So many women experience various aches and pains after pregnancy and it isn’t addressed as frequently as it should be.
For this reason, the next blog in our series on the basics of Post-Natal Health, we are going to focus on all of the common aches and pains suffered post-pregnancy. Having a baby is one of the most magical moments in many people’s lives but unfortunately, what women tend to experience after pregnancy can put a dampener on the whole situation. We find this is one of the more common causes of mild post-natal depression, which Peter discussed in the podcast. Women can have many different physical problems, aches and pains after having a baby. These can be related to pregnancy, birth, or even the things you do while caring for young children, such as lifting and bending. To help any new mums looking for some relief from these problems, we have put together a helpful guide with some great tips. Please keep reading today to understand why your body is feeling the way it is, how you can help yourself and also to know that there is life at the end of the tunnel.
It goes without saying that you will probably experience some form of stomach pain after giving birth. Usually, the pain that you experience postpartum is due to afterpains, constipation or if you had a c-section then it is pain from this healing.
Once you have given birth, your uterus will contract and start to shrink back to its size pre-pregnancy. It isn’t uncommon for this to cause some lower abdominal cramps, often referred to as afterpains, people usually say that they feel like menstrual cramps. Whilst you can’t prevent these pains, you can treat them the same way you would your period pains and bring out your trusty hot water bottle.
Constipation and healing from a c-section are quite self-explanatory. Unfortunately, constipation in the postpartum period is quite common, but eating lots of fibre and drinking plenty of water can help to ease your bowels. When having a cesarean birth mild cramping as the incision and internal wounds heal is common and of course, you may feel pain or soreness around the incision. The best thing you can do is avoid putting too much strain on your abdomen and give your body time to heal.
Another pain that is quite common after giving birth is hip pain and pain in your pelvic floor. As you are probably already aware, lots of muscles have to stretch during pregnancy to accommodate your shifting pelvis and growing baby. Your hips are in the direct firing line here and will take a big hit during pregnancy. There are many different things that can cause your hip pain post pregnancy including; hip strain, pulled groin, hernia, sciatica or even a labral tear.
There has actually been a lot of new research into hip pain both during and after birth. It is now said that if you feel an unexpected pain in your hip during labour you should tell your doctor right away and see if you can adjust your position. This is to help prevent any further issues with your hips once you’ve given birth.
If you’re currently experiencing hip pain after giving birth and you are worried about this then it is worth speaking to a doctor for some advice. They may recommend specific exercises for you to do or they may want to look into things further.
Back pain is one of the most frustrating pains for women, it can take over their life. Unfortunately, it is something that almost every mum-to-be will experience during pregnancy and it isn’t something that will just go away once you’ve given birth. This is why Peter was asked to address this specific issue for Angels and Urchins as well.
The hormones that loosened your ligaments and joints during pregnancy are usually to blame for this pain, along with the poor posture many people have whilst they’re pregnant. It isn’t uncommon for the strain of labour and delivery as well as using an awkward posture while holding or breastfeeding your baby to also contribute to your back pain postpartum.
Like everything else postpartum, it takes time for your back to get back to ‘normal’ so, it is important to be patient and not to do too much too soon. Being conscious of your posture, using exercise to strengthen your core muscles and taking warm baths can all help with post pregnancy back pain.
If you’re suffering from bad back pain then there is a high chance that you will have post pregnancy neck pain too and, maybe even shoulder pain as well. Seeing as your posture affects all of these things, this is usually to blame (again) in this situation.
Neck and shoulder pain post pregnancy isn’t helped by looking down at your baby when holding them, breastfeeding or pushing a pram, it can also be increased by using baby slings and lifting them in and out of their cot multiple times a day.
Thankfully, similarly to back pain, neck and shoulder pain can be eased with exercise. Simple things such as shoulder rolls, squeezing your shoulder blades and focusing on your pram posture can make a huge difference. Of course, you can use hot packs too to help warm/ease your muscles.
Lastly, this is an overall kind of pain, many new mums are very used to having achy painful joints. This pain can be throughout your whole body including your hands, wrists, feet, and ankles. Joint pain is an incredibly persistent and acute pain that can make you feel really old all of a sudden.
It isn’t uncommon for this pain to be caused by the positions you were in during labour but, they may also be an aftermath from the hormonal changes you experienced during pregnancy as this can cause them to loosen.
All of the muscular and joint aches you’re experiencing will ease over time and eventually go away for good. Getting back into a proper eating habit and meeting all your dietary recommendations, paired with a proper exercise regime can help improve joint pain. Applying warmth and even taking over-the-counter pain medication (if ok’d by your doctor) can also help in the interim.
There is no denying that pregnancy exposes you to a wide variety of information about your own body. Not only do you have to come to terms with the changes that have taken place in the entire period of carrying your baby but, you also have to handle getting your body ‘back to normal’ again after giving birth.
Understanding your aches and pains and also having a plan in place to help you through them is definitely a step in the right direction and can help you to feel much better in yourself. Whilst we are all used to various little niggles, the pain you experience post-pregnancy shouldn’t take over your life and it doesn’t have to.
If you’re looking for some specific advice for how to stop post-natal pain in various areas of your body or you would like some post-natal exercise advice regarding your aches and pains, Healthy Post-natal Body is here to help. Whether you’re experiencing post-natal hip and knee pain or you are fed up with the general aching you experience every day, Healthy Post-natal Body is the website you need to visit.
The advice and support you can get through our platform is different from other commercial exercise programmes you will find online. With the help of an experienced team, you will have an exercise program that is specifically designed to help you solve whatever issue you are having and much more. Thanks to the forum that is attached to the Health Post-natal Body website, you can speak to an expert about your post-natal journey rather than having to rely on Google.
All in all, exercise can help with all these things and this is why a good post-partum program should really go past the 12 week stage. There is simply too much to work on for a 12-week program to be effective.
Check out what we offer, sign up for your free trial, and then decide what you’d like to work on.