core.
During the day, make sure you pay attention to your posture when you are sitting or standing. Opting for firm or sturdy seating may also help prevent or alleviate back pain. When nursing, bringing baby to breast, as opposed to breast to baby will help insure against slouching.
Be sure to pamper yourself a bit, by taking a warm bath, using a heating pad, or indulging in a massage. Many new mothers experience relief after a massage, which can help relieve some of the knots and tension found in your lower back. Making sure you are eating well and drinking enough water can also help you manage pain and discomfort.
See A Professional
If these “do it yourself solutions” don’t help, or you find your pain worsening, you should talk to your doctor. She may suggest an over the counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen or prescribe something a bit stronger. A chiropractor can manipulate pelvic balance and mobilize your thoracic region, alleviating back pain for many patients.
Most women experience mild to moderate back pain after delivery, and concentrating on self care, posture, beginning an exercise program and utilizing the experience of a professional chiropractor can help you feel like your pre-baby self sooner.