Back Pain After Delivery

Woman with back pain

Your body goes through quite a transformation during and after pregnancy. Your entire lifecycle changes while you are carrying a baby, be it your sleeping pattern, your posture, the way you walk, mood swings; and the list goes on!

What is Post Pregnancy Back Pain?

The myriad of changes in your body that come along with pregnancy can lead to several discomforts like an aching back during pregnancy. However, for some women, this severe ache, stiffness and soreness in the lower back doesn’t subside after pregnancy and continues even after delivery. This lower back pain after delivery can also hinder your recovery, making it difficult to move or even sit for long.

What Are the Causes of Back Pain After Pregnancy?

Postpartum back pain does not leave your body immediately after delivery and continues for some time. You need to understand the causes of this back pain, which are mentioned here:

  1. The main culprit of your after pregnancy back pain are those crazy hormones! Your body releases progesterone and relaxin hormones during pregnancy which relaxes the ligaments and joints of your pelvic bone, for easing out the baby during delivery. As these hormones stay with you for a few more months, it leads to lower backache.
  1. Owing to the physical changes your body undergoes during pregnancy, lower back ache starts creeping in from the second trimester and continues for a few months postpartum.
  1. As you progress in your pregnancy, you start putting on weight. This is extra work for your knees and muscles to carry the additional burden which triggers yours lower back muscles.
  1. Another reason is the expansion of your uterus during pregnancy. This causes additional strain on your lower abdominal muscles and lower back, which causes backaches.
  1. Your labour plays another vital role in your back pain. If you have had a normal delivery, then while pushing the baby many of your muscles which have been stagnant in the normal course of your life are working and being stressed out.
  1. Sleepless nights post-delivery, bending, and lifting the baby frequently add on to the misery.
  1. Incorrect posture while breastfeeding the baby can cause stress on the lower back muscles causing back pain.
  1. If you are involved in additional physically strenuous work during or after pregnancy, then it might also lead to back pain.

How Long Does Back Pain Last after Delivery?

Most of your bodily functions get back to normal post-delivery. Unlike the other issues, your back pain does not leave you immediately and stays on with you even after delivery. It isn’t great to know that your post-partum back pain is going to be your frequent companion. But surely it will give you some relief to know how long the pain lasts after your delivery. It takes almost six months for your body to settle in and for the relaxin hormones to subside in your body, so by then usually your back pain should recede. The body regains its strength back, and the muscles get toned, which causes your joints and ligaments to get back to normal, which causes the back pain to wane. However, if the new mother undergoes strenuous physical activity post-pregnancy, then the back pain might persist up until 10 to 12 months. Being obese or overweight increases the risk of perennial back pain.

Woman with a backache

Different Ways to Get Rid of Back Pain after Childbirth

Don’t be overly stressed about your backache; there are a lot many home remedies for back pain after delivery, which are simple yet effective. So, feel relaxed and relieved by following these quick and easy remedies for your back pain:

  1. Consult a nutritionist and follow an optimal diet according to the needs of your body. It will help you reduce weight and thereby lessen the stress on your back muscles.
  1. There are a lot of back pain exercises after delivery which you can do to reduce the stress on strained muscles and ligaments. Start with relaxing yoga poses and stretching exercises after childbirth; it will improve your flexibility and endurance. If you have had a C-section then walking is one of the best exercises you can start with!
  1. Try not to involve in too much of physical activity immediately after delivery. And take as much rest as possible especially if you have had surgery. Your muscles and joints need rest after long months of stress.
  1. Refrain from lifting heavy weights or indulging in weight training exercises as it can cause stress on your muscles and joints.
  2. Maintain a straight seating posture. Try not to lean on to your baby while breastfeeding and keep an upright back. You can even lie down on your side comfortably while breastfeeding.

Woman breastfeeding

  1. If you experience more of lower back pain, then use a footstool while sitting on a chair to keep your legs slightly raised from the ground and support your lower back muscles. Also, keep soft cushions on your chair to support your back.
  1. Carrying your baby for a long time on your hips will add on to the tension, so start using a front pack with belted support to carry your baby when you are travelling or at home.
  1. Say goodbye to high heels for a few months from delivery.
  1. Try to sleep in a comfortable position with a soft and thin pillow.
  2. Get a relaxing and soothing oil massage from an experienced masseur at regular intervals. It helps increase blood circulation in the body and offers great relief from aching muscles.

Woman getting a massage

  1. Hot water bags have been known to relieve pain for ages! You may use hot water or cold water bags on your back to help reduce the pain.
  1. You can even use a pain relief ointment to gently apply on your back once in a while. It will give you instant relief and relaxation.
  1. Avoid cold water baths and have hot water baths for a few weeks after delivery. It helps in relaxing the strained muscles and ligaments.
  1. Try to bend your knees when you want to pick something up from the floor, instead of directly bending your waist and stretching out your hands; it causes strain on your back.
  1. While picking up your baby try to get closer or in a kneeling position and then pick up the baby. Avoid stretching out your arms and lifting the baby from a distance.
  1. You may also do some pelvic exercises as suggested by your trainer as a part of back pain after delivery treatment.

Even after following the aforementioned tips, if your backache still persists, then it is better to consult a specialist. With the help of detailed examination of your body a specialist might recommend appropriate medicines and physiotherapy sessions.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Don’t be worried if your back hurts most during nights. Normally, during the daytime whether your posture has been good or bad or if you have indulged in a hectic physical activity, you might not experience too much of discomfort during the day. But at night your joints become swollen resulting in more pain during the night.

Woman with backache

The post-partum back pain will leave you naturally in a few months’ time post delivery, but you need immediate medication in the following cases:

  1. Back pain is accompanied by a fever.
  2. If your back hurts too severely and is getting worse day by day.
  3. A feeling of numbness in both legs or one leg.
  4. Traumatic back pain caused by tripping or falling.
  5. If the back pain continues with same intensity even after six months, you need to check with a specialist.

It becomes difficult to focus on many things especially when you have a little one to take care of. Remember that your health comes first, and if you are down or physically not strong enough, then taking care of your baby becomes difficult. So it is very important to remain fit and focus on your health too amidst of all other family commitments.

Being pregnant and giving birth to a little bundle of joy is the biggest blessing a woman experiences in her life. Try to be patient and do not overstress with a lot many activities at the same time. So, enjoy the bliss of parenthood and give your body some time to get back to normal.

Also Read: Body Changes after Delivery