Why do I have postpartum back pain?
The pain has a lot to do with relaxin, a hormone released by your body during pregnancy.
Relaxin, as its name suggests, relaxes the joints and ligaments in your pelvic girdle to make more room for your child to be born. In other words, it helps make the birthing process easier! But this hormone also affects all the other joints in your body, which leads to a bit of instability and changes to one’s posture. In short, you’re more vulnerable to inflammation and injury. And since relaxin can linger in the body for up to 6 months after birth, its side effects tend to stay with you, too. A woman who has back pain during pregnancy is more likely to continue experiencing pain even after delivery.
What can I do about it?
Postpartum back pain normally goes away within a few months after childbirth. In the meantime, give your back some TLC and follow these simple tips to help manage backaches.
- Ask your healthcare provider if your body’s ready to take on postnatal exercises. If you get the go signal, start with simple stretches to improve your flexibility and strengthen your body.
- Pelvic tilts are also a great post pregnancy exercise. On the floor, lie on your back with your knees bent. As your breathe in deeply, bend your pelvis up slightly while pressing your back against the floor. Hold this position for ten seconds before releasing. Then repeat for about five minutes.
- Avoid activities that require heavy lifting. But if you really must lift something up, don’t bend over to pick it up. Squat down first, tighten your abs, then use your knees to lift while keeping your back straight.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time. Your back needs to rest every now and then.
- Don’t bend over while breastfeeding. Bring your child towards you instead.
- Go to a chiropractor regularly for a massage.
After surviving the rigors of childbirth, it’s best to avoid stressing your body. Allow yourself to fully recover because the healthier you are, the better you can take care of your newborn baby. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and support if you need to get something done.
Postpartum back pain can be a challenge to deal with, but it’s usually not a cause for concern. However, if your pain gets worse or you start experiencing any numbness, be sure to call your healthcare professional immediately.