After the Baby comes: post-partum Back Pain, Headache, and Depression

Child birth is a natural and blessed experience, but it can be accompanied by unwanted problems afterward. These problems include back pain, headaches, and depression.
Back pain during pregnancy is common. No less than 1/3 of all pregnant women suffer with it, especially in the third trimester. During pregnancy, it is managed with Osteopathic Manipulation and exercises. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go away after the baby is born. The good news is that it usually responds well to a few treatments with Osteopathic Manipulation. Remarkably, I have seen several patients who had back pain for 20 years after delivery, and received complete relief with just 6 or 7 treatments!
Headaches after delivery are also common. This often has to do with the connection of spinal membranes from the tailbone to the base of the skull. Again, these post-partum headaches usually respond to Osteopathic Manipulation. If they don’t respond rapidly, we add acupuncture.
Because pregnancy and delivery are so hard on the back, and the resulting back pain and headaches can be long lasting, I like to see my patients 10-14 days after delivery for a restorative and preventative treatment.
Another common problem after delivery is depression. This is not to be confused with “Baby Blues”, which is a brief time of emotional volatility, related to hormones returning to normal levels. Baby Blues usually lasts no more than 2 weeks.
True Post-Partum Depression most often occurs 3 to 10 months after delivery. The associated symptoms meet the criteria for major depression. Symptoms of major depression include sadness, tearfulness, a sense of hopelessness, angry outbursts, loss of interest in normal activities, sleep disturbance, changes in appetite, and lack of energy.
While depression can require medication, there is much that can be done naturally to help. This includes:
• Osteopathic Manipulation
• Acupuncture
• Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and caffeine
• Eating organic foods and avoiding processed foods
• Minimizing or avoiding electronic media, especially for an hour before bedtime
If you suffer with back pain, headaches, or depression which began after giving birth, or know someone who does, we can help!

About the Author

Dr. Teitelbaum practices Osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. For over 25 years, he has provided conservative, natural treatment for sports injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, posture problems, overuse injuries, and joint pain. Commonly treated conditions include muscle, tendon and ligament damage of the neck, low back, tailbone, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.