Quite a number of women report back pain after a c-section. It needs attention since ignoring it may cause it to become chronic.
First, lets look at the possible causes:
1. Hormonal changes
Being pregnant not only increases the size of your belly but also results in much less visible changes, some of which may contribute to back pain after delivery. During pregnancy, the body releases the pregnancy hormone relaxing in preparation for giving birth. This hormone loosens ligaments and joints so that it’s easier to push out the baby. The body releases this hormones regardless of whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section. Since it’s easier to strain your back when joints and ligaments are loose, the slightest activity might cause lower or mid-back pain. The good news is that your joints, muscles, and ligaments will gradually strengthen in the months following delivery.
2. Weight gain
Carrying extra body weight is another contributing factor to back pain. The extra weight during pregnancy and a shifting center of balance due to carrying so much of it in front does put stress on your back and spine, leading to back pain.
3. Lifting and carrying the baby
Carrying your little one in your arms and then constantly bending over and lifting her from the crib, car seat, and stroller can affect your posture and cause neck and/or back pain. Try to bend at the knees and not at the waist.
Breastfeeding not only nourishes your baby most optimally, it also creates a sense of security in the baby as he looks into your eyes and hears you talking to him. Unfortunately, maintaining this position for too long can strain your neck, causing neck pain that radiates to your back. Bad posture while breastfeeding can also cause back pain, particularly if you shrug your shoulders toward your baby. To reduce pain, keep your shoulders relaxed and place a pillow underneath your elbow to support your arm. You can use a pillow to position your baby closer to you. Rotate your head occasionally.
5. After-effects of anesthesia
The type of anesthesia you receive before a C-section can also cause pain in the days or weeks following delivery. One problem with an epidural or spinal block is that they can cause muscle spasms near the spinal cord after delivery. These spasms can continue for weeks or months after delivery.
Suggestions for managing back pain after C-section
- Try not to bend at the waist. Do not lift heavy objects. Place your baby’s crib at a level that does not require you to bend to pick her up.
- Take a hot shower for relief. Warm water relaxes your body muscles and increases blood flow. It also reduces pain and inflammation. You can also try a hot pack if taking a shower isn’t feasible. Just apply a hot pack on your back for 15 to 20 minutes after every couple of hours.
- Position the baby close to your breast while feeding using pillows. That will stop you from bending.
- Take rest during the day. Make sure your mattress is firm and not lumpy.
- Get postnatal massages.
- If you have spasms, ask your doctor for medication. Please do not self-medicate.
- Stay hydrated.
- Massage area with garlic paste (4-5 cloves) and warm eucalyptus oil (½ cup).
- Soak 10-15 fenugreek seeds overnight, eat in the morning to get relief from inflammation and pain.
- Cook rice and black gram lentils (1/2 cup each) make a cloth pouch, after oil massage, give a mild fomentation with the pouch.
See your doctor immediately if you experience:
- Numbness in the back
- Numbness in the legs
- Severe pain that doesn’t allow you to move at all