Be aware: postnatal pain is not always what it seems

So you’ve given birth. ‘Well thank god that’s over!’, most of us will think.
But what if the pain doesn’t go away? In fact, you’re in agony for days after your labour and can’t pinpoint what’s wrong with you.

Meet Sarah, who after giving birth to her first daughter just wasn’t able to sit down as it hurt too much. Breastfeeding was hell. Sarah had to move herself into awkward positions in order to breastfeed. She would lie down on her side, but needed her husband’s help to bring the baby to her. Or she would stand and walk around for hours whilst feeding her baby, desperate to sit down but just couldn’t.

Sarah couldn’t get her head around what had happened to her. She’d had a seemingly straightforward labour and is a very fit and healthy woman. She felt like her body had failed her and agonised over not coping with the aftermath of labour as well as she thought she would.

She and everyone in her surroundings, including the health professionals, presumed that her pain was due to a second degree tear she’d been operated on after giving birth. When she was still in agony over a week after giving birth, she saw a physiotherapist. The physio pretty much took one look at her and told her what was wrong. It had nothing to do with the postnatal healing process. Sarah had a condition called coccydynia; her coccyx had been broken or bruised during child birth. Despite her continued pain after being diagnosed, she was so relieved the find out what was wrong.

Sarah talked to me about her awful ordeal and her road to recovery for the health website NetDoctor. What an amazing person Sarah is! Despite her pain, she never gave up doing what was best for her baby, as she persisted with breastfeeding although it was a huge struggle.

Please have a read of Sarah’s full story here. 

Laetitia Tempelman

I am a freelance journalist whose specialist area is women and their extraordinary lives and achievements. Additionally I am a PR manager for a Bristol-based creative media agency. I’ve held several Journalism and PR roles at Reuters, Future Publishing, Gartner and currently at Publicity Matters. Originally from the Netherlands, I studied English Language and Literature at the University of Plymouth (BA Hons). I subsequently finished a Masters in European Journalism at Cardiff University.

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