Monday, 9 June 2014

Back Injuries Post Pregnancy

I do like it when everyday life inspires blog entries, I had previously touched on back problems in my previous post (Pearls of Wisdom - Mum, after labour). We all know that during labour hormones loosen the ligaments around the back and front of a woman's body so when it comes to growing with baby the muscles adapt. However, these muscles still stay loosened for at least 6 months post labour, this means that when you need to lift and bend more the muscles are more susceptible to injuries.

This is where I am today, I am currently writing this propped up on our bed after having to go to the emergency doctors yesterday. My back had been niggling for a few days, but Saturday I moved and then I was bent over in pain, which increased. I was alternating anti-inflammatory and pain killers on Sunday, but I was in so much pain, we arranged an emergency appointment and limped down there. I was told I either severally twisted or torn the muscle in my back and also have stronger anti-inflammatory.

A contributing factor is the increased movement you have when you have a baby, as well as the increase in weight of them. You are constantly bending, stretching and rotating to facilitate their needs. I've had to come home and review the height of everything, her changing mat, crib, and playmat; These all vary in levels so I also had to review how I lift.


The official technique is to use your legs instead of your back. Do not bend from the waist. Instead, squat down by bending your knees and use your legs to lift. It is often that you will be lifting many heavy, unfamiliar objects, such as car seats and strollers. Move slowly and pay attention to your lifting technique to avoid injury. It is best to try to avoid standing for long periods because this puts extra pressure on your back. If you need to stand, rest one foot on a raised surface such as a stool.

When feeding, keep your back straight while feeding and raise your baby to the breast/bottle. Do not lean over to bring the breast/bottle down to your baby. Sit in a chair with a firm back and use pillows to aid in proper positioning. This may take some time to learn; a lactation consultant can help you assess discomfort and make recommendations for different feeding positions. Use a footstool to elevate your feet while sitting.

Bring your baby close to your chest before lifting. Back injuries can occur if you pick him up with your arms outstretched or while twisting or turning to the side.
Kneel in front of your child while you buckle them into the car seat. You will be in an awkward position if you try to buckle the seat while standing outside the car. This twisting motion can contribute to back injury in the long term.


Ice or heat packs can help reduce back pain. Soaking in a hot bath may also provide relief. If you had a cesarean section birth, make sure your doctor has given you the go-ahead to resume tub baths. For back pain caused by sore or overworked muscles, a massage may provide quick relief. At the same time, it offers a good way for a new parent to unwind.

Contact your doctor if your back pain does not respond to self-care measures within 72 hours, or if your pain becomes severe, especially at night or when you lie down. Back pain accompanied by fever, numbness, tingling, bowel or bladder problems, pain or throbbing in the chest should be evaluated by a doctor. Mild or moderate back pain may respond favorably to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if your pain does not improve; prescription-strength pain relievers or muscle relaxants may be appropriate in some cases. Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding so they can prescribe a medication that is safe for your baby.

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