We all are aware of the pain that can be experienced during labor.
But did you know that some women continue to have pain well after delivery?
Let’s talk a little bit about postpartum pain syndrome today.
What exactly is postpartum pain syndrome?
It describes a pattern of musculoskeletal issues of new moms of the neck,
shoulder and back due to repetitive activities and sustained postural
stress during a time when you are most susceptible to injury.
TRUE! Yes, around 4-10% of women experience chronic pain after vaginal
delivery! And between 6 and 18% experience it after a cesarean section.
While many women are already expecting ups and downs during the first year
after a new baby arrives, most do not anticipate the ongoing pain issues.
The truth is pregnancy-related musculoskeletal pain impacts women's lives
FALSE! Pregnancy itself changes your musculoskeletal system due to hormonal
and physical changes to prepare for a growing baby and for childbirth.
Despite this readiness, research shows that numerous women experience
injuries comparable to athletic injuries, such as damaged bones, tension
fractures, muscle tears, and extreme strains after giving birth. This is
because of the brand-new, relentless, and extreme needs that you are
placing on your body throughout a time of specific vulnerability.
The ligaments and connective tissue are typically not back to their
pre-pregnancy strengths immediately after childbirth. A few of these
injuries can take months to heal.
Commonly mistaken for fibromyalgia, postpartum pain syndrome symptoms can
Sore neck and upper back
Sore lower back
Tenderness or tingling in wrist or hands
Shortening of the pectoral muscles of the chest
FALSE! You can’t wait this pain out!
This chronic type of pain can not only impact your physical wellness but
puts your emotional/ mental wellness at risk. It is easy to get overwhelmed
when you are not physically feeling your best.
Aside from speaking to your health care provider and investigating other
causes, you can take some proactive measures yourself! Your body deserves a
little love, especially after all it went through with pregnancy and birth!
Let’s look at what you can do to alleviate some of this discomfort.
Position yourself: Just understanding that staying up straight and
keeping your shoulders relaxed is a great first step. Remember that your
shoulders are not earrings!
Hydrate yourself: Not only does this help with breastfeeding, dehydration
is a huge contributor to headaches and chronic pain. Keep that H20 next to
Move yourself: Walking is safe to begin practically instantly after either
a vaginal birth or a c-section. Can’t go outside- then a mindful stroll
around your home will do!
Stretch yourself: Attempt gentle stretching exercises or yoga. Just make
sure to prevent overstretching or extreme positions. And always listen to
Support yourself: When nursing or feeding your newborn be sure to practice
good positioning of your body. It is easy to find yourself hunched over.
Pick a comfortable chair with armrests, and use l pillows to provide extra
assistance to your back and arms. You may want to invest in a breastfeeding
pillow that wraps around your middle .
Treat yourself: Acupuncture or chiropractic care, can be a good source of
Pregnancy and childbirth can place extreme needs on your body.
Many moms have pain well after the delivery and it is hard to be your best
self when you are in constant discomfort. You have to take care of YOU so
you can take care of your baby they way you want to!
Contact MaternalWell text support for any general questions and, as always, our specialists are available for specific problems.