Not all women experience post-partum joint discomfort
Not all women experience post-partum joint discomfort, which is why women who do, might find it even more perplexing. Post-partum joint discomfort is not often talked about. Just Google any number of variations on the topic and you won't find much information barring some forums and a few articles.
Lack of information on this subject can be bewildering to women who experience post-partum joint aches. Questions persist: Is it normal? Is it permanent? What steps can be taken? It is normal. Joint discomfort is quite common among new mothers. Nine months of gestation will certainly take its toll on the body. Not only does the pregnant mother experience bodily changes, but special hormones are secreted by the body in order to prepare for the baby's growth inside the mother's womb.
Relaxin is a hormone that the body produces during pregnancy that relaxes the ligaments attached to the pubic bone, thus allowing for expansion of muscles and ligaments, many times beyond their natural capacity. The extra weight bearing especially during the last trimester of pregnancy exerts heavy pressure on the spinal cord, the knees, and the tailbone (coccyx). Even the delivery itself, while a miraculous event, is a process that puts enormous stress on a woman's body. Obviously, that the body will take time to return to normal, as muscles and ligaments begin to tighten up, are re-strengthened post-partum. It is temporary. Doctors say it can take anywhere between 4 to 9 months for the body to return to normal. During this postpartum stage many women experience mild, moderate and even intense joint discomfort due to biochemical factors within the body.
Soreness of joints may result from repetitive movements of picking your baby, feeding, and carrying your baby around. And until your baby adjusts to a normal sleeping pattern, your body may not get sufficient rest to adequately recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Due to these factors, joint discomfort can be a debilitating factor for many women during this stage. New mothers will often complain of discomfort in the neck, back, knees, hips and feet. These aches are temporary and likely to last only for a few months after the delivery. But such pain can intensify when joints cannot get the proper rest they need as the baby needs your attention. Sleep deprivation can also take its toll.
What steps can be taken? The most common type of joint discomfort is back ache. Applying a topical cream on joints that ache can help to alleviate pain. Have someone else apply it for you when the baby is napping so that it allows time for you to relax and rest your joint, maximizing the topical cream's ability to relieve pain. If you are applying it yourself, wear gloves and apply it to joints your baby will not come in contact with. Many mothers report joint ache due to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding itself cannot be the cause of joint ache, but the way you hold your baby during this time is important. Support your position with plenty of pillows so that your shoulders and back are not bearing the weight of your baby. Your posture should be correct to avoid strain on any muscles or joints.
Six weeks after the delivery, ask your doctor about post natal exercises that can help to relieve joint aches. Post-partum massages may also help. An important aspect of post-partum joint health is nutritional support. Since the body is still recovering from pregnancy and childbirth, your joints need nutrients that can help strengthen and sustain joint health. Ask your doctor about taking a joint supplement like GoFlex. GoFlex also comes with an Food and Drug Association-approved topical application containing capsaicin, a fast-acting joint pain-relieving cream. This cream is very effective; however, it is made from chili peppers, so if you are a mother it is extremely important that you have someone else who is not a baby handler apply the cream. You don't want this cream to come in contact with a babies eyes, it will burn themJoint supplements contain nutrients that nourish your joints. Nutrients like glucosamine, hyal joint, Interhealth collagen type II, MSM, green lipped mussel all help to provide the lubrication and nourishment your joints need for supporting joint health. Certain herbs such as boswellin and white willow bark help to ease joint sores and relieve discomfort.
By nourishing your joints you'll find the help you need to meet the demands and joys of taking care of your newborn baby!