Body shows different responses upon different stimulus. In case of pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of changes that results in reactions which might be reversible or irreversible.
After delivery, whether normal or caesarean-section, the most important aftereffects starts is back pain which can last up to 6 months to years. There are some exercises to ease the back pain and should be followed regularly for faster prognosis.
1) Bridging- This should be performed everyday along with other exercises . Lie flat on back, knees bent and with feet flat on floor, now slowly move up the pelvis upward , hold it up to a count of 20 and come down to the original position. This helps in maintaining the lumbar arch and improves stability to reduce back pain.
2) Pelvic rotation and tilting- This can be done in standing and lying position. In standing, try to move your pelvic region in circular direction both in clockwise and anticlockwise direction. In lying position, knees bent and feet flat on floor, try to tuck in the pelvic region towards anterior and posterior.
3) Cat and Camel exercises- Come to the quadruped position, like a cat. Now slowly move the spine upward making an arch and downward making a hollow arch.
4) Ball exercises- Exercises like crunches, trunk side flexion, spine balancing can be done.
5) Pilates and Thera band exercises- Pilates moves like “the hundreds”, “the seal”, single leg and double leg stretch can be practised. Thera bands of different colours specifying different resistance property are available in market. These can be used as a resistive tool to improve strength of back muscles.
6) Trunk rotation and stretching – In standing position, turn your trunk from side to side slowly and gently.
Lift up your hands above head, clasp fingers together and try stretching the hands and body upwards. In a same manner stretch on both sides.
7) Posture- Maintaining correct posture after delivery and during breastfeeding is very much essential. Instead of stooping forward, bring the baby close to you , place pillow at lower back and stay erect.
8) Yoga- It is very much beneficial when practised everyday. It should be done in the correct manner for mind and body relaxation.
9) Walking- The simplest yet the most effective way is to go for a walk every morning or in evening , which helps in maintaining the joints in flexible position especially the spine .
10) Maintaining weight-Almost every mother tend to gain weight after delivery due to hormonal changes. So, keeping a check on the weight helps reduce back pain.
11) Strengthening exercises for core muscles- Strengthening the paraspinal muscles keeps the alignment of the vertebrae corrected. Wall exercises, revisited ones are good.
12) Meditation- It keeps the mind and body relaxed and stress free, reduces stiffness of joints and pain.
In case of a ceaserian delivery, the epidural given produces back pain that remains for quite a long time incase of ladies who are more inclined to sitting at night for feeding babies and in case of a normal delivery , long hours of labour and hormonal changes brings about the pain.
- Exercises should be done regularly in early morning to reduce stiffness that is generated in body during the day and in evening to decrease the tiredness.
- Diet rich in minerals, iron, protein and carbohydrate should be taken like green vegetables, pulses, dairy products, sprouts, fresh fruits can be included to improve bone density that helps keep away the back pain.
- Medications to be followed as prescribed.
- Water intake should be more than 4 litres per day as feeding the baby reduces water content in the body and induces pain in joints.
- Lumbosacral belt can be helpful to keep trunk movement proper and can reduce work generated back pain.
- Walking and stretching in morning and evening at least for 30 minutes can keep the Para spinal muscles in lengthened position that reduces friction in vertebrae and pain.
- Avoid bending forward or backward for 6 months after delivery as the ligaments and muscles are still in softened condition that can induce back pain.
- Avoid taking spicy foods for minimum of 3 months.
- Avoid sitting and standing for longer duration.
- Do not keep the baby on your hip for long as it induces back pain.
- Avoid indulging in physical activity immediately after delivery.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights in one hand and equalize with both hands.
- Never lift the baby by bending over him, instead pull him gently towards yourself and pick him from side.
- Changing baby’s diapers and clothes should be done placing the baby on a table which should up to your lower chest level to avoid slouching forward.
- Avoid high heels for at least 2 months.
- Avoid holding baby in hand directly, instead use a front or back carrier to carry the child.
There are some other instructions that can be followed to reduce back pain. Some are highlighted below-
- Regular warm bath or hot pack can help ease the pain.
- Oil massage on whole back in intervals maintains the muscle property and keeps the pain minimal.
- Maintaining proper arch of spine while breastfeeding, avoiding stooping over.
- Learning relaxation techniques.
- Physiotherapy sessions–
Physiotherapy plays a great role in alleviating post-partum back pain. Session can be taken consisting of –
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Short Wave Diathermy
And home based spinal exercises can lead to faster recovery from pain .
Experience the beautiful journey of motherhood with a strong body and mind.