Curse of the mum back pain and how to cure it

Of all the advice that people dish out to you in pregnancy and when you become a new mum, the one gem of wisdom they forget to pass on is how likely it is that you’ll suffer from new Mum back pain once you have your baby. Caring for an infant puts stress on your back. Initially, you may be lifting the 7 to 10 pound baby (possibly even heavier!) up to 50 times a day. By the time the child is a year old, you are lifting and carrying 17 pounds. Two years later, you will be lifting a 25 to 30 pound child.

Hormonal changes to your body in pregnancy, your birth, the way you feed your baby, how you carry him or her can all contribute to chronic back pain that, if you don’t take heed of it and react accordingly, can stay with you for a mighty long time. That’s why we’re devoting this blog to all those mums out there who’ve ever felt a twinge and pleading with new mums and mums to be to read this vital advice.

Why is my back hurting?

During pregnancy, your expanding uterus will have stretched. This weakens your abdominal or, stomach muscles and, in turn, alters your body position, putting strain on your back. On top of this (quite literally) the extra weight you’re carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints. Those pesky pregnancy hormones play a part too as, changes in pregnancy, can loosen the joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This is what can cause mum back pain when you walk, stand or sit around for long periods.

Why has back pain kicked in after birth?

After giving birth, the body goes through a recovery phase, during which it needs to slowly readjust to its pre-pregnancy state. If you’ve had a very long or particularly difficult labour this can cause back pain simply because you’ve been using different muscles to help your baby into the world. A caesarean section (C-section) can potentially cause back pain for some women as well. While the surgical procedure itself is performed on the abdominal muscles and surrounding area, it can indirectly affect the back due to changes in posture, core muscles, and recovery processes.

woman lying in hospital bed after child birth

What else could be causing back problems?

Breastfeeding in those early days, when you’re concentrating so much on getting your baby to latch on correctly that often you’re hunching over can cause back pain. A good feeding pillow can help ensure you are comfortable and maintain a good posture.

New mums often engage in repetitive movements like lifting, bending, and carrying while caring for their babies. The way you lift your child out of his or her buggy, car seat or cot can impact on your back.

Carrying car seats can lead to various back problems for new mothers due to the awkward weight distribution and strain placed on the body. Avoid twisting your body as you carry a car seat, make sure you bend from the knees and swap the side you hold it on.

How long will it take to improve my back pain?

Pay careful attention to the way you lift your baby (see above) and also try to prevent the number of times you’re stooping down to pick him or her up (we know, we know …. but ask for help where you can, you really don’t have to do it all!). Check out clever invention the Snugglebundl, which helps you to pick up your child without putting a strain on your back (and is also amazing for transferring a sleeping baby from car seat to cot and buggy and vice versa). Follow these golden rules and your back will usually improve in a few weeks.

woman sat on bed with mum back pain

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Gentle exercise and stretches can begin to alleviate sore back muscles and start to improve strength for those repetitive daily movements. Slowly and gently starting to strengthen your abdominal muscles will also aid the lifting and bending movements. Check out these pain relieving stretches for new mums, which will help loosen you up and stretch you out. It is really important to make sure you wait until after your 6 week postpartum check up with GP where, hopefully, you’ll be given the all clear to start postpartum exercises.

Some people report cold therapy such as cold showers or ice baths can really help tight and overworked muscles and provide some pain relief. Newly postpartum mums and those breastfeeding really should get the all clear from Doctor before trying this.

mum exercising on floor with baby

What if my back pain doesn’t improve?

If you are suffering with persistent back pain you should, in the first instance, consult your GP who may refer you to a physical therapist. Physical therapy may consist of specifically targeted exercises to lengthen, relax and strengthen back muscles as well as your core and legs. If your back pain persists, your GP or physio may recommend pain killers as short term pain relief but if you should always seek medical advice first if you are breast feeding or taking any other medications.

friends all wearing Hippychick hipseat
The award-winning Hippychick Hipseat

What about carrying a toddler?

The trouble with toddlers is that they very quickly become mighty heavy at around the time when they don’t want to go in their buggy any more and really want to be carried. But all that extra weight can put a real strain on your back. Luckily there is help for mums (and dads) with preventing back pain when you’re carrying a toddler. The award-winning Hippychick Hipseat is a back-supporting belt combined with a seat that keeps your spine in the correct place to avoid any strains or injuries while you’re carrying your little ones. What’s more it’s designed to manage toddlers up to three years old. What a relief!

10% off your next order?

Yes please

Website by Cognique

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • PayPal