Pelvic Pain During Postpartum: What To Expect, How To Deal With
Pelvic pain during postpartum is much more than just a medical issue and has the potential to hurt your long after childbirth. It is common and even those with a perfect and event-free pregnancy are likely to feel the pinch. Statistics indicate one in every four women suffers from postpartum pelvic griddle pain and it continues for months after the childbirth.
The causative factors range from pregnancy-related hormonal disturbances and biomechanical changes to trauma suffered while giving birth and nutritional deficiency thereafter. Don’t wait for it to be better with time. Pelvic pain during postpartum progresses to become a serious issue for 7% of them and turns to be a factor in lower back pain and postpartum depression. It has the potential to throw your motherhood and post-pregnancy recovery into disarray unless it is proactively taken care of. It should not be accepted as a side effect of pregnancy but dealt with all means to avoid life-impacting changes.
Understanding The Pelvic Pain
Having a child is among the most joyous moments of life. However, postpartum pelvic pain can ruin it. New mothers are at risk to experience pain in the pelvic area as they sit or walk. They may experience dull ache sporadic pain to throbbing sharp pain that exuberates with physical activity.
It is the structure of the pelvic area that contributes to the pain in a direct way. Your pelvic floor consists of the pelvis, connective tissues, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. The pelvis, which has the hip bone, the tailbone, and the lower end of the spine, is helped by muscles and ligaments to provide support to the lower belly, the womb, and the uterus.
During the pregnancy, hormonal changes cause the pelvic area to stretch to support the womb and allow the baby to move out of the birth canal during the delivery. This often destabilizes the alignment of the spinal cord and ligaments leading to pelvic pain during the postpartum period.
Traumatic injury or temporary damages to the pelvic area during the childbirth also results in pain for a few months until it heals. Pregnancy weakens pelvic muscles and ligaments, which start to harden after the childbirth. This causes women to feel postpartum pelvic pain.
Risk Factors of Pelvic Pain During Postpartum
- Hormonal changes, such as increased production of relaxin in pregnant women. The body produces the hormone to expand the birth canal and increase the pelvic flexibility to facilitate childbirth.
- Weak pelvic muscles are unable to bear the weight and size of the fetus, which continuously grow for nine months.
- Body posture or gait changes unable to keep pace with increased load on the pelvic area.
- Wear and tear of sacroiliac joints and pelvic functional problems.
- Traumatic injury to the pelvic area due to surgery. This may lead to nerve damage causing pelvic pain during postpartum.
- Prolonged and complicated labor causing trauma to the pelvic muscle and ligaments.
- Injury to the coccyx or tailbone during pregnancy or while giving birth.
- The lack of sleep following childbirth interferes with the healing of the pelvic area and thus, increases the pain sensation.
- Weakened bones due to calcium and Vitamin D insufficiency.
- A sprain to the pubic symphysis joint.
- Obesity causing more weight and pressure on the pelvic area.
- Malnourishment making your body and bones weak.
How To Know If You Have Pelvic Injury, Pain
Symptoms of pelvic pain during postpartum can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the extend of injury to the pelvic area. For example, when the pubic symphysis joint is sprained during the delivery, you may feel mild to moderate pain. But its separation may result in acute, severe pain in the pelvis, thighs, and sacroiliac joints.
You may experience the pelvic pain while standing, turning on the bed, getting up from a chair, or picking up weights. It may be felt in buttocks, thighs, or the front of the pelvis. Postpartum pelvic pain may lead to difficulty during intercourse.
How Does It Impact Your Life
Pelvic pain during postpartum may last from a few months to many years to completely subside. The more severe the case, the longer is the recovery. It can make you physically restrained and emotionally disturbed.
Sacral pain impacts the postpartum recovery process and is a major issue for mothers returning to their jobs after childbirth. SI joint turning too loose or tight may lead to future medical issues and back pain. Pain in the tailbone and sciatic are a serious blow to every active woman. Many end up with lower back pain and struggle to sit or stand while performing the daily chores.
It is also a factor in difficulty urinating, sleep problems, pain during sex, and decreasing bowel movement. The
The psychosocial impact is more devastating and many new mothers are pushed into postpartum depression. They experience a higher level of stress and frustration, as the pain prevents them to continue their jobs or take proper care of the child.
How To Treat, Avoid Pelvic Pain During Postpartum
The treatment options vary from prescription drugs to conservative pain management. NSAIDs, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, help treat pain but these may have their own side effects. Lactating mothers also have limitations taking many painkillers for fear of injury to the baby.
Heat and cold therapy, acupressure, changes in body postures, strength training, and physical therapy may help alleviate the pain.
Adequate nourishment during pregnancy and after childbirth enables faster healing of the pelvic sprain or injury. Strengthening bones and muscles with supplements helps cope with the pelvic injury and treat pelvic pain during postpartum in a faster and natural way.
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