Questions You Might Have About Postpartum Back Pain

Health & Medical Articles

Whether you are hoping to prevent it or you are experiencing it, postpartum back pain is something you can take an active stance against. Most women feel pain and fatigue in their lower back during pregnancy that doesn't abate after delivery. Some questions you might have about postpartum back pain are addressed below.

1. Can You Prevent it?

If you haven't delivered yet, you may be hoping to avoid postpartum back pain altogether. The key is in strengthening your back muscles and maintaining as much flexibility as you can during your pregnancy so your body can recover from labor quickly. Some ways to do this include:

  • Create an Exercise Regime: Prenatal yoga is a great way to strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility. This will also prepare you for delivery and help keep your cervix open for a smoother labor and faster recovery. Other prenatal exercises are helpful, as well.
  • Practice Good Posture: Posture makes a huge difference in preventing back pain. While it's easy to slouch to accommodate your growing abdomen, it puts more strain on your muscles, not less. The extra tension can make your back hurt now, but it will also continue to hurt once your baby's born. Slouching while nursing will also increase back pain, so get in a good posture habit now!
  • See a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist: Chiropractic care will help keep your hips and spine in alignment during pregnancy. Since most women feel their pelvis loosening and experience both hip and back pain early in pregnancy, this helps relieve tension and decreases back pain. Physical therapists focus more on posture and flexibility to alleviate pain. Both methods benefit you in the postpartum stages, as well.

2. What are Common Causes?

A variety of things can cause postpartum back pain. Weakened muscles is one of them, so continue stretching, exercising and seeing a specialist after your baby's born. Other causes of back pain include:

  • Increased Muscle Strain: If you had an epidural during labor, your back may feel pretty tender. Try not to hold yourself differently to when standing or walking, as this will put extra strain around your muscles and increase back pain. Even lifting your infant, rocking, and walking with your baby adds muscle strain that contributes to back pain.
  • Sore or Torn Muscles: Whether your labor was long or short, chances are it was really intense. Contractions and pushing will cause your muscles to feel sore for a few days. If pain is excruciating or prolonged, you may have some slight tearing that needs to heal.

3. How Can You Relieve Pain?

Pain is part of your postpartum healing process. However, you can be proactive and look for ways to decrease back pain, such as:

  • Letting Yourself Relax: Try not to feel overwhelmed by your to-do list. Put laundry and dishes on hold for a specific amount of time each day and relax. This can be while your baby is napping or happily lying in a bouncer. Put heat on your sore muscles – either use a hot pad or take a bath – until you feel the tension ease. You will find it's easier to hold your baby right after doing this.
  • Lifting and Carrying Carefully: Be aware of how you bend and lift your child. Bend at the knees, not the waist. Distribute your infant's weight as evenly as possible in your arms. If you use a carrier, make sure the straps are adjusted comfortably so your upper body is carrying your weight without pulling your shoulders. Minor adjustments in the way you lift and carry will help you heal at a faster pace.
  • Talking to Your OB/GYN: If back pain is prolonged more than a few weeks, talk to your OB/GYN. Your doctor may have specific recommendations for your body type and may choose to prescribe something for the pain. Your OB/GYN will have specific instructions if your muscles seem pulled or torn, as well.

Postpartum back pain can negatively affect your experiences as a new mom. However, with proper care, you should be able to relieve pain and enjoy your little one. If you have other questions about back pain, talk to your physician about what you can do to remedy it. Visit websites like for more information.


30 November 2015

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