Back Pain After Pregnancy Is A Common Occurance Among New Moms. Your Body Has Gone Through Many Changes And Is Undergoing Many New Stresses, Such As Lifting And Carrying A New Baby. We Talk With The Experts On Why You Are Experiencing Back Pain And
Why do new moms experience back pain after pregnancy? “While we are pregnant, the growing uterus distends and weakens our abdominal muscles. This causes a change in posture which overloads the back muscles... plus the extra burden of the pregnancy,” says Dr. Mary Claire Haver, an OB/GYN at the University of Texas and expert on JustAnswer.com.
Dr. Haver says that it is not only the stress of pregnancy that puts stress on the back, but childbirth also. “During labor, we find ourselves in positions we may have never used before, as well as straining muscles that usually don't work very hard; therefore causing our backs to ache.”
Now you know why you have back pain, here are some suggestions to treat back pain after pregnancy.
Once your doctor has given you clearance to exericse (usually 6-8 weeks after delivery), many experts agree specifics stretches and strengthening exercises can ease back pain.“It is very important to emphasize the core stability exercises both during and after pregnancy,” says physical therapist Chad Helms. He says it is crucial for new moms to “focus on increasing the strength of their core stabilizers to help alleviate some of the extra stress from their back.”
Another great exercise for new moms is yoga. “Pregnancy yoga is a wonderful way to prepare your body for labor, and strengthen the core muscles for the postpartum period,” says Dr. Haver. “After delivery, take walks, continue Yoga and make sure that you are not putting excessive strain on your neck and back during nursing.”
Watch your lifting posture
Many new moms are unprepared for stress that taking care of their baby can have on their back. When lifting baby, keep your back straight and use your legs (not your back!!) to lift baby. When changing baby’s diaper or clothes, use a changing table that is high enough that you can stand straight up, instead of bent over, to decrease stress on your back.
“On the road to successful breastfeeding, many new moms will put strain on their backs as well. We become so focused trying to get the baby to latch on correctly that we end up sitting hunched over, straining neck and upper back muscles as we look down,” says Dr. Haver. She advises new moms to use a breastfeeding pillow, like the Boppy pillow, to help take stress of their back and put their baby in a more comfortable position.
Other treatment options
“If you do have pain - use a heating pad and massage the area of tenderness on a regular basis,” says Dr. Haver. “If the pain is moderate, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen is very useful.”
Finally, talk with your doctor about your back pain to get specific recommendations for you.
More health tips for new moms: