Postpartum Back Pain: The steps I took to get relief

Having a baby or being pregnant can be the perfect storm for back pain 😖 You are exhausted, your joints and ligaments are less stable, and you’re likely hunched over in awkward positions more than you’d like to be. Your abdominal muscles have been stretched out to accommodate your growing baby and this can lead to less support for your spine. Although it is super common, there are ways to get relief and prevent it from re-occurring. Below are the some postpartum back pain strategies you can take to keep your back feeling happy.

Everyday Body Mechanics 

Notice your posture habits throughout the day. Are you someone that tucks your butt under or constantly arches your back? Do you carry your baby on the same hip? Starting to notice these habits is the first step to shifting your alignment and improving your posture. 

Paying attention to how you’re picking things up (aka your baby) is crucial. Instead of locking your knees and rounding your spine, maintain a slight bend in your knees (or take a staggered stance) and hinge from your hips (like you are doing a deadlift) while keeping the item close to your body. Take a big inhale before you pick up the item and exhale to lift it up. 

I worked on my breathing

This next postpartum back pain strategy might sound silly or super boring, but I promise you it is crucial. That is, work on deep 360 degree breathing. When you get a good inhale, your ribcage expands in all directions and your diaphragm moves downwards which helps open up your back. Then, when you exhale, you reflexively activate your deep core and pelvic floor muscles (which support your spine) HERE is a video that teaches you how to breathe this way. 

I added in strength training

When you are exhausted or desperately trying to get your baby to sleep, you are likely not thinking about your body mechanics and breath. Making dedicated time for exercises like deadlifts, squats and breath work allows you to build strength and focus on your form. That transfers into real-life applications like carrying your baby or giving birth!

I made time at night for gentle yoga and myofascial release.

I aim for 10 minutes of stretching and massaging my back with a foam roller or myofascial release balls most nights of the week. This provides pain relief and helps me relax and sleep more deeply. 

While these are general strategies for relieving back pain, remember that we are all different. If your back is persistently bothering you, it is worth seeking out professional support to help you identify the root cause and get relief. 

Check out this 25 minute pilates class to open up your back and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Enjoy! ❤️

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