What Causes Backaches In Mothers?
- Physical Changes – During pregnancy your uterus, stretches and weakens stomach muscles, changing your posture while the added weight on back muscles and joints cause backache.
- Hormonal Changes – This causes looseness between the joints and ligaments attaching your pelvic bone to the spine, resulting in pain and discomfort when standing for long periods, bending or sitting down.
- Labour – During labour we use muscles never used before and after delivery these stretched muscles cause back pain.
- Posture And Baby Duties – When feeding baby, hunching over causes bad posture, even carrying baby for long periods or straining to hold baby in the tub are all contributory factors to backache, if we don’t pay attention to proper posture.
What Causes Headaches In Mothers?
Postpartum headaches are generally dismissed as not being serious. However, prolonged headaches in mothers may be life threatening caused due to,
- Incorrectly administered epidurals causing the leakage of spinal fluid
- Deep vein or cerebral thrombosis caused by blood clots
- Hormones that activate migraine headaches, that were dormant
- Lack of Sleep
- Depression (Please refer our article on Postpartum Depression)
Dealing With Backaches
Postpartum backaches in mothers gradually ease with time. However, women who have had backache problems prior to their pregnancy will find the pain has increased requiring further treatment.
- Physical Exercises are very important to help strengthen stretched muscles and provide a boost in caring for baby. Most hospitals provide a suitable exercise chart. If not ask doctor or try swimming and walking.
- Once given the go ahead start strengthening exercises for your pelvic and back muscle known as ‘Pelvic Tilts’.
- Good posture is important when feeding baby. Sit up straight, use a low foot stool and cushions at the back. For severe backaches, try the sideways nursing position. (Check out our article on Breastfeeding Positions for more help).
- Do not carry baby for long periods.
- Always bend from the knees when picking objects off the floor.
Dealing With Headaches
Young mothers in Sri Lanka should never dismiss headaches as minor issues. However, for postpartum relief of headaches the following tips are beneficial.
- Breastfeeding requires balanced nutrition. Skipping meals causes weakness as nutrients are taken by baby through breast milk. Therefore, eat small healthy meals at short intervals.
- Cat naps when possible are great for re-energising
- Yoga or meditation
- Heat therapy to the back of the neck
- Pain medication as recommended by doctor
A new baby can be overwhelming, but healthier and happier you are, the better care baby receives. Remember a depressed mother is a threat to baby.
Give importance to your needs and personal care in equal quantities and enjoy a fulfilling healthy relationship with baby.
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