Knee Pain After Delivery
Hyperthyroidism – Some people develop hyperthyroidism during pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excessive levels of hormones. Graves’ disease could be an underlying cause of hyperthyroidism and presents in 1-4 of every 1,000 pregnancies in the United States.
If a person develops Graves’ disease for the first time during their pregnancy, symptoms could get worse during postpartum. Hyperthyroidism during pregnancy and postpartum can cause thyrotoxic myopathy. This can condition can affect the pelvic girdle, causing pain in the region. Doctors will suggest antithyroid medications to treat hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxic myopathy.
These drugs control thyroid hormone levels and reduce symptoms. Learn more about hyperthyroidism here. Knee pain during postpartum could be due to the person having carried more weight when they were pregnant. However, joint pain may also be a symptom of hyperthyroidism, so if a person’s knee pain is not getting better after delivery, they should speak to their doctor.
To treat postpartum knee pain a person may want to take over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers. If a person is breastfeeding they should discuss safe pain relief with their doctor. A person may be able to alleviate pain with home care. For example, a person could treat lumbar pain in the lower back by applying heat to the area, such as with a hot water bottle.
Another area a person could focus on is their posture and gait so they know how to move without putting pressure on the spine. This type of management may also involve Kegel exercises. As pregnancy and labor are physically demanding, preventing postpartum joint pain may not always be possible.
maintaining a healthy weightstaying physically activestrengthening muscleseating plenty of vegetablescutting back on caffeinegetting enough vitamin D and calcium wearing supportive footwearstretching and balancing exercises, such as yoga
Many conditions cause postpartum joint pain, with some being more serious than others. A person should see a doctor for postpartum joint pain that is persistent or gets worse. Severe pain could indicate an underlying health condition that needs further treatment, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or hyperthyroidism.
- 1 Can breastfeeding cause knee pain?
- 2 Why do joints hurt after normal delivery?
- 3 When do joints go back to normal after pregnancy?
- 4 Can drinking too much milk cause knee pain?
- 5 Why do my legs hurt so bad after giving birth?
- 6 Does postpartum arthritis go away?
- 7 Why do my bones feel weak breastfeeding?
- 8 Can prolonged breastfeeding cause bone pain?
- 9 Is leg pain normal after delivery?
Is knee pain common after delivery?
Post-partum septic arthritis of the knee: a case report 1 Department of Orthopaedics, Kingston Hospital, Galsworthy Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 7QB, UK Find articles by 1 Department of Orthopaedics, Kingston Hospital, Galsworthy Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 7QB, UK Find articles by 2 Department of Orthopaedics, Mayday Hospital, 530 London Road, Croydon, CR7 7YE, UK Find articles by Received 2008 Nov 18; Accepted 2009 Mar 7. © 2009 Patel et al.; licensee Cases Network Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Septic arthritis is rare in the post-partum period. This is the first case of a post-partum staphylococcal septic arthritis of the knee reported. This report describes a lady who developed symptoms of septic arthritis of the knee within one month of giving birth. The management of septic arthritis does not differ from standard practice when encountered in the post-partum period. Urgent washout of the joint and antibiotic usage is associated with a favourable outcome. Joint pain in the lower limbs during pregnancy and in the post-partum period is common, The majority of these cases are due to the increased load of the fetus and placenta, and the alteration in ligament laxity that occurs as a consequence of hormonal changes. Septic arthritis presents with pain in the knee joint, and can be accompanied by a joint effusion, warmth and erythema over the joint, and pyrexia. Septic arthritis of the knee is not common in the post-partum period and only one case has been described previously in the literature, which was Mycoplasma hominis related, Herein we present a case of 25 year old lady who developed a staphylococcal septic arthritis of the knee one month after giving birth. A 25-year-old lady presented to hospital 36 days after giving birth via an uncomplicated lower segment caesarean section. She stated that the scar was well healed since the fifth day post-surgery and she had begun breast feeding. There was no history of nipple trauma or mastitis. She complained of a 15 day history of progressive pain, swelling and decreased range of motion in her right knee. Systemic examination revealed pyrexia of 38.5 degrees Celsius and a tachycardia of 120 beats per minute. Examination of the knee demonstrated a red, hot, swollen, tender joint with minimal range of motion. Radiographs of the knee were unremarkable. The knee was aspirated under aseptic conditions and 35 mls of turbid fluid was collected. Blood laboratory results were as follows: white cell count 15.8 × 10 9 /L, CRP > 250 and ESR 75. Initial gram stain of the aspirate showed 3+ of white cells but no organisms. In view of the clinical picture, the patient underwent urgent arthroscopic washout of the knee. It was noted that the synovium was thickened and inflamed, and biopsies were taken. Furthermore, there was a significant amount of pus in the suprapatellar pouch. The knee was washed out with nine litres of normal saline. Cultures of the pus taken from the knee subsequently grew Staphylococcus aureus sensitive to flucloxacillin. Cytology of the fluid was negative for crystals. The biopsies taken revealed acute synovitis with extensive ulceration of the synovial lining lined by inflammatory exudate composed of fibrin, polymorphs and scattered macrophages. The patient was given intravenous benzylpenicillin (1.2 g QDS) and flucloxacillin (1 g QDS) post-operatively and the patient clinically improved. She underwent a further arthroscopic washout of the knee three days after the original procedure. It was found at the second operation that there was some pus in the lateral arthroscopy portal wound though no pus within the knee joint itself. In total, the patient completed a week’s course of intravenous antibiotics and four further weeks of oral antibiotics (Penicillin V 500 mg QDS, Flucloxacillin 500 mg QDS). She was seen in the out-patient clinic 11 weeks after her presentation where she was noted to be doing well with an improved range of motion in her knee of 0-80 degrees. Acute septic arthritis most commonly develops as a result of haematogenous seeding, but may also result from direct introduction or extension from a local focus of infection, It is associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality if left untreated. The morbidity arises due to the destruction of the articular cartilage with resultant impaired mobility of the joint. Progression to a more severe case is dependent upon the organism involved and a host’s own defences, Septic arthritis is uncommon within the post partum period. This may be due to the fact that the post-partum period is oriented towards heightened and activated innate and specific immune defences. Breastfeeding, which the patient was performing, is associated with a boost in these defences, The only previously reported case of post-partum septic arthritis of the knee involved Mycoplasma hominis, This is a commensal bacterium of the vaginal tract. The haematogenous spread of the bacteria in that case was thought to be related to a manual evacuation of the retained products of conception. The most common causative organism overall for septic arthritis is Staphylococcus aureus as it was in this case. We propose that the spread into the joint was haematogenous, with two potential sources. The first is from nipple trauma as a consequence of breastfeeding. Staphylococcal breast abscesses and aseptic reactive arthritis, secondary to staphylococcal breast abscesses, have been described before, and thus it is conceivable that this is one potential source. The second potential source is from the surgery of the lower segment caesarean section. Although the delay between surgery and the onset of symptoms was 22 days, the heightened immune response of the postpartum period previously described may have contributed to a long latent phase of infection. This is supported by the fact that the onset of symptoms to presentation at hospital was 15 days which is significantly longer than the average of three days, This patient presented with clinical and laboratory findings compatible with septic arthritis. Though rare in the post-partum phase, the management does not differ from septic arthritis encountered in patients who are not post-partum. Urgent washout of the joint and use of antibiotics is associated with a favourable outcome. The authors declare they have no competing interests. RT and CK was part of the team of doctors involved in the management of the patient. SP and RT were involved in the write-up and referencing. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.
Vullo VJ, Richardson JK, Hurvitz EA. Hip, knee, and foot pain during pregnancy and the postpartum period. J Fam Pract.1996; 43 :63–68. Andrews BE. Mycoplasma hominis. Communicable Disease Reports. Public Health Laboratory Services.1974;(August issue) Klein RS. Joint infection, with consideration of underlying disease and sources of bacteremia in hematogenous infection. Clin Geriatr Med.1988; 4 :375–394. Hunter JA, Blyth TH. A risk-benefit assessment of intra-articular corticosteroids in rheumatic disorders. Drug Saf.1999; 21 :353–365. doi: 10.2165/00002018-199921050-00002. Nelson JD, Koontz WC. Septic arthritis in infants and children: a review of 117 cases. Pediatrics.1966; 38 :966–971. Perry CR. Septic arthritis. Am J Orthop.1999; 28 :168–178. Groer MW, Davis MW, Smith K, Casey K, Kramer V, Bukovsky E. Immunity, inflammation and infection in post-partum breast and formula feeders. Am J Reprod Immunol.2005; 54 :222–231. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2005.00301.x. Weston VC, Jones AC, Bradbury N, Fawthrop F, Doherty M. Clinical features and outcome of septic arthritis in a single UK Health District 1982-1991. Ann Rheum Dis.1999; 58 :214–219. doi: 10.1136/ard.58.4.214. Demetriadi F, Steuer A, Hall A. Post-partum polyarthritis associated with a staphylococcal breast abscess. Rheum.2004; 43 :810–811. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keh164.
Articles from Cases Journal are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central : Post-partum septic arthritis of the knee: a case report
Can breastfeeding cause knee pain?
Main results – Among the 3454 women aged ≥50 years, 298 were included in the non-breastfeeding group, and 1042, 815, and 1299 were included in the 1–24, 25–48, and ≥ 49 months breastfeeding groups, respectively. Among those who answered the questionnaire, 1731 participants had joint pain and 739 had knee osteoarthritis diagnosed by radiography (Table 1 ). Table 1 Characteristics of the study population according to duration of breastfeeding above 50 years ( n = 3454) As a result of analyzing the general characteristics of each weighted group, the non-breastfeeding group(31.5%) and the ≤2 years breastfeeding group (31.1%) had the greatest percentages of respondents in the high income category. The breastfeeding groups > 25 months and > 49 months had the highest percentage of respondents in the low income category. The findings indicate that the longer the breastfeeding period, the lower the income. The non-breastfeeding group showed higher current and ex-smoking rates than the breastfeeding groups, and the rate of no alcohol consumption rate was 40% or higher in all groups. The long-term breastfeeding groups (≥25 months) had high overweight rates (BMI > 25 kg/m 2 ). The findings also indicate that longer the lactation period, the higher the average number of children. The prevalence of hormone supplementation was low in the ≥49 months breastfeeding group, and the duration was short. The percentage of those having experienced menopause was high in the ≥25 months breastfeeding groups, and 99.3% of the ≥49 months breastfeeding group had experienced menopause. The prevalence of diabetes and the percentage of joint pain complaints also increased with breastfeeding duration (Table 1 ). When compared to the non-breastfeeding group, the odds of having joint pain was significantly higher for women who breastfed (OR 1.49; 95% CI 1.01–2.21). The odds of having joint pain increased with increasing lactation period (p for trend; p = 0.002) (Table 2 ). When age and all other factors were adjusted for, the ≥25 and ≥ 49 months breastfeeding groups showed a higher odds of having knee OA than the non-breastfeeding group (OR 2.30, OR 2.17 ) (Table 3 ). Table 2 Association between experience of breastfeeding, duration of breastfeeding and joint pain ( n = 3454) Table 3 Association between experience of breastfeeding, duration of breastfeeding and knee osteoarthritis (OA) ( n = 3454)
Why do joints hurt after normal delivery?
Pregnancy pain can transition into a host of new pains after labor, most of which will go away in the next few weeks and months. Preparing for the possibility of epidural pain, breastfeeding pain, and pain related to tears or incisions will help you be prepared for life after delivery.
“Those first few weeks post-partum feel like an eternity,” says obstetrician-gynecologist Amanda Calhoun, MD, MPH, assistant director of women’s health for Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Richmond. “However, after three months almost every woman feels much better.” If you’re worried about how you will manage pain after childbirth, stock up on water and take a deep breath: Dr.
Calhoun recommends hydration and patience as the keys to surviving post-pregnancy pains. After you’ve given birth, it’s also appropriate to take ibuprofen for temporary relief from aches and pains, Read on for other tips to ease post-childbirth pain. Abdominal Pain After Childbirth In the immediate aftermath, you may be most aware of pain below your waist:
Uterine contractions. Your uterus has to return to its normal size after delivery. Breastfeeding encourages this process and may seem to trigger the pain. These contractions can be very painful, especially for second and third deliveries. Incisions. If you gave birth by cesarian ( C-section ), you will likely have incision pain for a few days in addition to the pain of uterine contractions. You will probably need narcotic pain remedies for a day or two, after which ibuprofen can help manage pain. Unlike other types of post-labor pain, incision pain may be with you for several months as you heal, although it is most acute in the days immediately following delivery. Call your doctor right away if the C-section incision becomes red, hot to the touch, bleeds, or oozes pus. Vaginal or perineum pain. Tears or incisions in this area can remain painful for a week to 10 days as you heal. “Sitting in a sitz bath or low shower water, coupled with a Motrin, will help,” says Calhoun, adding that you should call your doctor if you have a fever or any pus or blood in the area. A sitz bath simply means taking a bath for 20 to 30 minutes to submerge your buttocks and hips in warm water. Vaginal dryness. Women who are breastfeeding are especially vulnerable to severe vaginal dryness after giving birth. Your doctor can provide you with an estrogen cream to ease the dryness.
Breastfeeding Pain Breastfeeding is usually not painful, says Calhoun. However, some women may experience pain, which can be remedied fairly easily:
Breastfeeding pain during feeding. You want your baby to open his mouth wide and take in not just the tip of your nipple, but all or most of the areola, the darker skin around the nipple. This sucking position is called the latch. A bad latch is a common cause of pain. Infants and new mothers often need to learn and practice a correct latch to help manage pain. A lactation consultant or maternity nurse may be able to help you. Engorgement. Breasts may be painful when your milk first comes in and at other times when they are very full. This is called being engorged. You can lessen the pain by relieving your breasts of milk, either through a feeding, using a breast pump, or hand expressing. A warm-water shower may also help. Bacterial infection. If one or both of your breasts are red, sore, and hot to the touch, you may have a bacterial infection called mastitis. See your doctor for a prescription antibiotic to manage this infection. You do not need to stop breastfeeding your baby if you have mastitis. Yeast infection. A painful, burning sensation in and around your nipples could be due to a yeast infection, Contact your doctor for help in treating a yeast infection and managing the pain.
Back and Shoulder Pain Back pain is common during pregnancy. You may find that you still have back pain after delivery, although for different reasons, including the strain of labor and delivery or using an awkward posture while holding or breastfeeding your baby.
Calhoun recommends changing your posture, taking warm baths, and building in lots of time for healing after delivering the baby. Headaches You may experience more frequent or more severe headaches after delivery. This can be due to changing hormones, stress, and sleeplessness. However, Calhoun adds that dehydration often plays a leading role in headaches.
“Most new mothers do not realize how dehydrated they are,” she says. Dehydration is especially likely if you are breastfeeding. Try to keep a full bottle of water close by to sip throughout the day. If drinking water doesn’t help ease a headache, it’s fine to take over-the-counter pain medications, but if they don’t work, you should contact your doctor.
Joint Pain You may also experience pain in joints throughout your body, including your hands, wrists, feet, and ankles. These pains may be due to the position you were in during delivery and recovery. Your joints may also still be affected by the chemical changes during pregnancy that caused them to loosen.
“All of the muscular and joint aches really do go away,” assures Calhoun. Applying warmth and taking an over-the-counter pain medication can help in the interim. Carpal tunnel syndrome, pain in your wrists due to compression of nerves as they travel through the wrist to the hand, can take longer to go away.
- Try wrist braces if carpal tunnel pain is a problem for you, but visit a doctor if the pain doesn’t resolve in a few months.
- Leg Pain Women who gave birth by C-section or had a long labor induction may have leg pain because of the large amount of fluids they were administered intravenously.
- The swelling will subside and the pain will ease as the fluids go down.
As you’re watching this happen, be alert for signs of blood clots, such as redness and tenderness to the touch, especially in the backs of the legs. These signs warrant an immediate call to your doctor.
Does breastfeeding hurt your joints?
Breastfeeding may worsen symptoms in genetically susceptible women – Although some mothers may experience a break in symptoms while breastfeeding, Olsen et al hypothesised there may be a connection between breastfeeding and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis related to higher prolactin levels since prolactin is said to be pro-inflammatory.11 Other researchers qualified this connection as being only in a small group of genetically susceptible women, particularly following a first pregnancy.12 13 Shimamoto queries the quality of these studies as the exclusivity of breastfeeding was not clearly defined.14
When do joints go back to normal after pregnancy?
When can I start exercising after pregnancy? – How quickly you return to exercise depends on:
how fit you were before you had your baby what happened during your labour
It’s best not to return to your previous level of physical activity until 4 to 6 months after the birth. After vaginal and caesarean births, avoid swimming until:
your bleeding has stopped you have healed completely
Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up with your doctor or obstetrician before:
going back to the gym starting a group exercise program
Can pregnancy cause knee problems?
Knee Pain and Pregnancy: A Guide for the Expectant Mother If you’re expecting a baby, you also deal with changes to your own body. Women often experience aches and pains during pregnancy. Many women also have weight gain, gait changes, and even differences with how they sit or rest.
- All of these changes can affect your knees.
- Nee pain is unfortunately common during pregnancy, but you can do some things to help relieve it or at least make it less severe.
- If you’re concerned about the impact pregnancy might have on your knees, follow this guide as you navigate the next few months.
Try to Make Exercise a Priority Some women can experience a decrease in physical activity during pregnancy. Some might feel sick during the first trimester, which affects their strength and their willingness to work out. Others might worry that working out too much might hurt the baby.
- Other experience too much discomfort to keep with their typical exercise routine.
- However, sedentary living is a contributor to knee pain during pregnancy.
- When the joint is not in use, it loses some strength and stability.
- Then when you do need to walk around, you experience greater pain.
- The reduced activity also contributes to greater weight gain in pregnancy, which drastically increases the pressure on the knees within a short period of time.
If you can’t stick with a normal workout, make a step goal to walk a certain distance each day. Try safe, low impact exercises like swimming or riding a stationary bike. Swimming is especially good for pregnancy knee pain because the water takes the weight off your joints, allowing you to exercise without stressing your knees.
- You might also try doing some stabilizing exercises like yoga and light weight lifting.
- Simple exercises like squats and lunges can strengthen your knees as long as you do them consistently.
- Remember to talk to your OBGYN about exercises that are safe for your current health.
- Invest in Good Footwear During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which helps your ligaments to soften.
This is important for increasing the flexibility of your joints and bones in the pelvic area during birth, but the hormone affects all the joints in your body, including your knees, ankles, and feet. As a result, you should not go through pregnancy wearing flat shoes or flip-flops.
Also, refrain from wearing high heels which alter your center of gravity and place a lot of strain on your knees and ankles. Instead, wear supportive shoes that help your feet to align well with your knees and hips. You might find you need to purchase new shoes during pregnancy because the relaxin causes the bones in your feet to spread, and for the feet to lengthen due to more relaxed ligaments.
Some women experience swelling which can also make wearing shoes uncomfortable. Do the best you can to find supportive shoes. Rest in the Right Position A simple way to relieve knee pain in pregnancy is to take the load off your knees by resting. If you are lying on your side, give your knees some support by placing a pillow in between your legs.
If you are sitting down, try to elevate your legs on a table or ottoman. Sitting with your knees bent for a long period of time can cause some irritation and restrict blood flow. Consider Some Extra Support Finally, you might see a knee specialist for a brace. Even with activity and healthy eating habits, weight gain — combined with gait changes and relaxed ligaments — can mean aches in the knees.
If you can’t walk without pain, your knee could use the extra support of a brace. For more information, contact us at Noyes Knee Institute. : Knee Pain and Pregnancy: A Guide for the Expectant Mother
How long does postpartum knee pain last?
Pregnancy affects the body in different ways that may result in joint pain after the baby is born. For example, fluid retention may cause carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain in the finger joints, while carrying a baby can put pressure on the knees.
- The exact cause of the pain could be due to hormonal changes and inflammation in the joints.
- Postpartum joint pain symptoms may initially occur during pregnancy or labor and last for several weeks to months after birth.
- This article discusses where postpartum joint pain might occur, possible causes, and how to treat it.
Some people may experience joint pain during pregnancy that worsens and continues into postpartum. Postpartum pain could be a result of hormonal changes and the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth. For example, hip pain is common during pregnancy and can last for weeks or months after pregnancy.
Can drinking too much milk cause knee pain?
02. Dairy – Dairy contains a high level of protein casein. This type of protein triggers inflammation and pain in the joints, and may even contribute to irritation around the joints. Some dairy products, such as butter, contain a high amount of saturated fat. This can also contribute to inflammation and joint pain. Soy milk and almond milk are some good substitutions for dairy products.
Why do my legs hurt so bad after giving birth?
Warning signs of health problems after birth When do you need medical care after giving birth? Your body goes through lots of changes after giving birth, and it needs time to heal. It’s normal to feel some, like being sore and really tired. But some women have complications after having a baby that can cause serious, life-threatening health problems.
If you’re worried about how you feel or you have pain or discomforts that don’t feel right, call your health care provider. If you think your life is in danger, call emergency services (911) or go to a hospital emergency room. All women need postpartum care after giving birth. Postpartum care is medical care for women who just had a baby.
Go to all of even if you’re feeling fine. These are medical checkups you get to make sure you’re recovering well from, They help your health care provider spot and treat health conditions you may have. Postpartum care is important because new moms are at risk of serious and sometimes, in the days and weeks after giving birth.
Too many new moms die from problems that could have been prevented. What are warning signs to look for after giving birth? In general, warning signs of serious health conditions include chest pain, trouble breathing, heavy bleeding and extreme pain. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, call your provider right away.
If you think your life is in danger, call emergency services (911) or go to the emergency room. Signs of a condition are things someone else can see or know about you, like you have a rash or you’re coughing. Symptoms are things you feel yourself that others can’t see, like having a sore throat or feeling dizzy.
Fever higher than 100.4 F. You get a fever when your body is trying to kill the virus or bacteria that caused an infection. Discharge, pain or redness that doesn’t go away or gets worse around a c-section incision (cut), episiotomy or perineal tear. A c-section (also called cesarean birth) is a surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus (womb). An episiotomy is a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help let the baby out during birth. A perineal tear is a tear in the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the rectum. Your perineum may tear naturally during vaginal birth. Pain or burning when you urinate (pee), pain in your lower back or side or needing to pee often. You may have a urinary tract infection (also called UTI), like a bladder infection called cystitis or a kidney infection called pyelonephritis. Red streaks on your breasts or lumps in your breast that are new and hurt. You may have a breast infection called mastitis. This can happen when you have a plugged duct, you miss or delay or your breasts become engorged (swollen and full of milk). Severe pain in your lower belly. You may have endometritis. This is inflammation (redness or swelling) in the lining of the uterus. Vaginal discharge that smells bad. You may have endometritis or an infection called (also called BV). BV happens when there’s too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina.
Sometimes the body has an extreme response to infection called sepsis. Sepsis can be life-threatening. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you have any of these signs or symptoms of sepsis after giving birth:
Chills or feeling very cold Clammy or sweaty skin Fast breathing Fast heart rate Feeling confused Fever Having extreme pain or discomfort
Signs and symptoms of other health conditions
Bleeding that’s heavier than your normal period or bleeding that gets worse over time. You may have (also called PPH). PPH is when a woman has heavy bleeding after giving birth. It’s a serious, but rare condition that can happen up to 12 weeks after having a baby. Pain, swelling, redness, warmth or tenderness in your legs, especially in your calves. You may have (also called DVT). This happens when a blood clot forms deep in the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh. Changes in vision, dizziness, severe headache, pain in the upper right belly or in the shoulder, trouble breathing, sudden weight gain or swelling in the legs, hands or face. You may have, This is a serious condition that happens when a woman has high blood pressure and signs that some of her organs, like her kidneys and liver, may not be working normally after giving birth. Chest pain, coughing or gasping for air. You may have a pulmonary embolism (also called PE). An embolism is a blood clot that moves from where it formed to another place in the body. When the clot moves to a lung, it’s PE. PE is an emergency. Feeling sad or hopeless for more than 10 days after giving birth. You may have (also called PPD), a kind of depression some women get after having a baby. PPD is strong feelings of sadness, anxiety (worry) and tiredness that last for a long time after giving birth. These feelings can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby. PPD is a medical condition that needs treatment to get better. Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up. You may have PPH or cardiovascular disease (also called heart disease). Heart disease includes conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. They often affect the heart muscle or involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Last reviewed: July, 2018 See also:,, : Warning signs of health problems after birth
Why do my legs hurt 4 months after giving birth?
7. Leg pain – After giving birth, you may be at a higher risk of blood clots, and not only from shedding the lining of your uterus, Dr. Zanotti states. “During pregnancy, your blood volume increases in order to care for the developing fetus,” she explains.
After giving birth, your blood may clot more easily, which can put you at a higher risk for developing blood clots in your veins, which can travel around your body and be very serious.” Your legs are one of the most common places for blood clots to develop during postpartum recovery. In part, that’s because late in pregnancy, you may have less blood circulation in your legs.
Signs of a blood clot in your leg, also called deep vein thrombosis, include leg pain, as well as redness, swelling or warmth in your legs. Contact your provider right away if you notice these symptoms.
Does postpartum arthritis go away?
How long does postpartum arthritis last? Postpartum arthritis can initially occur during pregnancy and last for several weeks to months after delivery. Postpartum arthritis can initially occur during pregnancy and last for several weeks to months after delivery.
Why do my bones feel weak breastfeeding?
High calcium demand during pregnancy and lactation make women more prone to bone resorption and subsequent osteoporosis. Although hormonal changes cause calcium loss and result in increased bone resorption, bone resorption may be reversed after delivery (13, 14).
Can prolonged breastfeeding cause bone pain?
Developing osteoporosis from pregnancy and breastfeeding – Pregnancy and lactation-associated osteoporosis is rare but can be severe. Generally, it shows up first as bad back pain, the result of multiple vertebral fractures. “We really don’t know how many women have (PLO),” said Columbia University endocrinologist Adi Cohen, MD,
- Osteoporosis affects an estimated 10 million adults over age 50 in the U.S., but it’s estimated that PLO affects fewer than 200,000 women a year.
- It’s so uncommon that many obstetricians never encounter a patient with PLO.” While rare, osteoporosis associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding is likely underdiagnosed,
This bone demineralization may become complicated with fractures. Many of the health issues, such as pelvic pain, can be viewed as a normal part of pregnancy so osteoporosis may be ruled out. Certain populations are at a greater risk for effects on bone health.
- Pregnant teenagers are at a higher risk for bone loss as they are still building much of their own total bone mass.
- Bone loss may also be prolonged depending on how long the breastfeeding period lasts.
- Research from South Korea has found that prolonged breastfeeding, defined as more than 37 months, is associated with low bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and a higher prevalence of osteoporosis.
The number of deliveries and the age at the time of childbirth did not influence bone mineral density. A study in Mexico published in The Journal of the North American Menopause Society showed similar results: breastfeeding for 24 to 36 months was significantly associated with osteoporosis.
What can I take for joint pain while breastfeeding?
Safety When Breastfeeding – Naproxen is considered safe for occasional or short-term use during breastfeeding. The transfer of the medication into breast milk is low. Since naproxen could potentially cause side effects in the baby, it should not be used more than occasionally and not longer than one week. If possible, ibuprofen is a better choice for pain relief while you’re breastfeeding.
Can pregnancy cause joint damage?
Here are few crucial reasons for the aches and remedies to help ease your gestational days. – ThinkStock Photos By Dr Aruna Kalra Pregnancy brings along many changes to a new mother’s body, including the constant joint pains. While some mothers are prone to develop arthritis after delivery of their baby, not all joint pains may lead to the same condition.
- These aches may be due to various factors of pregnancy like weight gain, change in posture and hormonal changes.
- Joint pain, stiff sensation, and aches in hips, elbows, knees, fingers and ankles are common in pregnant women.
- The initial aches are a sign that your body is preparing for childbirth.
- Women who are well nourished and workout regularly with orderly prenatal care are less likely to experience any complications during pregnancy.
Here are few crucial reasons for the aches and remedies to help ease your gestational days: ThinkStock Photos Weight Gain The pressure on your knees increases as the body starts gaining weight, further leading to knee aches. Ankles, knees and hips feel the added weight as the body grows during pregnancy. In order to ease the joint pains in this condition, hot and cold therapy is very helpful.
- You can either take a nice hot shower or place hot water bag/electric heating pads against your aching joints.
- Also wrapping an ice pack in a towel and placing it over your joints will do wonders.
- Relaxin Hormone The ovaries and placenta of pregnant ladies produces an important hormone called Relaxin.
This hormone helps prepare your pelvic muscles and tendons for pregnancy by stretching and relaxing them. However, these contractions may loosen the ligaments around the joints adding to the additional strain and further causing hip pain and sometimes lower back pain as well. ThinkStock Photos Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A syndrome when excessive fluid gain in your body due to pregnancy applies added pressure on your wrist, leading to pain and numbness in wrist and hand. A few home remedies suggested are application of an ice pack, resting your hands or using a wrist splint if the situation demands.
- Many patients find that moving or shaking and exercising their hands helps relieve the pain.
- Hypothyroidism The thyroid diseases – hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism – are relatively common in pregnancy.
- However, hypothyroidism is a condition when your thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormone which further lead to weight gain.
The added gain in weight applies excessive pressure and pain in the joints. The thyroid needs to be closely monitored by your doctor along with timely medication. Sciatica Some women undergo sciatica or hip pain during pregnancy because their expanded uterus due to the growing baby presses down on their sciatic nerve, ThinkStock Photos Coccyx Joint As the baby grows some women also experience a gradually increasing pain near the end of the spine. This is when the pressure of the developing and expanding foetus is applied towards your tailbone, causing acute pain. The pain is usually worsened with constipation, and during the terminal weeks when your abdomen region is at its peak.
Try a prescribed laxative for the constipation to ease the pain. Other remedies include sleeping on your side or supporting your belly with pillows to take some weight off. Also a maternity support belt may help alleviate back and abdominal soreness while standing as well. Keeping your body healthy with workout and a well-balanced diet can help reduce the degree of these pains during pregnancy.
If ever you feel the basic remedies are not helping, the next best thing to do is consult your doctor to prescribe you medications or medical tests. Agencies Dr Aruna Kalra, gynaecologist and obstetrics surgeon, CK Birla Hospital (Gurugram) (The author is a gynaecologist and obstetrics surgeon, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram)
How long does leg pain last after delivery?
Warning signs of postpartum health problems Your body goes through many changes after having a baby, so it needs time to recover. In the weeks after childbirth, you can expect to feel certain discomforts, like belly cramps or fatigue, that are a normal part of the healing process.
- But some women have postpartum complications that can cause serious, life-threatening health problems.
- If you ever experience pain or discomfort that doesn’t seem “normal,” call your doctor.
- If you think your life is in danger, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
- Why postpartum care is important All women need postpartum care after having a baby.
Even if you’re feeling fine, go to all your postpartum checkups so your doctor can make sure you’re recovering well from labor and delivery. New moms are at risk of serious and sometimes, life-threatening complications after childbirth, so it’s important to get checked out.
- Go to all your postpartum checkups.
- Take note of any warning signs or unusual symptoms.
- Call your doctor right away—or go to the emergency room
Know the warning signs Is it a normal part of healing or something else? When you’re busy taking care of a new baby, you might miss the warning signs. Pay attention to the signs below that indicate something could be wrong, as well as signs and symptoms that point to specific health conditions. Warning signs to look for after giving birth
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Heavy bleeding
- Extreme pain
Signs and symptoms of infection • Fever higher than 100.4 F. When you get a fever, it means your body is trying to kill the virus or bacteria that caused an infection. • Discharge, pain or redness around an incision site that doesn’t go away or gets worse.
This includes around a cesarean birth incision, episiotomy or perineal tear. Cesarean birth (also called a C-section) is a surgery in which your baby is born through a cut your doctor makes in your belly and uterus (womb). An episiotomy is a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help let the baby out during birth.
A perineal tear is a tear in the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the rectum. Your perineum may tear naturally during vaginal birth. • Pain/burning when you pee, increased urination or pain in your lower back or side. You may have a urinary tract infection (also called UTI), including a bladder infection (cystitis) or a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
- Red streaks or new, painful lumps in your breasts.
- You may have a breast infection called mastitis.
- This can happen when you have a plugged duct, you miss or delay breastfeeding or your breasts become engorged (swollen and full of milk).
- Severe pain in your lower belly.
- You may have endometritis.
- This is inflammation (redness or swelling) in the lining of the uterus.
• Vaginal discharge with an odor. You may have endometritis or an infection called bacterial vaginosis (also called BV). BV happens when there’s too much of a certain bacteria in the vagina. Signs and symptoms of sepsis Sometimes the body has an extreme response to infection (called sepsis).
- Chills or feeling very cold
- Clammy or sweaty skin
- Fast breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Feeling confused
- Having extreme pain or discomfort
Signs and symptoms of other health conditions Treatment depends on how severe your preeclampsia is and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Most women with mild preeclampsia after 37 weeks of pregnancy don’t have serious health problems. If you have mild preeclampsia before 37 weeks, you need treatment to make sure it doesn’t get worse.
- Bleeding that’s heavier than a normal period or bleeding that gets worse over time.
- You may have postpartum hemorrhage (also called PPH).
- PPH is when a woman has heavy bleeding after giving birth.
- It’s a serious, but rare condition that can happen up to 12 weeks after having a baby.
- Pain, swelling, redness, warmth or tenderness in your legs, especially your calves.
You may have deep vein thrombosis (also called DVT). This happens when a blood clot forms deep in the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh. • Vision changes, severe headache, pain in the upper right belly or shoulder, trouble breathing, sudden weight gain or swelling in the legs, hands or face.
- You may have postpartum preeclampsia.
- This is a serious condition that can develop in women after giving birth.
- It is marked by high blood pressure and signs that some organs—like the kidneys and liver—may not be working normally.
- Chest pain, coughing or gasping for air.
- You may have a pulmonary embolism (also called PE).
This is when a blood clot moves from where it originally formed to a lung. PE is an emergency that needs immediate attention. • Feeling sad or hopeless for more than 10 days after giving birth. You may have postpartum depression (also called PPD), which is a form of depression that can develop after having a baby.
- PPD is marked by strong feelings of sadness, anxiety (worry), fatigue and harmful thoughts.
- PPD can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby.
- PPD needs treatment to get better, so talk to your doctor right away.
- Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up.
- You may have PPH or cardiovascular disease (also called heart disease).
Heart disease includes conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. They often affect the heart muscle or involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you think your life is in danger, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Is leg pain normal after delivery?
Background/Purpose – Musculoskeletal pain is often reported by women in their prenatal and postnatal periods, with the most common complaint being low back or pelvic pain.1 Several investigators have stated a low back pain incidence of 70–77% during the prenatal period, 1 – 3 and 40–45% in the postpartum period.1, 4, 5 Other musculoskeletal sites of pain include the upper and lower extremities with conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and various painful hip conditions.3, 6 Non-specific lower leg pain is another common symptom reported by many women during their pregnancy; Vullo et al.7 cited an incidence of leg and foot pain of 50% in the prenatal period.
- Non-specific calf pain is the presence of pain in the calf without a specific medical diagnosis.
- Specific calf pain would include conditions such as varicose veins, which do affect 40% of pregnant women.8 Despite the prevalence of non-specific lower leg pain in women during their prenatal period, there are no known prevalence numbers of non-specific lower leg pain in the postnatal period.
The most debilitating and common musculoskeletal problem in the postnatal period is back and sacroiliac joint pain.5 To our knowledge, there are no studies that have investigated the aetiology of postnatal non-specific lower leg pain. As investigators we can speculate as to the contributing factors for the lack of research in the prevalence and aetiology of postnatal non-specific lower leg pain.
- Therefore, it could be speculated that postnatal non-specific lower leg pain is not common since no prevalence numbers are available.
- Another consideration and perhaps the most likely reason is that much of the lower extremity pain is self-limiting with symptom resolution typically seen 4 months after delivery.7 Additionally, the hypothesized three primary causes for prenatal calf pain are hormonal, edema, or biomechanical causes, 7, 8 all of which should normalize after delivery.
However, anecdotally there are some women who continue to have leg pain in the postnatal period. For those women who do not gain resolution of their symptoms to our knowledge, there are no specific treatments described in the literature. There is an array of interventions available for physical therapists to utilize when treating non-specific chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction.
- These interventions include soft tissue mobilization/massage, 9 therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound 10 or transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, 11 and therapeutic exercise.12, 13 The evidence supporting one intervention as being superior over another is unclear.
- The intervention to be described in this case study is a manual therapy treatment approach that combines instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (ISTM) with therapeutic exercise to address soft tissue dysfunction.
According to manufacturers, ISTM-utilized instruments that are uniquely shaped enable a precise application of force and specific detection with localization of soft tissue lesions during treatment; the different instruments also allow a user to apply different strokes and depths of treatment.14 ISTM is based upon the concepts of cross-fibre massage (CFM).
CFM is a manual technique specifically applying forces directed transverse to the direction of the underlying collagen substructure in order to induce physiological and/or structural tissue changes.15 CFM is different from typical manual techniques since there is little motion between the therapist’s contact and the patient’s skin; instead motion occurs between the subcutaneous tissues over the deeper connective tissue.
The practice of CFM with rigid instruments is a type of ISTM. Preliminary results in animal models and clinical studies indicate that ISTM may be beneficial in promoting soft tissue remodelling and healing.16 – 21 There are no clinical reports to date on the use of ISTM with postnatal calf pain.
What are normal pains after birth?
Path to improved health – It took the better part of a year to grow and have a baby. Take comfort in knowing that, for the most part, you will begin to feel like yourself much sooner than that. In a few months, you should be well on your way to recovery.
That is not to say that postpartum recovery won’t have its challenges. It is very common to feel as though your body is not healing as quickly as you’d like. Remember, the more you can rest your body and let it fully recover, the better you’ll be for it. Even if you can only manage to eat, sleep, and care for your baby, that is enough.
During the first six weeks, pay attention to your body. You’ll be tired and focused on your baby but try to notice changes with your own body. This is very important as you heal. As you begin to feel better, resist the temptation to do more. Overdoing things at this point can set you back in your recovery.
Concentrate on nourishing your body with good foods, drinking plenty of water (especially if you are breastfeeding), and getting enough rest. If you’ve had a C-section, you’ll have more restrictions about what you can do in the days and weeks following childbirth. Common don’ts include driving and lifting anything heavier than your baby.
Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activities. Here is more of what you can expect during your postpartum recovery. Abdominal pain. As your uterus shrinks back into its normal size and shape, you will feel pain in your abdomen (lower belly).
- These pains are called “afterpains.” Most of these pains will be dull, but some will be sharp.
- You may feel more of these pains as you breastfeed your baby.
- That is because breastfeeding stimulates a chemical in your body that causes the uterus to contract (tighten).
- For many women, applying heat to the area helps control the pain.
Consider using a heating pad or hot water bottle. Your abdominal pain should ease up over time. If these pains get worse or don’t let up, you should call your doctor. Baby blues. You are so excited and happy to bring baby home. The next minute, though, you are sad.
- It can be confusing, especially to new moms.
- Now that many women (70-80%) struggle with feeling sad the first few weeks after having a baby.
- It is commonly called the “baby blues” and is caused by hormone changes.
- It is nothing to be ashamed of.
- In fact, confiding in a friend of family member can often make you feel better.
If these feelings last more than a few weeks or you are not able to function because of them, you could have postpartum depression, Postpartum depression is more serious than baby blues. If you have severe feelings of sadness or hopelessness or you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, you should call your doctor immediately.
Constipation. It is very common to be constipated in the days following childbirth. There are several things that could cause this. If you received any pain-relieving drugs in the hospital, they could slow down your bowels. If you had anesthesia (a pain blocker) for any reason, that also can cause it. Sometimes, postpartum constipation is brought on simply by fear.
This is true especially if you have stitches because you had an episiotomy (a surgical cut between the vagina and anus to widen the vaginal opening for childbirth) or tore this area during delivery. You may be afraid of damaging the stitches or be afraid that a bowel movement will cause even more pain in that area.
To help ease constipation, drink plenty of water and try to eat foods that offer a lot of fiber. In many cases, you may want to talk to your doctor about prescribing a stool softener (such as Colace or Docusoft). If you haven’t had a bowel movement by four days postpartum, call your doctor. Hemorrhoids.
You may have developed hemorrhoids (painful swelling of a vein in the rectum) during your pregnancy. If not, you may have gotten them from the strain and pushing during delivery. They can cause pain and bleed after a bowel movement. They also itch. You can get some relief from the pain and itching by applying witch hazel to your hemorrhoids.
- This is especially effective if you keep the witch hazel in the refrigerator.
- Your hemorrhoids should shrink over time.
- If not, contact your doctor.
- Hormonal shifts.
- Besides fueling your mood swings (see “Baby blues,” above), hormones are also responsible for other postpartum symptoms.
- You may be sweating more, especially at night when you sleep.
Just make sure that your sweating is not accompanied by a fever. That could be a sign of infection. Hormonal changes also cause hair loss for many new moms. This is only temporary. When your estrogen levels increase, your hair will return to its normal thickness.
- Perineum soreness.
- The perineum is the area between your vagina and anus.
- Many times, this area will tear during childbirth.
- Other times, your doctor may have to make a small cut in this area to widen your vagina for childbirth.
- Even if neither of these things happened during your vaginal birth, your perineum will be sore and possibly swollen postpartum.
You may feel discomfort in this area for several weeks. While you recover, sitting on an icepack several times a day for 10 minutes will help relieve the pain. This is especially good to do after going to the bathroom. During the first week postpartum, also use a squirt bottle to rinse the perineum with warm water after using the toilet.
Notify your doctor if your perineum area does not get less sore each day or you have any sign of infection. Sore nipples and breasts. The first few days of breastfeeding, it is normal for women to have sore nipples and breasts. If the soreness continues beyond a few days, it could be that the baby isn’t latching correctly.
Try changing positions or consult a lactation expert (breastfeeding expert) for help. Do this before your nipples develop painful cracks, which could sideline your breastfeeding. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for the first 6 months of life.
- Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year.
- However, not all women are able to breastfeed for a number of reasons and using formula is fine in those instances.
- Stitches or staples.
- If you have stitches due to a torn or cut perineum (see “Perineum soreness,” above), it will take 7-10 days to heal.
The stitches will absorb over time. It is important that you keep the stitches from getting infected by gently cleaning them with warm water after each time you use the toilet. Do this by using a squirt bottle to rinse the area and pat it dry. Do not wipe the area with toilet paper or you could irritate the stitched area.
No matter how eager you are to check the healing progress, try to keep your hands off the stitches. If the area begins to hurt worse or the stitches seem weepy, contact your doctor. It could be a sign of infection. If you have stitches from a cesarean birth (C-section), these heal in varying degrees. The stitches in the skin should heal in 5-10 days.
The underlying stitches in your muscle layer will take longer to heal. These won’t completely heal for 12 weeks. For the stitches that you can see, make sure to watch for any signs of infection. These signs include if the incision area is red, swollen, or weeping pus; or if you have a fever.
- You may have staples on the skin instead of stitches.
- These can be removed anywhere from a few days to a week after delivery.
- Vaginal bleeding and discharge.
- After giving birth it is common that you will have vaginal bleeding and discharge (this is called lochia), even if you had a C-section.
- This is your body’s way of eliminating the extra blood and tissue that was used to grow and nourish your baby.
Expect for this to be heavier at first (up to 10 days), but then taper off. Light bleeding and spotting can last up to six weeks after delivery. It is important that you use only sanitary pads during this time. Using tampons can introduce bacteria and lead to infection.
- Also expect to pass some clots, especially the first week.
- If clots are bigger than a quarter, you should contact your doctor.
- Water retention.
- You may be eager for that swelling you noticed during your pregnancy to go away.
- It won’t, though, for a while longer.
- Also known as postpartum edema (swelling), your body will continue to hold on to water because of an increase in a hormone called progesterone.
You may notice the swelling in your hands, legs, and feet. It shouldn’t last much longer than a week after delivery. If it does or if it seems to get worse over time, tell your doctor. Weight loss. If you were hoping for immediate weight loss after your baby was born, you were probably very disappointed.
- No mother is that lucky, no matter what you read in the tabloids.
- You can expect to lose about 6-12 pounds (depending on the size of your baby) during the birth.
- After that, your weight loss will slow considerably.
- Depending on how much weight you gained during pregnancy (the average is 25-35 pounds), it may take several months to lose the baby weight.
For many women, breastfeeding seems to help promote weight loss. Other moms don’t see weight loss associated with breastfeeding. Try to keep your nutrition consistent while you are breastfeeding and do not get frustrated if it takes longer than you’d hoped to lose the weight.