Pregnancy and childbirth are among the most magical experiences in a woman’s life, but that takes a toll on the body. During pregnancy, most of the women have to deal with several conditions like back pain. Now, this condition mostly arises due to weight gain, hormonal changes and inability to move freely. Pregnancy also impacts a woman’s spine, and that may even give rise to back pain after a C-section.
Generally, back pain may occur for several reasons, but back pain after caesarean delivery needs care. For some women, this back pain starts a few hours after the delivery and may continue for a few days, weeks or even a few months. Here, we will discuss some of the most common causes of back pain after c-section and some tips to alleviate the condition.
Causes For Back Pain After Caesarean Delivery
Back pain after a c-section is one of the most nerve-racking conditions that may arise, especially when recovering from surgery. Even though you may still feel some discomfort due to the incisions, you will overall be experiencing a painful condition. Post-pregnancy, there is no single cause that may trigger the pain.
Mentioned below are the potential causes for back pain after c-section-
- Hormonal changes– Hormonal changes are a crucial reason behind back pain post-caesarean delivery. Pregnancy not only increases the size of one’s belly but also causes lesser visible changes too, some of these may result in back pain after cesarean delivery. During pregnancy, the ovary and the placenta release the pregnancy hormone Relaxin in preparation for delivery to relax the ligaments in the pelvis, which in turn softens and widens the cervix for delivery. Relaxin would be released irrespective of whether one has a vaginal delivery or a C-section. The relaxed or loose joints and ligaments get easily strained even by very slight activity, and this causes pain in lower or mid-back. However, the joints, muscles, and ligaments eventually strengthen in a few months after delivery.
- Lifting and carrying the baby- After cesarean delivery, back pain is common, and carrying the average weight of a healthy baby may strain the lower and mid-back regions. These extra movements by a woman can impact the posture hence causing neck and back pain. The suggestion would be to keep your back straight and use the legs’ strength while lifting the baby, instead of bending over and hurting your back. You should make sure that the crib, seat, etc. of the baby is placed to meet the optimal reach for the mother to use.
- Weight gain- During pregnancy, carrying the baby’s extra body weight is an essential factor causing back pain. Nurturing the baby within a womb is undoubtedly taxing but comes with the beautiful feeling of growing a whole new person inside of oneself. But the extra weight due to the baby and a shifting pivot of balance caused by carrying so much of the weight in the abdominal region may stress up the spine and trigger a painful condition. You should maintain a healthy posture to adjust the imbalance of body weight that comes with pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding– Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience for every mother and a beautiful way to bond with her child. A mother loves to gaze at her child for a long while as the baby feeds at her breast. Bad posture while breastfeeding like drooping shoulders, strained/lowered neck, etc. can also eventually result in back pain. The remedy is to keep your shoulder relaxed and preferably use a pillow underneath your elbow to support your arm.
- Impact of anaesthesia– Anaesthesia is also one factor that may trigger c-section back pain, and that may last for a few days or weeks post-delivery. As a preparation for the surgery, the would-be mother is given an epidural or spinal block to numb the area in preparation for surgery. The issue caused by such anaesthesia is that injecting an epidural or spinal block might trigger spasms near the spinal cord after delivery. These muscle spasms can stay up to weeks or months post the delivery.
How To Reduce Back Pain After C-section?
If you are wondering how to reduce back pain after c-section, then the tips below might help you-
- Avoid bending over– A woman should put in extra effort to maintain a good posture. Keeping the back straight and whenever required, leaning with your knees/legs are effective ways of avoiding back pain.
- Keep your back straight while breastfeeding– One needs to find a comfortable spot to feed the baby and maintain a proper posture of the neck, spine/back.
- Perform gentle exercises– After discussing with your doctor, you can start with simple exercises and activities like Pilates or Yoga, strengthening your body’s core. Thus, the muscle tension in your back would be relieved. A light walk would also improve your blood circulation and reduce the c-section side effects or back pain.
- Take a hot bath– Once your doctor permits you to take a bath after the C-section surgery, start by taking a hot bath to slacken the muscles, reduce spasms in the back, increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate back pain. A heating pad would be helpful too.
- Take rest– Being a mother is genuinely hectic, but you need to find time to take rest too. Too much physical activity would worsen the strained muscles, and increase the pain. It is advisable to take naps whenever possible.
- Get a massage– Getting a massage can relax muscle spasms and enhance blood circulation, which relieves pain and achiness. A professional postpartum massage or even a massage at home would be helpful.
- Pain medication– Consulting your doctor about your back pain would prove very helpful. The doctor might advise you to take pain medications keeping in mind if you are still breastfeeding. Usually, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be taken by a nursing mother.
Now that you know how to get rid of back pain after c-section, you may try out these tricks, and in case of severe pain, you must consult with a doctor and take medications accordingly to alleviate your pain.