To birth a child is no small feat, but the women who do are often met with long-lasting ailments that result in chronic back problems. Fifty percent of pregnant women report feeling back pain sometime during their pregnancy, which may carry over into the postpartum period.
Unfortunately, it is something many women experience. Here are a few methods that may help alleviate some of that postpartum pain for new moms experiencing it.
Common Causes of Postpartum Back Pain
According to scientists, pregnancy and childbirth make the female body go through so many stress-hormone changes that they touch one's lower back. As a result, it can cause discomfort in their lower back or even other body parts when engaging in certain activities.
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Pregnancy is one of the most special times in a woman's life, and many transformations occur throughout the process, including body changes that can cause back pain. For instance, a new mom will often gain weight, reduce their level of exercise, and have various other physiological effects that contribute to back pain.
After giving birth, it can take some time before you're back on your feet again. Many things might hinder a mother's attempt to care for her child while possibly experiencing backaches.
New mothers will benefit from physical therapy treatments during and after pregnancy as they will be educated on and reinforced positive changes regarding posture, exercise, and overall body maintenance that can improve their quality of life during these tough times.
How long does Postpartum back pain last?
Postpartum back pain typically resolves itself within a few months of delivery; however, there are some cases in which women may experience discomfort for an extended period.
Research suggests that those who experienced back pain both before and during pregnancy are more likely to experience chronic back pain postpartum, especially if the pain was intense or originated in the early stages of pregnancy.
Furthermore, individuals who are overweight may be at a greater risk of developing chronic back pain.
Effective Pain Relief Methods for Postpartum Back Pain
We've put together some effective pain relief methods to help reduce the postpartum back discomfort you might be experiencing. However, before you exercise or stretch, please talk to a qualified medical professional about relaxation methods, particularly if you're a first-time mom.
Your healthcare provider can educate you on the proper ways to stretch and move, what activities are safe for your new body, and which ones aren't recommended while pregnant and breastfeeding.
Focus on Rest and Recovery
One of the best ways to heal from postpartum back pain is by giving your body enough time to rest and recover. Unfortunately, as a mother, there are so many things you must remember and handle that can otherwise hinder your ability to give your body adequate time each day to be rejuvenated.
It's important as a mother to take care of yourself first to ease any pain or discomfort you might be having. The health and well-being of your baby and yourself should always be top priorities when both can undergo major changes and transformations.
Use a Heating Pad
A relaxing hot bath is always one of the best ways to remove tension in your muscles where you experience pain. However, there are times when taking a warm bath isn't possible or practical, so using herbal heating pads on those days can also be great for relief.
A heating pad is a great choice for relief if you're dealing with back pain. Unlike hot tubs and saunas, which can lead to higher body temperatures due to their warming effect on your core temperature, a heating pad will not cause discomfort in isolated parts of the user's body. When applied correctly, research has shown that it could provide fast-acting therapy for muscle cramps or other chronic conditions such as arthritis.
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This heating pad provides amazing moist heat which penetrates deep into muscles to relieve tension, stress, cramps, tightness and help boost circulation. It can also be used cold- just place it in the freezer for whenever you need cold therapy relief! The Pad is Versatile & is perfect for CRAMPS, BACK ACHE, STRESS RELIEF, NECK & SHOULDER TENSION, SINUS PRESSURE, EAR ACHE, TMJ, KNEES, ELBOWS, BACK, & MORE! Or cuddle with it on a cold night!
Try microwavable heating pads instead of using heating devices. They're also great when you don't want to risk forgetting whether or not you left the heating pad on - especially if you fall asleep with it against your body! In addition, they get cool in some time and will save you from accidental burns.
Take a Warm Bath
At the end of a long, tiring day, there's nothing quite like sinking into a warm bath to help ease muscle tension and alleviate any pain you may be experiencing in your back or body. Taking the time for some relaxing self-care is not only a way to unwind, but it's also crucial for maintaining both mental and physical well-being.
By carving out a little "me-time" in your day, you can replenish your energy and find the relaxation you need to feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Since ancient times, many cultures have utilized plant-derived oils for various purposes, ranging from beauty enhancement to medicinal use. Over time, their efficacy has been proven, and essential oils can be beneficial during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I am pleased to present my favorite essential oils for each stage of childbirth, many of which have many uses.
Sacksythyme's hot therapy relief Lavender Heating pad is a natural pain reliever commonly employed for relieving muscle cramps and aiding back labor. For birth mothers, lavender is an excellent addition to the diffuser to create a calming atmosphere.
If you feel tired or upset, and your stomach becomes an issue during labor, taking a few sniffs of peppermint can provide an energy boost. It can also be beneficial when using the bathroom for the first time post-birth. A few drops of peppermint can be added to the toilet to aid in elimination. While peppermint does have a strong scent and can be applied topically, it is not recommended during labor as it could interfere with the bonding and breastfeeding process after birth.
How essential oils help women manage pain
Aromatherapy may provide relief through essential oils as an alternative to traditional labor pain management techniques. These oils can help reduce sensations of labor pain, as well as nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Some of the most commonly used oils for this purpose include:
- Clary sage
- Ginger oil,
Clinical trial data has revealed that lavender aromatherapy during labor can reduce pain perception for women. Further studies have demonstrated that lavender can reduce post-cesarean section pain, nausea, dizziness, post-episiotomy pain, redness, and the need for topical pain relief when used in a sitz bath. The science supporting lavender's analgesic properties has made it a patient favorite.
Research has indicated that adequate rest positively impacts an individual's ability to manage stress and pain.
Therefore, to address the issue of poor sleeping patterns among postpartum women, a study explored the potential of lavender essential oil to improve sleep quality. One hundred fifty-eight mothers participated in the study and were divided into two groups.
The first group inhaled lavender oil from a cotton ball for ten deep breaths and placed it next to their pillow until morning over eight weeks. The second group followed the same routine but with a placebo. After the study's completion, the lavender group participants reported an improvement in their sleep quality.
Try to Return to a Normal Posture
While it's true that pregnancy alters your posture, there are a few tips you can follow that will help curtail poor posture to make sure it doesn't become the norm. For example, as we have mentioned earlier, one of the things that may happen with poor posture is continuous back pain. To avoid this, try avoiding activities such as breastfeeding and holding your baby in an improper position.
In addition, helping maintain a normal upright posture while performing chores inside and out might take some doing on your part, but if you focus on what positions you're taking while standing or lifting as you transfer or shift things around - whether they be objects or aspects of your daily routine; overall healthy habits can improve posture over time.
Avoid Standing for Extended Periods
The next effective way to deal with back pain is that many women can attest to - postpartum back pain. As mothers, we're on our feet a lot, constantly running around here and there and dealing with so many different responsibilities at any given moment.
This makes it difficult after a while, but we have something that might be useful. Try to avoid standing for extended periods every once in a while to take some pressure off from all the responsibility you've got on your shoulders, as it may not always be the best option out there for anyone's back health!
Go for a Walk
Although most of the exercises one can do after giving birth are under advisement from a doctor, there are a few physical activities that you can do to help keep moving and make sure that your mind is getting just as much attention as your body.
Walking is an easy way to get off the couch and out of the house, which can be quite helpful if you find yourself confined inside for days due to weather or other reasons. You surely know how exercise keeps us healthy, especially women, because pregnancy has ups and downs. Hence, it's important not to let go of specific workout routines when we could be more active than ever!
Avoid High Heels
As an exhausted new mother, consider returning to the swing of things with some everyday fashion items and clothes in your closet. Still, many women overlook how to prevent post-delivery back pain while wearing heels and other clothes. They might look good and match your outfit, but often, they cause the wearer discomfort.
It can incur post-delivery back pain and medical complications that may require expensive medical procedures to correct after just a few uses. If you want to avoid these problems, it's always best to stick to comfortable clothes that don't force you into compromising positions and shoes that will leave your feet free and relaxed, too!
Deep Breathing Exercises
As a new mother, one of the best ways to prevent postpartum back pain is to do deep breathing exercises during the day. Many young mothers need help with household chores and other daily tasks to maintain their health and fitness and keep up with their everyday lives.
Many things can cause tension throughout the day, like housework or simply being out in public and running errands. We know how tiring it gets, so you must relax and do deep breathing exercises at least once daily.
Sleep with a Knee Pillow
Some new mothers fail to realize that improper sleep habits and insufficient rest can cause postpartum back pain. If you want nothing more than to escape your reality after giving birth, consider shopping for a knee pillow that will keep your hips in alignment so you can wake up free of back pain the next morning.
Here are some additional tips for relieving postpartum back pain:
- Maintain good posture. Good posture can help to reduce strain on your back muscles. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and your head held high.
- Wear supportive shoes. Supportive shoes can help to distribute your weight evenly and reduce stress on your back.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you need to lift something, bend at the knees and keep your back straight.
- Use a heating pad or ice pack when you breastfeed. This can help to relieve muscle tension and pain.
- Take breaks. If you are standing or sitting for long periods, take breaks to move around and stretch.
When to see a Physical Therapist
Millions of mothers experience postpartum back pain annually. If you are experiencing back pain following a recent pregnancy and childbirth, A licensed and talented physical therapist can help you build foundational strength. Contact a therapist today to learn how physical therapy can improve your postpartum back pain.
Bringing any lingering postpartum back pain to an obstetrician or midwife during a postpartum check-up is advisable. They can refer you to a back pain specialist or a physical therapist to learn exercises to strengthen the core and back muscles.
"This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your physician to determine a treatment plan for you."