You’ve just taken part in what feels like a marathon, you’re tired, your hips feel like they’re REALLY about to fall off, your head feels like it’s going to explode, and that horrible nagging pain between your shoulder blades and neck won’t go away? You are not alone! Aches and pains after pregnancy are so common but very little talked about.
Everyone wants to know about your labour or surgical pain but we are more concerned about the aches and pains that mums get after birth, and what you can do to ease them.
I have no doubt that when you look at your beautiful bundle of joy all of the worries about your aches and pains go away, they are totally worth it! But take a moment to appreciate what your body has been through, from the postural changes during pregnancy, the birth, and now the added 7lbs+ of wriggling cuteness to carry around as well as constant new demands.
You are much more susceptible after birth to injury as your ligaments still won’t have regained full stability, and you now have several new repetitive tasks for your body – feeding regularly, bending to change nappies, carrying baby on the same hip, a car seat and changing bag that weigh more than a hippo. All on no sleep I might add! If you don’t take time to look after yourself your body will start to show signs that it’s a little bit grumpy due to a cycle of pain, inflammation and instability. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. It’s one of the best things you can do for your baby.
Every week we see mums with headaches, neck pain, mid and lower back pain, hip aches, painful hands and feet, pins and needles. These symptoms are so frequently over looked or ignored, and they feel that their own wellbeing is overlooked with little to no advice given regarding pelvic floor exercises, stretches or any rehabilitation after birth. We want to help you get the right advice and help you be your best self.
- Talk about it! You are not alone, many other mums will be experiencing the same thing. Make sure you are part of a local baby/ toddler groups to form a network of support, or speak to a professional who understands.
- Seek out the care that you need and invest in yourself. If you were an athlete who had just injured themselves in a race, you would not leave it untreated, and let’s face it being a mother is really an extreme sport! A trained professional such as myself will be able to deal with the specific difficulties your body is having with motherhood and get you back to moving and feeling better.
- Posture posture posture! This is a really easy way to help yourself. Mums get fixed in the feeding/ nappy changing position – hunched upper back, shoulders up and forward. Make sure you’ve got lots of pillows so you are not taking your babies weight and they are at the right height so you are not having to hunch. There are lots of alternatives such as feeding whilst lying down, using a changing table, or using baby slings instead of propping them on your hip.
- Repeat after me. Taking time to look after myself does NOT make me selfish. Most areas in the UK have a booming baby circuit. Go to baby yoga/ pilates, go for walks and get some fresh air, eat well, stretch.