Original article here: Romper.com
Article by Cat Bowen
[ Breastfeeding seems to have a surprise around every corner. One morning, you could wake up in a puddle of pink milk and freak out terribly, calling your OB-GYN in a panic to realize it's just from cracked nipples. (It looked terrifying, trust me. I love millennial pink as much as the next gal, but it's not the ideal milk color.) The next day you might notice your let-down is like a fire hose. Stuff happens. You'd think weaning would solve this, but no. Suddenly, your back is super achey. It turns out that back pain while weaning can happen, and here's why.
Back pain from weaning can also be related to estrogen. During breastfeeding, your body produces less estrogen than during pregnancy or the normal course of your cycle, according to The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. That means that as you wean, the levels of estrogen in your body rise. Neel Anand M.D., a spinal surgeon in Los Angeles, wrote in EmpowHer, "The sea of hormones in the human body requires a delicate balance to operate at optimal therapeutic levels. In looking at estrogen, we can conclude that a surplus can put women at risk for developing spine pain."
Brown agrees that hormones play a key factor and also notes the power of another hormone produced by pregnancy and breastfeeding. She says, "In more western terms, the relaxin hormone (which relaxes all the ligaments in the body) has flooded a woman’s body during pregnancy and stays around during breastfeeding." It's also the hormone known to cause hip and joint laxity during pregnancy, according to The Scandinavian Journal of Medical Science and Sports.Brown continues, "As breastfeeding lessens during the weaning phase, the amount of relaxin declines and now the aches and pains that weren’t noticed before become much more pronounced."
There's a lot going on, and thankfully, now that you've weaned your baby, you can totally enjoy a guilt-free glass of pinot when you're feeling particularly stressed. You can also get a massage or acupuncture without spraying the table. But if the back pain is really getting to you, call your provider and see what can be done to help. ]