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Is this normal or an example of women's issues after childbirth being dismissed?

(6 Posts)
NCKitten Tue 08-Jan-19 16:24:19

I had a planned caesarean as our baby was breech. I recovered well initially (baby is 16 weeks now), but for the past 6 weeks or so my scar has been aching. It's not serious pain, but I do get about a lot less in the hope that rest will help (so far what I do or don't do doesn't seem to make much of a difference). In addition, I started doing some light exercise, which has made my pelvic pain return.

When I went to the GP I was told the pain. my scar is due to nerve damage and "there is absolutely nothing you can do about that". He examined my scar as I also get general achiness there and told me to take ibuprofen "but not if you're breastfeeding" - I have had to switch to bottle-feeding on medical advice but I'm also still expressing so I'm not quite sure what I'm meant to doconfused. With regard to the pelvic pain, I was told not to exercise if that makes it worse (I'm very overweight and this advice will not help me lose weight).

Are my issues normal? Would you say the GP dealt with them appropriately? I felt rather fobbed off. I'm going back to work in 9 weeks and will be on my feet a lot. I really need this sorted before then! I've had major abdominal surgery before and was off backpacking six weeks later, with only occasional twinges.

OP’s posts: |
namechangedforanon Wed 09-Jan-19 16:31:01

Personally I would look at going to a physio that specialises in post birth recovery if you can afford to it

Flyingfox2 Wed 09-Jan-19 18:25:00

Hi @NCKitten,
I thought it would be too earlier to put your pain down to nerve damage. It thought nerves had best change of recovery during the first SIX months.

Personally I would ask to be referred to a women's health physiotherapist. There are a number of things that can be done before calling it a day. Number one, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (and/or relax them as this can cause pain and some women have hypertonic pelvic floor muscles and need specialist input to learn to fully relax them). Number two, strengthening your core with clinical pilates and targeted exercises. Number three, scar tissue can be improved with massaging techniques.

Yes, caesarean can lead to nerve damage and yes, more women than it's admitted suffer from long-term pain after the operation but it's still early. I really believe there are things to try other than just using Ibuprofen (which is really bad for your stomach when used too regularly).

Go back or see another GP at the surgery and ask to see a physiotherapist. When all the physio is exhausted (and treatment takes months at a time) and if you are still in unbearable pain, a pain clinic will be what you need.

All the best 💐

Nat6999 Wed 09-Jan-19 18:36:44

I had my CS 15 years ago, I still get pain in my scar when it is cold, I can practically forecast the weather with it. Too many doctors play down the problems that childbirth causes & expect women to put up & shut up. I mentioned to my GP a few months of having my DS that I was having problems mentally dealing with the awful birth I had & got told "that is in the past, forget about it, be glad you have a healthy baby" I wasn't offered birth reflections or counselling, it took me getting private counselling to be able to talk about what happened to me & how it was affecting me. Nobody before including family would allow me to talk about it, I couldn't process my memories & nobody told me it wasn't my fault.

NCKitten Fri 11-Jan-19 16:38:36

Thank you for being so supportive! I was a bit worried I'd be told it's too early (or even that this is not what people mean when they say women's concerns after childbirth are dismissed!)

As it happens I saw a female GP today (before reading these replies). She examined my scar and said it looked alright, but reassured me that it's fine to take ibuprofen whilst breastfeeding. When I mentioned I'd had a pelvic ultrasound 12 days postpartum due to extreme pain in what I thought was my bladder, which had found collections of blood in two places, and that I was having SPD like pains, she decided to do an internal exam. I screamed, it was that painfulsad She's referred me for another ultrasound to check everything looks OK internally. If this doesn't find any issues I will go back and ask for physio (although the antenatal physio class I did was rubbish). Not entirely sure why the internal exam was necessary, but everything is much more sore, so I do think something isn't quite right. I think the GP I saw last time just doesn't like postnatal issues, he was pretty unsympathetic when I was having feeding issues.

@Nat6999 I am so sorry to hear of your experience. I hope you can now accept that it was not your fault, it really wasn't. My hospital says there's no time limit for getting a birth debrief, would that be an idea for you?

OP’s posts: |
KirstieandPhil Fri 11-Jan-19 16:43:30

I'm surprised your GP said no to ibuprofen when breastfeeding. The NHS say its generally OK and I gave birth two weeks ago and they gave me paracetamol and ibuprofen every 6 hours.

www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/medicines/can-i-take-ibuprofen-while-i-am-breastfeeding/

Sorry, I can't help re c-sec pain but it may be worth seeing another GP.

I also had pelvic girdle pain and still suffering a bit when I take the pram out. I became so unfit during the pregnancy I think it will take quite a while to regain the strength between my abs and ankles.

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