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Post-Partum Joint Pain

Any urbanMamas empathize with Amy and her post-partum joints?

I haven't been able to find anything helpful on the internet about this, so I'm hoping some of you urbanMamas can help me. My daughter was born five months ago, and I am *still* having joint pain. I know everything loosens up during pregnancy and it takes awhile to spring back - but this long? It's actuall worse and more total-body than it was while pregnant. Knees, ankle, elbows, you name it - even my finger joints feel strangely loose and sore, as if they've been hyperextended. This is becoming harder to deal with as Baby gains weight, and I'm squatting down, lifting her, etc. Any suggestions for simple exercises, vitamins/supplements, nutrition? And most of all (because I'm a "why" person) - specifically why do I still feel like this 5 months later? My mom has rheumatoid arthritis - should I be worried that it's something more than a post-partum thing? I plan on talking to my doc about it, but mama-wisdom would be helpful too.


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I don't know about all over pain, but I did learn a lot about wrist pain, which apparently is very common among new moms. It's called DeQuervan's Tenosinivitis and it comes from repetative motions of the wrist, such as cradling and carrying. I thought I was totally alone until I was at a new mom's group at PPMC and mentioned it to the leader and almost everyone there said they had the same problem! Why don't they tell you these things can happen prenatally, before you feel like something is wrong with you!? The only thing that works for my pain is a cortisone shot and 24 hours of non-use (easier said than done!). I would suggest a trip to your healthcare provider to make sure you don't have anything systemic, or a hormonal thing, since it seems to be affecting you all over. I think we all can feel your pain (literally!).

I had pain in my joints, especially hips, for about 9 months after both of my kids. It eventually went away without any intervention on my part. It was similar to the uncomfortable feelings with pregnancy.

I still have horrible pain in my feet/ankles, especially in the morning...I had my son 18 months ago! I had terrible swelling when I was pregnant. It's so bad that I went to a neurologist because my doctor thought I might have nerve compression damage. I have a physical therapist who can help it with some back cracking but it's only a short term fix. She has suggested that I see a orthopedic specialist for feet. I feel for you - I have worried about arthritis as well. I'll let you know if I have any luck.

I have joint pain that comes and goes with stress. I can't say it was a huge part of my post-partum struggles, but I can say I didn't REALLY start feeling like myself physically until almost a year after giving birth. So five months is really not so long in terms of postpartum recovery.

Even with a five month old, you're probably not sleeping as much as you need, and probably have new stresses and anxieties to cope with. Just a thought as to the "why". My pain definitely serves as notice that something else is bothering me.

Definitely have your doctor rule out rheumatoid arthritis or anything else he or she thinks might be a possibility. Also ask about exercise at the same time, because: I find my joints are better when my muscles are stronger. I don't want to sound like I'm advising you to push through pain, but exercising more intensely makes the most difference for me. (NOT that I felt like it at only 5 months postpartum!!)

Good luck!

I experienced pain in my hip and pelvic area post-delivery for about 7 or 8 months. It wasn't a daily thing, but was uncomfortable. It eventually went away on its own.

I had pretty bad joint pain in my hips, knees, and fingers. I am just now feeling better and I am at 8 months out. Around 7 months is when I started lifting weights again, and I feel like that helped.

I had joint pain while pregnant, which I saw a physical therapist for. It really helped. The physical therapist told me that some women have joint pain well after they give birth, and PT can help with that as well (it's basically the same thing, I think -- hormonal) I would get a referal to see a PT; the massage alone is worth it!

Thanks, all ... I feel so much better just knowing I'm not the only one with lingering discomforts. It's good to be reassured that the effects of pregnancy really can linger for awhile. Since I submitted this question, I started drinking more water, and that has helped somewhat. Any other thoughts out there are appreciated!

My midwife told me during my second pregnancy that the hormone that relaxes all of your joints and ligaments continues to be produced, to a lesser degree, while you are nursing. This could be part of the reason why you are still feeling the effects. I was curious why I had been experiencing so much pain in my hips so much sooner the second time around and she told me that it was normal, considering I was still nursing my son when I got pregnant.

After the birth of my daughter, my thumb and ankle joints seized. The doctor did a simple blood test to see if I had the marker for ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis. Pregnancy hormones can "activate" dormant conditions.

I experienced the same joint pain as you described with the birth of my first daughter- now 2.5. I am a very active individual and returned to my pre- pregnant exercise routine after 6 weeks postpartum. At five months, my joints rebelled and I started straining various muscles. I visited a PT and began a stretching and strengthening routine to undue some of the pregnancy damage, plus baby holding overuse. I learned that breast feeding triggers the same hormone release that causes loose joints as pregnancy does. However, since I wasn't pregnant, I could rock climb, run, and weight lift. I then gave up all impact sports such as those listed above and along with the PT's exercises returned to swimming, the elliptical machine, yoga, etc. The main problems with a postpartum body includes weak backs and abs, tight hip flexors, overuse of the wrist and arm muscles, etc. It is important to both strengthen and stretch the body where you are weak. If you can see a PT, I would highly recommend it. I am now 6 months postpartum from my second daughter and am physically feeling much, much better than I was from my first daughter. I attribute the difference from a low impact exercise routine, plus a series of strengthening exercises at the gym: reserve wrist curls, shoulder shrugs, and back excersies.

Good luck!

I see this situation all the time in my practice. Usually it's worse in the the women who don't stop to rest after the baby is born. Women who don't keep up their prenatals and prenatal exercises, who don't nap when the baby naps and don't eat well for the first 6 months post partum are the ones I see crashing and burning. But, with a little care, they bounce back very quickly with natural medicine (the napping helps a lot!)
It's a combination of nutrition (specific supplements to help your bone and soft tissue strengthen), exercise and non force spinal and extra-spinal adjustments that affords long term relief and sometimes cure. Ligaments and muscle become lax and do not hold the bones in place, so to speak. It sounds like there is also an inflammatory process going on in your joints/(body) so you will want to address that as well to get that under control. Rule out RA or other arthropathies with your doc. Extended inflammation causes damage to the joints and bone itself.
Try Activator Technique, gentle NON-force adjustments,(www.activator.com)-to find a certified activator doctor and Egoscue (www.egoscue.com) for a free menu of strengthing exercises. For advice on supplements, naturopaths and chiropractors are your best bet. They have studied this for a thousand more hours than M.D.'s are required. And yes, rule out other arthropathies. But, bear in mind that all of the arthropathies can be and are treated quite successfully with natural medicine.

I had the same thing after my second was born. She's now 8 months old and I'm just now able to get back to good, hard exercise without my hips being super sore. My massage therapist told me that if you still have the linea negra on your belly, you've still got the relaxin hormone in your system. Mine is just now starting to fade.

Glucosamine/chondroiton might help, as it did for me (along with tedious quantities of yoga). If you go the gluco route, don't buy it from Trader Joe's--Consumer Reports recently said their blend had drastically less of the substance than labeled. They said Target was one of the better cheaper sources of it.

I had the same thing too for months after my daughter was born. What really worked for me was regular massage therapy. I know it can be a bit pricy but it was so worth it. I don't know if you have an LMT who has experience with the post-partum body. I went to Dara Heath her #'s 503. 310.5445.
I hope you feel better soon.

My joints stop hurting when I take my prenatal vitamins - make sure yours are good!

I was in awful pain after baby #2--and was fixed up after some time with my acupuncturist & her coworker chiropractor. Mykell Vincent is her name & she's at ELEMENTS Wellness Center on SE 82nd Dr in Clackamas.

Amy, thanks for asking this. I've been in similar pain and have been similarly frustrated by efforts I've made to address the pain. Sounds like there are a lot of options still to be tried.

i experienced this for a long time - as was stated before, nursing still releases some of those relaxin hormones. rolfing helped me, immensely. my hips were the most affected. massage didn't seem to help, but rolfing was just the magic.

i got it really bad in my hands...they ached and burned at the end of the day, i'd just hold them in my lap they hurt so bad. i thought for sure the hormones triggered arthritis, if that's even possible, but there was no other explanation for the pain. i took glucosamine/chondroitin and they were 100% better in a couple months.
definitely check the bottle, there are so many different dosages out there. some say take it 2-3 times a day, there's double and triple strength...such a game figuring all that out.

If it's your hips, it might be your soaz muscles. There are some stretches you can do that will help. Mine are super tight and make my hips really sore still (5 months), but after a good stretch, it's better.

I too had this problem. At one point after my second was born I stood up and my hip/leg joint had seemingly slipped out. I couldn't walk. Of course I was out alone with the baby at a cafe but at least I didn’t have the toddler with me! I had to sit back down, try to relax and manually adjust/massage it back into place. After that I started with regular chiropractic visits and calcium. It really helped. Good luck!

I'm so glad to see this post! My daughter is 6 months old and I have been becoming increasingly concerned by my continued joint pain. I was starting to worry that I had developed arthritis or M.S. or something because I don't know anyone else who's had joint pain for such a long time after the baby's birth. I wondered if it's from being overweight, 40 years old, and having my third child.

I have a few questions for the posters:

1. Do you really think the various treatments (PT, chiropractors, glucosamine, vitamins, etc) made the difference, or do you think it just finally cleared up on its own and after hormone levels returned to normal?

2. Were you breastfeeding during the extended joint pain time, and did the symptoms clear up just because you quit breastfeeding?

Thanks for you thoughts!

I was so glad to stumble on this post....My son is three months old now, and I have had continued pain in my knees and my hips, and in one of my wrists. I was also getting concerned, until a friend of mine suggested that it might still be the hormone Relaxin from pregnancy....(loosening the joints.) I am breastfeeding full time. I am relieved to see that I am not the only one, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel...

Hi ladies,
Me too. I am 6 months post partum with #2 and still nursing. I have also had hip aches/stiffness. I have gone to a chiropractor repeatedly. I gave up the bjorn (and all other carriers) and that helped immensely. I also had hip ligamanet pain with my first (very heavy child) I ended up getting a steroid shot in the ligaments to reduce the inflamation and make walking tolerable. My advice is to try massage and chiropractor together and if you are really have sharp pain, see your doctor and find out if something is really out of whack mechanically (they xrayed me to see if the hips were displaced)....
Hang in there and keep nursing!

So glad I found this post. I am having similar issues. My son is now 8 weeks old and about 1 week ago, I started to have terrible pain in my knees. I have a very hard time walking down the stairs and squatting to pick up things off the ground, etc. I am very concerned this is RA, so I am going to get it ruled out. I had to stop breastfeeding my son after 4 weeks due to recurrent mastitis (4 infections in 4 weeks). I have not yet gotten my period, but expect it anytime. I hope that your symptoms have subsided!

I too have this problem. Mostly in my fingers, wrists, knees, ankles and feet. I get the pain usually 2 weeks after birth and it suddenely goes away as soon as i would get pregnant. Now my youngest is 15 months and not breast feeding since he was 8 months I am still in a lot of pain. mostly in the mornings and as i get active it subsides somewhat. I have tried everything and have been tested for everything. Most recently i tested positive for high IGG which may be an early indicator for RA. I am going to see a rummie for the second time and hopefully he or she will have a difinitive answer. my father suffers misserably from RA and I am a bit nervous. I have been reading that after pregnancv hormones can trigger RA. I just take excederine and ibuprofen as anti-inflmatories for now but have tried chiropractors, vitamins and every supplement known to exsist. Good luck to everyone with these issues and keep posting. Has anyone tried systemic enzymes? look at www.naturally.com good luck

Hi. I am really glad to find this post. I had my son 16 months ago and I still have lots of joint pain. It is particularly bad in my feet in the mornings, but really all of my joints hurt most of the time. I am not overweight and I exercise every day. I am still nursing though and maybe that is why I am still having pain. I really want to nurse for two years but this may be the thing that makes me stop. I think I will talk to my doctor about it.
Thanks for your stories - at least I know it is not in my head! Rachael

I have a totally different complaint since I had my son 9 mos ago. I have had unexplained numbness and tingling , heaviness in my arms and legs.I can almost feel the blood flowing through my arms.When kneel down for even a very short time , my legs can;t take it. i step out of bed in the middle of the night or in the morning and the bottoms of my feet kill.My diet is kind of crazy, I went back to work way too soon, I do get a great night sleep though.i am also pretty stressed with a 2 1/2 year old , working and regular everyday chores in our home.i have been told this is caused from stress, since my MRI , EMG and blood work came back normal. I wish someone would give me some feedback as to what they think?

Kim, I have the tingling too and it SUCKS. I have no idea why and would like to know too. I'm sorry I can't help other than to offer that you're not alone in this.

My twins are now 14 1/2 months old and I still have a lot of pain in the body -- particularly the right leg/hip has been causing me a lot of pain since I accidentally injured it a few months ago in a very small way (very easy to do after carrying one or more babies and paricularly if it's not your first pregnancy). I've been going to a chiropractor and getting longer massages at a different place and the combination helps but it hasn't gone away yet. I realized when I do more stretches, as my chiropractor keeps telling me to do, it helps the most (I do still take pre-natals BTW) so I'm going to find a good yoga place which will help with the stretching and stress and overall health anyway. Unfortunately I'm also going to have to go the physical therapy route as well just to get to the bottom of this...and I'm going to slow down on the chiropractor work I think -- just to save money during all this craziness, since my co-pays are adding up. Long rambling point is -- besides PT which I haven't done yet -- stretching and massage seems to have the best affects on me although I highly suggest at least one or two appointments with a chiropractor. I go to Dr. Suzanne Lady whose office until recently was in N.W. Pdx but is now in cose-in North Pdx off Killingsworth, not far from MLK (503-223-0900 http:www.bwellchiro.com). She was referred to me by two friends who don't even know each other but adore her. She's wonderfu, as is her staff and beautifully decorated house they use...and she comes with heat packs and a massage therapist beforehand. ;-) And the best massage therapist is one who also works in a chiropractor's office, IMO. While I go to one closer to my house, Suzanne's two massage therapists charge slightly less than the average which is great because they're FABULOUS.

It was so fantastic to read this post! I am just entering my 7 month post partum and my wrists, knees, feet...hurt! I thought something was wrong with me!! I just started going back to the gym and still have some weight to loose after the pregnancy... I had a check up... nothing wrong. My doc said do yoga...getting up and down off the floor is tough for me! But I will do yoga, and carry on. I look forward to that year mark when the joints seem to get better for so many on this post....

Just wondering if fenugreek can have anything to do with joint pain?... I was taking quite a bit of it while nursing...

Interesting advice. I have been getting concerned about the non-stop joint pain I have been experiencing. My son is almost 8 months old and the pain isn't getting any better and is in fact sometimes quite a bit worse. Mostly in my feet and ankles, where it is increadibly painful to stand from sitting or getting up in the middle of the night to tend to baby. Once up and around the pain subsides to some degree but never really goes away. I've also had the same pain and stiffness in my wrists and fingers, especially my thumbs. Sadly opening a tight jar lid has become increasingly difficult. Is anyone else noticing these same symptoms?
I'll admit to not getting a lot of excercise and unfortunately my son wakes up a few times during the night still. I'm hoping it has everything to do with a lack of rest and excercise.

Prior to my pregnancy and early on in the pregnancy I did have DeQuervain's Tenosinivitis in one of the wrists/thumb....this feels entirely different. In my hands and fingers, there is a 'swollen' sort of feeling and stiffness...yet they don't appear swollen or puffy.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with these same symptoms.

I'm so glad i found this site i thought it was just me . since having my daughter back in April 2007 i have not been able to bend my anckles in the morning and most of the time walk flat footed to the bathroom .
In addition to this my knees started grinding and my hips crack when i rock from side to side and then i have recently started waking up with stiff finger joints especially in my thumb i thought it was all the texts i had been sending to other mums off om maternity from work !!!! i've made an app to go and have some blood tests done but someone has recommended glucosamine

WOW! I am going through the same thing. I have pain in my back, hips, knees, feet, shoulders, wrists and hands. I have done blood tests for RA, Lupus and Lyme dis. I went to a Rhumatologist who, of course, said Fibromyalgia. Unfortunately I have all the symptoms of AS (he said I didn't have it without testing for it) I am getting a 2nd opinion. I am a SAHM wnd it is getting increasingly difficult to take care of my baby. I can't sleep because of the pain and am sick of being pushed of from on doc to the next with each giving me different medications. I am so frustrated!

Hi all

I don't normally post on forums but I have been intrigued by other peoples symptoms. I too have joint pain along with muscle ache and tingling in hands and feet. This all started about 8 weeks after my son was born. It was only my arms and fingers which felt funny initially, almost like the dexterity had gone somewhat. My fingers often feel stiff and hard to bend especially the thumbs. Thee is also pain in my hand even when I press it at times. At the end of July the pain started everywhere and is still going on. Sometimes my arms ache just from putting things on the stove. My GP thinks that it is fibromyalgia but I am not so sure as the hands are not consistent with fibro. Some of my other symptoms are but I find it a bit strange that it came on all of a sudden. I am taking Endep/Elavil which has helped enormously with the pain but I would still like to know what is the real cause. I have had MS, ALS and all other diseases inlude RA ruled out. I can only think/hope that it is down to breastfeeding. My son is 7.5 months now and I have had my periods resume for the last two months.

The whole thing is really scary as I have never experienced anything like this before.

Is there anyone whos symptoms went after you stopped breastfeeding?

I actually just started feeling the joint pains recently in the past few weeks. My daughter is 7 months now and I was feeling good up until now. I have a new back pain and a pain that is in the area from my tail bone to my rectal area. I have been nervous about it. My doctor did many test and x-rays and every thing has come back normal. Just today my dr. decided that my pains most be from postpartum healing. My baby came out face up so she says that is considered a traumatic delivery that it will cause these types of pains whlie in the healing process. I still am not 100% convinced that this is the problem. But it does reasure me that other woman are going thru postpardum pains months later also.

I too have had joint pain. Initially, hips were sore (this is getting better) but my ankle and feet are sore all the time. I had tremendous swelling from 7mos onwards primarily water retention. I also have had eye problems (my corneas are inflamed). I went to the eye Dr. and he said nursing/hormones are partially to blame for this. I do believe that all these ailments are from nursing. I am curious....is everybody who is experiencing these ailments nursing? Anyway, as for the eyes the Dr. said everything should resume to normal after I finish nursing. My baby is only 5 months so I guess I'll have these symptoms for a while longer. Hang in there everyone it's worth it...

Hi Gals,
I am now on my 3rd pregnancy and thought I would relay some "wisdom" from my previous two! I had really bad joint pain postpartum w/my first two pregnancies for about 8-9 mos. After my first daughter was born I went to a Rheumatologist who did all the testing I've read about here - all test were negative. My pain both times finally stopped after I dried up after breatfeeding. I am convinced that for me, what my body is producing when I breast feed causes me this pain. With that said, I am still planning on breastfeeding my third when he/she arrives as I believe it is that important. But now I know what to expect in terms of pain and also know that I'm NOT crazy. It would be great to see a broad study done on this issue so women can be informed on potential problems like this.

thank you for the discussion. i am 7 days out from having my first baby- vaginal delivery with 2nd degree episiotomy (tear). i am having very stiff finger discomfort, esp middle and ring fingers. it began around 4 wks before delivery and though there is minor swelling, not much, none in the feet. does anyone know what exercises might help? having to pop a few fingers each time they bend is miserable when you want to hold your new baby.

Hi All -

I submitted the original post - how great to see this thread is still being used! An update from me, over a year later - my joint pain eventually went away ... for the most part. I still feel like all the joints and spaces between bones throughout my body are ... looser? Stretched? It's hard to describe. The aching comes back into my fingers a little bit every so often, sometimes with weather changes (damp). Sigh. It seems that "they" just don't tell you everything that motherhood will *really* do to your body. Good luck to all of you - I wish I had a solution, but the only one I found was time. PS: FWIW - For those experiencing swelling right after delivery - I did have TERRIBLE swelling in my feet in the days after labor - to the point that my toes went numb. My doc said this was the excess fluid moving out of my body - the same reason you might find yourself sweating a lot.

Amy is so right! No ever really explains to you what your body can or will go through after pregnancy. I had my 1st child 3 months ago and was relieved to find this post. Since about 6 weeks post pregnancy I have had lower back pain radiating down my tailbone, joint pain in my knees and wrists, and stiffness in my fingers (I have a really hard time writing. It feels like there is no fluid in between my joints and I also have a really hard time using my abs without immense back pain (ie - trying to get up off the floor), I thought too that it might have had something to do with my epidural sight! I am a very active person as well and tried to continue a light exercise routine during and after pregnancy but my body is not letting me! After reading everyone's posts, I am going to toss it up to the fact that I am still nursing and not worry about it until afterward...but it is still depressing when you are 25 years old and you feel like your 80!

WOW, is all I can say. I thought I was going crazy, I too have had all the tests, and no one can tell me why my joints hurt so much. My son is now 13 mo. I thought it would go away, but it hasn't.
I too think it might have something to do with breast feeding, but also feel like it could be a long term side effect of the epidural? None of my friends with babies have this problem. I have just started taking the glucosamin chondrotin, and have been taking fish oil for months now.... no real relief. It's so hard when it hurts to pick up my little one. If it is time, I will wait, but I am so frustrated and in increasing pain...

I am also so happy to find this post. My daughter is six months old and I have been in so much pain since her birth. I broke my tail bone in college and I was apparently predisposed to dislocating it during delivery. Everything aggravates it and I also have the stiffness and pain in my fingers, wrists, ankles and bottom of my feet. My mom have lupus and RA so I have been pretty worried. Glad to hear it may just be a post partum issue! Is there anyone else who injured their tail bone during delivery?

hi all

I had my son in Nov 06 and 2 months later began having pain in feet, knees, shoulders and hands. All has improved except for hands which have gotten worse. They swell and my knuckles are getting larger; I can no longer get my ring off, which used to slide off easily. They are extremely stiff, hurts to bend them. I am taking alleve 2-3 times/day to reduce inflammation. My hands are looking arthritic. I stopped breast feeding at about 9 months, because the pain was so bad and the rhematologist said bf was the cause/contributor.
Anyone try Apple Cider Vinegar? I saw some info online and decided to try it, though am sceptical. I'm also starting the glucosamine/chondroitin and MSM.
I've been tested for RA and it was negative. However, my aunt has it, so my dr. thinks that is the cause and is testing me again. I am really hoping and praying that pg is the culprit.

Thank you so much for all of your comments. My daughter (2nd pregnancy) is now almost 5 months old and I've been struggling with joint pain. My daughter is a strict breastfeeder (her choice) and it's a relief to know that there is a correlation between factors. I have to admit that I do forget my prenatal vitamins quite often, and will need to take them regularly again. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions!

I am having the same problem and my baby is 6 months old now. My best friend is a FTR specialist and she said it could be fibromyalgia triggered by stress and heavy baby. Some blood tests have been done to exclude romatoid artritis or osteoporosis (she said some women may have a benign idiopathic osteoporosis after child birth). At the moment I am waiting for the results.
It is very interesting for me too to hear that there is a relationship between breastfeeding and joint pain. I have been breastfeeding as well (actually mix feeding due to low milk supply).
On top of aches and pain, I also have numbness in my hands. My friend said it is carpal tunnel syndrome. Anybody experienced this?

I have ankle pain. It started at about 3 months post, I noticed it when I got out of bed and felt like I couldn't bend my feet and had to walk flat footed, after a few minutes it was fine, it is a month later and it has got worse, all day now, if I stop and put my feet up on the couch or sit on them, when I try to walk it is really painful. My mother has rhuematoid arthritis and she says it sounds like it, I have been told by a masseur that I have stagnant lymphatic fluid in my ankles and to do the circle exercises. I am about to see a physio for a uterine prolapse (another day) so I will ask about the ankle thing and get back to you all.

These posts are all so interesting to me. After my 1st son, I had severe joint pain in my hands mostly, but it was also throught various joints. I saw a Rheumatologist, tested neg for RA, but she still felt that it was a possibility because of the symptoms. After about 2.5 years, the pain seemed to be gone except for an occasional tendonitis flare-up in my right hand. I stopped seeing the Dr. last January. Since then, I've had another baby (4 months now), and my joints started really hurting again about a week ago!! Mostly my hands, but all over my body too.

Now - after seeing all these posts, I've decided not to consult a Dr. this time - maybe a PT, but otherwise focus on low impact exercise, stretching, taking Tylenol when I need to and keeping up my prenatals and just giving my body time to heal again. I'll be breastfeeding, I hope, for at least 2 more months and still have the linea-negra so am certain I still have the relaxin hormone in my body.

I'm frustrated with the apparent lack of knowledge in the medical community about this, but also relieved to find a group of people who share this confusion. Thanks.

i am so glad to find this also. after i had my 2nd baby (who is now 3 mo old) my body has went CRAZY. started with numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. sometimes in my face or back...all sorts of places. it comes and goes. i have dealt with weakness in my arms and legs and most recently joint pain. sometimes i am dizzy and and feel very faint. i feel like i am going crazy...scared to death i have something seriously wrong. i have heard some women's bodies go crazy while breastfeeding? any knowledge about that? i have gone to the dr. more in the last 8 weeks than ever in my life. they all just blow me off as "postpardum." nice to know others are experiencing some of the same things. if anyone has anything similar or insight...let me know! thanks.

Well my body has gone crazy I would say two months after I gave birth. My son is going to be 4 months now. I've experienced tingling especially on my hands and feet. Sometimes my hands and my feet itch or tingles, I have muscular pain especially on my legs and arms depending on daily activities. I've also had joint pain all over my body. It gets harder everyday to take care of my two year old daughter and my 4month baby. I'm also breastfeeding fultime. I've never felt this way bfore hopefully is just the relaxin hormonefrom BF but I still need to rule out anything else. I actually could identify with how Stephanie feels. Anyways hopefully this would go away soon.

Add me to those happy to have discovered these comments! My daughter is now 7 months, and about 2 months ago, my knees started to get really sore and although they feel stiff, I also feel sometimes like they are going to dislocate if I move the wrong way. I never had problems with my joints before, and it was my hips that bothered me in the morning when I was pregnant. I also still have tingling in my fingers and arms like I did when pregnant. At first I thought the problem with my knees was because my daughter is a big baby and I was getting up and down off the floor with her in my arms and off our couch, which is quite low to the ground. I need to lose some weight, although I weigh the same now as pre-pregnancy, and I'm not getting any exercise. Yesterday I went for a walk thinking maybe I just needed a little exercise, but today my knees are worse. I'm not nursing, so I'm hoping this will go away on its own. I'm going to try glucosamine and rest and see what happens, but am concerned about rheumatoid arthritis since I have heard often this develops after pregnancy.

Thank you all so much for posting your comments and experiences on this page. I have been experiencing SEVERE joint pain and swelling for the last two weeks. Every doc I have spoken to including my OB have never heard of pregnancy related joint pain and swelling postpartum. I just had my second child in two years and I just haven't slowed down. We're ruling out RA with blood tests but they aren't back yet so I have been very scared. I can't tell you how much it means to hear that other women have experienced this.

Thank goodness for this post!! As everyone has said, I thought I was the only one with this problem. I have not gone to the doc yet. I am not breastfeeding. This started during pregnancy and has not gone away. I am 7 months post partum and as soon as I step out of bed in the a.m. ..Ouch! I can barely walk. I have to walk flat footed across the room. As I walk around a bit, the pain goes away. Also, this happens if I sit down for a bit during the day. It seems as if the pain now is going into my ankles too. I swelled up very badly during pregnancy. I gained 80 lbs, most of which was water. I have lost more than half of the weight now and I am running and working out regularly, but as I said, I have had this pain since pregnancy. Anybody find out a real diagnosis?

I too have suffered since my daughter was 2 months old. I have a 5 year old who I nursed till 18 months without symptoms but this time I developed joint pain in my wrists, fingers, elbows, shoulders, knees,hips, I went to the doctor repeatedly he couldn't tell me why. I was tested for RA lupus and did a full blood analysis he told me everything was normal. my daughter is now 1 year old and my symptoms have not gone away so I decided to quit nursing. I am hoping my symptoms will go away because i have no doubt that this is caused from nursing.

Amazing ... I am the original poster on this thread, and I keep checking in, and I am both thrilled (at the community this forum provides) and dismayed (at the fact that so many women are experiencing this, without explanation or solution.) What can we do?? FWIW, I am now 16 months out from childbirth, and my joint pain has mostly subsided with no treatment other than time, though my hands have never felt quite the same. Sort of stiff and overextended, or something, deep in the knuckles and joints.


I posted here a little while ago when my son was 7.5 months old. I already have a 2 year old. I had/have more or less the same symptoms as Juli .The main symptom for me though is muscle pain followed by joint pain/stiffness (especially fingers) and on and off pins and needles. I have also had a feeling of heaviness/numbness in arms and legs. I have been taking endep(Elavil) an antidepressant for fibromyalgia at only 25mg dose. This helps enormously for the pain but as soon as I stop taking it the pain returns quickly. Obviously I do not want to carry on taking this especially as I don't know the true cause. Initially I thought it might be something sinister but tests proved otherwise. I am still very nervous that the doctors have missed something serious though which adds to my anxiety. When the pain subsides I am fine but as soon as it returns I panic again. I have seen a neurologist, rheumatologist and various others who put it down to Fibromyalgia, chronique fatique and the latest is stress/anxiety. naturally I want to believe that anxiety is the cause but I can't quite buy it as I have always been a worrier and never had anything like this before. My only hope is that it is breastfeeding causing it. My son is now 9.5 months old (this all started 2 months post birth) and I am only breastfeeding once or twice at night. I also still have the linea nigra. What I find curious though is not one specialist has mentioned that it may be a post partum issue. I have tried to stop nursing but it is the only thing that settles him at night. In a way I am scared to stop in case the symptoms don't go away.

I truly hope that this all goes away soon so that my life can get back to normal.

One other thing. A lot of people on this site recommend Physical Therapy. I live in Australia and have not heard of this before. Would anyone be able to fill me in as to what this entails?

Many thanks

I haven't had the exact same thing, but did have horrid lower back pain after my daughter (baby #2) was born 10 months ago. I couldn't lie on my back, or stand for very long, without feeling like my back was broken. I too felt like it was totally out of joint, and have had many postpartum massages. Yes, they are expensive, but it was worth it. I'm still nursing, but just the other day i was thinking to myself how much better my back is in the last month or two. Mostly since the holiday it hasn't been bothering me. So, that was 9 months of pain!

So to those women that are only 3-6 months out, I will say my body has totally changed since 6 months PP and i'm feeling much more like myself now! So just hang in there, hopefully as things go back to normal it will clear up!

My wrists are killing me, almost 3 months after having my baby. I'm not breastfeeding and have had two periods. I've had carpel tunnel before, but this pain in my hands is different. It's not numb but just very sore on the boney part of my wrist. Feels like it's bruised.

I also found that right after the baby was born, if I went on my hands and knees, I'd have a shooting nerve pain along the outside of my knees. That seems to be gone, thank goodness.

Hi, I am now 7 months post partum and after 3 months I got the stiffness in the ankles, knees, elbows and fingers. Then about 4 months PP I got the tingling mostly in the feet and my left hand abit(the dominant one). Now the stiffness has almost gone everywhere except the ankles which first thing in the morning are so stiff (and also if I rest in the day and then get up they are really stiff too). For those with the tingling - has it got any better and does it come on after doing anything in particular? Is it all over or just specific places? Despite the doctors not seeming too concerned bizarrely, I am getting blood tests for what seems like everything, just waiting for them to come back. Even if they are normal I'll ask to see a specialist to try to understand the stiffness and tingling. It's just not nice having symptoms you don't understand!

for alyna
i totally understand. about 4 weeks postpartum i started getting symptoms that were driving me crazy but unimportant to my doctors. i have had tingling, numbness, stiffness, pain all over my body. i am now 14 weeks postpardum and things are better...but not completely. i just don't feel like myself and every time i have the littlest pain i panic. i just can't wait to be back to normal. i also had tons of blood work, 2 CT scans and a MRI. all came back normal.

This is the second forum I have posted on regarding post partum joint pain. I had my third child almost one year ago. About five weeks after my C-section, I woke up to find I could barely walk. The first thought of my doctors was plantar facsitis (sp?), but then I had terrible pain in one shoulder, which migrated to the other shoulder a couple of days later. My chiropractor suggested that the relaxin hormone for giving birth might still be in my system and reeking havoc on my other joints (hands, hips, wrists, elbows, you name it)--typically this only causes hip pain. I saw a rheumy in July after I barely tested positive for RA. She ran tests and yes, I had RA (a bit higher number with that test). Unhappy with her desire to put me on harsh drugs while I was breastfeeding, I sought a second opinion. The second RA did tests and confirmed that yes, I have RA. She, too, started talking about drugs which I have researched and I refuse to take (nothing seems to work well, and all have terrible side effects--and breastfeeding my last child was far more important to me). I started getting massages, I take fish oil and Zyflammend (a supplement that is a powerhouse of natural anti-inflammatories like ginger and tumeric). After having the baby, I couldn't take enough ibuprofen for the pain (my OB says ibuprofen vs. Tylenol when breastfeeding). I could hardly wait to take the next pill. I was on crutches because of the pain in my knees, and I needed constant help with the baby.

It has been almost a year since I had my DD. She weaned herself about one month ago, and I have been dealing with less and less pain as she gets older. My feet still hurt--but not as bad nor for as long. My knees have occasional pain, but I haven't used the crutches in months. I take a mere fraction of ibuprofen now. My hands are still stiff and sore, but are fine by mid-morning. I am sleeping better and I believe that this has all been a post partum condition. I realize that many women are diagnosed w/RA after a pregnancy--but I find it odd that my very first test (at my GP) only showed a borderline RA factor, and the next two tests showed increases in the RA factor, but that since my baby started eating solids and supplementing w/formula when I returned to work, my pain has continued to improve--with less pain medication. I wonder if, for some women, this is a temporary post partum reaction to a pregnancy. Time will tell for me. I pray we all find some relief from the pain.

One more thing-My OB has never heard of this, but after I discussed the forums I had found online with her, she pondered that maybe the immune system is kicked out of gear from pregnancy in some cases. Obviously, this is just speculation, but at least she is willing to think it is possible. I have read that many OBs think the pain has nothing to do with the prior pregnancy.

Hi, again! I posted a while ago, and cannot believe how many of us have the same problem -- with no real diagnosis! I have to say that since I've been taking my prenatal vitamins and calcium citrate regularly, I have gotten some relief (although my symptoms are still present). I told my perinatologist about it and she suggested two things - see a rheumatologist and take Omega 3 fatty acids (ie - flax seed oil, salmon oil gel capsules,etc). The Omega 3 fatty acids work! Like I said, I still have symptoms, but they are much more tolerable now. I still have the linea negra, too, and still breastfeeding. My daughter is now 6 months old and is loving baby food, though! I saw a rheumatologist last week and have a follow-up appt to discuss my blood work (lupus and RA tests) on 3/4, so I'll post after my appt.

To the woman in Australia - PT is physical therapy. It entails going to a licensed physical therapist for a period of time to help you with passive and active exercises that can increase your strength, flexibility and endurance. Hope that helps.

Take care to all of you wonderful Mommies!!

Hi Suzanne and all

Thanks for the update. It will be good to hear what the rheumatologist says. I have posted twice now and my symptoms are persisting. I have stopped breastfeeding for the last two weeks (my son is 11months old) but pain and tingling persists. I am starting to wonder if it is all anxiety/stress as it tends to become a bit of a vicious circle. You think you are getting better then pain begins, start to panic then pain gets worst as you think you have some awful disease. I find that I am easily convinced also that I have something now if I read about a condition in a magazine or on TV. What is interesting for me is my bloodwork. I tested -ive for RA back in August but had slighly elevated ESR of 19. Normal is 0-20 or 0-12 depending on the lab. Had 3 more bloods done over the last six months and ESR stayed around 18/19. Then, last month ESR had drpped to 11 and now it is down to 5 plus my RA factor has dropped slightly. GP is baffled at what has been going on but reckons I have definitely had some sort of inflammation going on in my body. I reckon it could be down to loose ligaments and joints rubbing causing swelling but who knows? I still also have the linea nigra.

I am just really hoping that I will wake up one morning and all the pain and worry that goes along with it will be gone.

I have to say that this forum has been a bit of a lifeline for me and given me real hope at times when the pain is so bad that I think for sure something serious has been overlooked.

How do you guys deal with the worry and the need to convince yourself that it is nothing sinister???? I swear if I go to my GP again she will register me as insane!!!!!

Are there any happy endings from previous posters. I am desperate to hear of some to give me hope.

Anyway, sorry for sounding so negative and thank you all for your valuable postings.

PS>>> We don't have physical therapists here in OZ so might see a physio instead.

Hi, everyone and CJ in OZ! I just thought I'd check in on the postings and I'm glad I did. CJ - I'm so sorry that you are having such a difficult time with all of your symptoms. I, too, have some anxiety, but I just take things one day at a time. Yoga and/or pilates may help reduce your stress and help with the pain, too. With your ESR elevated, I would definitely see a rheumatologist and/or a homeopathic practitioner (ie acupuncture, herbs, etc). GPs are good, but specialists can often pinpoint (quicker) what a GP can't. Hang in there and I'll post again on 3/4.

Hi everyone,
CJ - I really know how you feel, my daughter is 8 months now and I have had the tingling for about 4 months, been to the doctor alot, got lots of blood tests, have also seen a neurologist, had a MRI - all normal but I don't feel remotely normal! However having said that my blood results did show I was hypothyroid (my TSH was 11 when the range is 0.5 - 5) so this week I have just started on medication for that. I am waiting to see if I have thyroid antibodies now which will suggest its not just a post partum problem that will pass as thyroid problems are quite common after having a baby. The GP thinks it might be causing some of my symptoms but we will see. My stiffness is alot better - only in my ankles in the morning. The neurologist did say alot of woman suffer health anxiety after having a baby for understandable reasons and he felt that anxiety was making my symptoms worse but didn't suggest it was actually causing the tingling. I also get eyestrain but that really might be anxiety and the hypothyroid problem. This forum has been a great source of comfort and has helped with the worry and anxiety, I also do pilates which does help too but its not easy when you are so worried about your health. Anyone else got any other suggestions?

Oh just another couple of things...where is everyone getting the tingling? I get it mainly in my feet sometimes abit up my legs and did get it abit in my left hand while I was breast feeding.
There is also another discussion on mumsnet from a few years ago about exactly the sort of things we are experiencing too with the same frustrations of no real diagnosis!

Hi again all

Thanks for your posting Alyna. Hopefully your thyroid meds should sort it all out as a lot of the symptoms I have could definitely be explained by that. Unfortunately mine is normal.
The tingling I get is largely in my hands and feet but sometimes in my arms and legs aswell. I still have the joint pain especially in my elbows and knees along with muscular pain. My hands are variable but generally feel stiff and swollen especially my thumbs which seem to easily lock into position. They are definitely not swollen though. The muscular pain varies from day to day and it seems to be my legs that are taking the brunt at the moment. My calf muscles have been very painful the last two weeks which is odd as I am hardly an athlete if you know what I mean. I think that an element of my problems is definitely anxiety but not exclusively. This would explain the muscle twitches thatI get from time to time. These really make me panic but oddly enough they are the one symptom that worries my GP the least.I know for sure that if I woke up tomorrow feeling normal that I wouldn't even give being anxious a second thought. In fact all this would easily be forgotten. What I find really difficult is constantly self diagnosing myself simply because I have no formal explanation of what is going on. Sometimes I really feel that I am going mad with the never ending twinges/pain and worry of it all. I just want my life back. Doesn't seem to much to ask for really. I also do pilates which helps a little.

Anyway, I know that I must stay positive in the hope that my body will return to normal.

One thing I am curious about though is whether age is a factor in this. I am 36 and had no trouble after my daughter was born when I was 33.I am also about 7 kg overweight but shouldn't really be enough to affect my joints in any significant way.

Do keep posting all as I really do find this forum so reassuring.

Take care


Its also worth it to get your thyroid hormone levels (TSH, T3, and T4) checked out. I developed hypothyroidism after my first pregnancy, and had increasingly severe all-over joint pain for a year after my son was born (which is when it was finally diagnosed). Within a few weeks of starting synthroid, the pain started to subside, and I could walk up and down my stairs again without pain.

After my first baby I had severe joint pain in my hands, wrists and fingers! It was so bizarre. It was incredibly painful, and lasted for several months. I had the strange tingling sensations, would wake up with my hands being numb and feeling like they were asleep. It was pretty frightening! I kept calling my OB GYN, but they seemed like they had never heard of such a thing and were no help. On my own, I saw a hand specialist in NW. He took my pain seriously and was actually familiar with what i was experiencing. He said, that before people had disposable diapers, doctors blamed it on the safety pins used for cloth diapers... I personally think that the pitocin they gave me the the hospital had something to do with it. I didn't have any joint pain with my second child.( i was induced with my first and not my second)
Anyway, it made me feel better that the doctor took me seriously. But I'm not really sure that the hand physical therapy, ultrasound, ice, or hand splints really helped, or if it just eventually went away on its own.
I also had hip pain. Pilates helped tremendously. I would reccommend, pilates over physical therapy... It worked much better for me. Jessica at Reform Pilates is amazing!Oh, and massage was helpful too.

I am 7 months postpartum and still nursing. My joint pain is severe and all test results came back normal. None of my doctors (chiropractor, acupuncturist, OB/GYN, GP) have ever heard of this happening. I am glad I found this site. I am hoping that when I am done nursing that the pain will end. It does make taking care of the baby more difficult. Yoga and massage help a lot. Good luck to everyone with this issue!!

AS far as joint pain goes you may want to go to the docotor and get your blood tested for hypo- thyroid disiease.. which affects women esp. after giving birth.
The affects of this common hormone imbalance are extreme tiredness, moody, cold all the time, and joint pain.. as well as other factors..
every woman should get tested- often times doctors dx women with depression, when in fact it it your thyroid.
peace, and good health!

Hello, Ladies! Just wanted to post again, with a quick update. . .I saw my rheumatologist today for the results of my tests. All tests for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are negative! Yay! So, I will continue with my omega 3 fatty acids and prenatal vitamins, and hope that my condition continues to improve. Best of luck to all of you Urbanmamas!!!!!

Another quick posting . . .Yes - I totally agree with the thyroid issue. I have been tested, and that has been ruled out for me. All of my practitioners have never heard of postpartum joint pain, either, and there is nothing in the literature/journals about it. We all know that it's real, so if your doctor isn't taking you seriously, ditch him/her and get one that does. Take care.

Hi! It's me again. I've been reading and reading all of the posts again, and I feel frustrated that licensed professionals have never heard of our symptoms. I have decided to write an article for some medical journals, in hopes that it sparks some interest for research to be done. If you are interested in me utilizing your story (anonymously) and answering some questions (survey), please email me buddsuzz@hotmail.com. Hopefully, it will be published.

I feel that this is the only way to be truly heard by the medical profession.

Suzanne - thanks that is a great idea and I will email you my details. It might also be good to get into some parenting magazines too. I'm in London so there will be different ones here to the US.
I have received the thyroid antibody test back and I haven't got the thyroid antibodies which is good. The medication isn't making a huge difference but the doctor has started me off on a very low dose (I think she thinks the thryoid problem will sort itself out as it is meant to within the first year of giving birth). So I'm not symptom or tingle free!

Alyna, Hello to you in London! Great idea about the parenting magazines! Thank you! I'm looking forward to your email. Yours will be the first I've received. :)

WOW I guess I'm not crazy!
I had pretty severe hip pain at the end of my pregnancy. After delivery it seemed better just the carpal tunnel & numbness in my hands & arms was bad. That has stopped but now my joints,hips,hands,back,knees,neck are terrible. My son is 3 months old & I am also breastfeeding!
I feel like an old women when I sit on the floor it's all I can do to get up!
My mother had arthritis & I am 38 so of course I am concerned.. But I am glad to hear I am not alone & hope this subsides once I stop breastfeeding.. Thanks for all your comments

Same trouble...5 mths postpartum and the pain has been so bad that twice I felt i was getting the flu but after motrin and rest the pain susided. most days and especially nights i have finger pain, wrist pain ankle and knee pain. it is crazy. i have lost all preg weight & i exercise. baby still wakes up twice in night to nurse and nurses several times a day. I am 38 and this is my 4th child. honestly, toward the end of this pg i felt my body was protesting and falling apart.

Hi there - how is everyone doing? The thyroid meds are making me less tired but no other real improvement so far really. Anyone back to normal yet?

I just had my son 4 months ago and I have always had weak knees,but now my knees have got alot worse.And just in the past week my hands and wrists are in major pain. I feel like I have joint pain in every finger, it is worse at night and in the morning. I have been nursing and plan to as long as I can. I need to keep up on my prenatals and drinking water,Iam bad at that. I can not drink or eat any dairy because of my baby so my calcium is very low.

Hello, I have had the very same experience in the last year my daughter was born in January of 2007 and a few months later I developed wrist, finger, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee pain I thought it was from nursing but my doctor had never heard of that so he ordered all kinds of blood work for ra lupus anything and everything and it all came back normal. I just lived with the pain trying physical therapy, herbal pills, vitamins nothing seemed to work until one day I heard about SERRAPEPTASE it is a product made by Enerex and it is for pain it helps to reduce the inflammation in your body. You take it every morning 20 minutes before you eat, It is a miracle cure within one week all my symptoms are gone and I still nurse. I would highly recommend anybody with these symptoms of pain to try it.

I'm so glad that I found this posting! I suffer from the same symptoms as well. I'm 37 years old and 2.5 months postpartum. Beginning a few days after I delivered my b/g twins the pain began. I attributed it to the ridiculous swelling I suffered due to pre-eclampsia. I thought that once the swelling completely cleared up, I would begin to feel better, but as time goes on it only gets worse. Every joint from my toes to my neck hurts soooo, so bad. I do not breastfeed so I can't blame it on that. I'm going to schedule an appointment with my doctor and get tested for RA and all the other illnesses mentioned here, but I honestly feel that it's just that I'm exhausted. Having two infants to care for is so much work and there's rarely a moment of rest. Also, I didn't experience this pain with my first two children. Hopefully it will get better.

So what does everyone do to help ease the pain? I've tried Ibuprofen, but it hardly touches the pain! The only other thing I've tried is rest and that does help, but is near impossible to obtain :)

Suzanne, I'll send you an email with my info so you can add it to the article you write - thanks for doing that!!! It is very surprising that a serious study on this has not yet been performed - strange.

I am so glad to have found these postings. 8 Weeks post partum my knee swelled up. I also felt tightness in my elbows and some fingers. I have been to doctor upon doctor. They think since I have psoriasis that I must have psoriatic arthritis bc all my tests for other inflammatory problems were negative. I truly believe it is post-partum hormone problem and that my stress and anxiety have just made it worse. My rheumatologist says he finds me "interesting", could you believe that is how they define us!! We are just guinea pigs for modern day medicine. I am glad to see that massage, PT, yoga, natural medicine has helped so many bc I believe us new moms are under so much stress that adding a scary diagnosis would just make us more nervous. The more postings the better, we have to let others know that it will all be okay soon enough.

I am happy to have stumbled on these posting because I really felt like I was alone with my joint pain issue. And going crazy thinking it was maybe mind over matter and I was just being a hypochondriac.

I developed carpal tunnel after my first child, and my joint pain set in when she was a year old. I woke up one morning and had horrible shoulder and hip pain and couldn't lift my arms above my head. It eventually subsided a bit. I then had my son in April 2007 and at about 3-4 months postpartum, my joint pain started to get worse. I currently am dealing with all-over joint pain. The only joints that haven't bothered me yet are my ankles (which I think is kind of odd, but am glad to have something that doesn't hurt).

I've seen my primary care doctor several times and a Rheumatologist once so far. RA, thyroid, lyme, etc have all been ruled out and they have hinted at Fibromyalgia, my symptoms don't match up exactly. I am going to PT next week for a knee issue (I now have a Baker's cyst from joint fluid build-up). I also have appts scheduled with a Rheumatologist (2nd time) and my OB/GYN.

I am contemplating a third pregnancy and wanted to rule out anything major prior to trying. I am trying to get more exercise here and there, but have a hard time finding the time or energy - I work full-time outside the home, and then am chasing around two kids during their waking hours. Shortly after they're in bed, I am too. I am also taking Glucosamine Chondroitin - at times I think that's helping and other times not so much. I just kind of take it day by day and find that I have good days and bad days.

I feel a little more at ease now realizing this could be a postpartum issue. Sorry for the lengthy posting but I am just glad to know there are others out there who can relate!

i've had the same problems as all of you (pain in hands and feet) and recently my son turned a year old and it suddenly got worse with headaches, dizziness, eye pain, and more. it turns out I have lesions in my brain, which could be multiple sclerosis. i will find out in a few days. All I know is I was perfectly fine before my pregnancy. Just make sure you go to a neurologist, because for me too my blood tests came back normal and yet something is wrong.

I am sooo glad to find this. My son is 9mths and my pain is specifically in my thumb joints...does anyone know how I can isolate such a small area or what I can do to make this better.

So glad to hear we aren't along.

My son is 10mths old and I am still breastfeeding full time and I have just developed terrible pain in my fingers. I too have been worried about RA and will get checked out by the doctor but feel greatly reassured by reading some other peoples experiences on this.

I have also experienced joint pain since having my son 7.5 months ago. It is worse first thing in the morning, last thing at night and when I have been inactive for any period of time. I feel it predominantly in my hands (each joint of my fingers/thumb is agony!), my feet and knees. When I get out of bed in the morning or during the night to see to the baby I am like an old woman hobbling around! The pain is really intense, but does wear off once I have been moving around for a while. My doctor is confused and thinks it could be due to an underactive thyroid, which I have developed since having the baby. However, I spoke to a physiotherapist recently who said this is incredibly common in women who have breastfed their babies, and that it gradually wears off over a number of months once you have stopped nursing. I finished a month and a half ago and I am still in pain, so I guess I'll have to ride it out for a while longer!
It's reassuring to know that others are experiencing the same problem though.

Hi Everyone,

I posted in January. My daughter is now 8 months and I'm pain free! It does go away. I think massage helped me, specifically shiatsu.


I gave birth five months ago, and I'm concerned about joint inflammation that seemed to start within a week of giving birth. My fingers are inflamed and one finger in particular gives an involuntary pop when I try to extend it. I also experience hip, ankle, back and knee pain. I am still about 50 lbs. overweight, so I've been hoping this will go away once I lose the weight. This is my third child and I never experienced symptoms to this extent with my other two children. I am 37 years old. Similar to others, I'm also concerned about rheumatoid arthritis as this runs in my family as well. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist, but it's not for another five months. I'm concerned about waiting this long. Thanks for all the comments on this.

I have had the same troubles. It's rough stuff getting up in the morning, I usually have to limp around a bit at first, but the pain had me worried. I did not gain more than 30 pounds during pregnancy, I've lost all but 8 of those pounds and my baby is 3 months old. I breast feed. I had no swelling while pregnant in fact, my joints did not hurt until maybe a week before I delivered. I have a food allergy and in the past if I eat the foods that I should not I get the exact same kind of pain in my joints that I am getting now...so initially I thought I had without knowing eaten something I'm allergic to. But no, I hurt every day no matter what I eat! I blame the hormones and wearing very supportive shoes seems to ease the heel, ankle, and foot pain anyway.

Finally!!! First time mom at 40 of 7 month old son and I thought I was a whack job complaining about all this pain, that none of my women friends or family have ever experienced. I thought i was the most pathetic mom out there. Now I know i'm not alone. I self-diagnosed myself with everything from MS to bone cancer. The pain has been so debilitating. I've recently started working out and reduced my sugar intake to try to battle the inflammation. I'll try some of the other remedies posted. Thank you Ladies. You saved my sanity.

I urge anybody with this pain to go on serrapeptase made by a company called Enerex
It is safe during pregnancy and nursing and It will take your pain away in a week.

Finally! Glad to hear from all you ladies. I had number 9 at the age of 47 in March and am just now starting with the joint pain. It seems to start getting bad for me when the hormones start to fluctuate to return to pre-pregnancy levels. With some of the babies it's been worse than others. I think it may be a factor of Candida growth in the system. In the past I have adjusted my diet to fight candida and have seen good results. Less pain and increased energy while continuing to brfeed. I empathize with you all. It is quite discouraging, but keep loving those little ones and DH despite it. Personally, along with the candida diet change, I think I'll give the SERRAPEPTASE a try it sounds interesting.

Finally! Glad to hear from all you ladies. I had number 9 at the age of 47 in March and am just now starting with the joint pain. It seems to start getting bad for me when the hormones start to fluctuate to return to pre-pregnancy levels. With some of the babies it's been worse than others. I think it may be a factor of Candida growth in the system. In the past I have adjusted my diet to fight candida and have seen good results. Less pain and increased energy while continuing to brfeed. I empathize with you all. It is quite discouraging, but keep loving those little ones and DH despite it. Personally, along with the candida diet change, I think I'll give the SERRAPEPTASE a try it sounds interesting.

I am 6mo's post and I have the joint pain as well. I am still looking for a solution. I wanted you all to know that I have this joint pain; however, I stopped breast feeding 3.5 months ago. So, I don't think that it is the breast feeding. My theory is the thyroid.

I had my 5th child 2 months ago and have been experiencing the same symptoms for approximately 6 weeks. I lost almost 50lbs throughout my pregnancy due to terrible morning sickness. Breastfeeding had a rocky start but he is now 100% breastfed and has been for about 3weeks.

I had worried about RA, lupus and the myriad of other issues before reading this post. I am so glad all you ladies have written about your issues. I never experienced anything like this with my previous children. Although I must say, as much as it hurts and is negatively impacting on my life, I would hate to stop bf'ing early as this is my last child.

i,too, am so relieved to find these posts about postpartum joint pain. i have experienced pain and swelling in my fingers and feet since 1 week postpartum. i'm now almost 8 weeks and am consulting with a rheumatologist in a couple of weeks.

i'm interested to know if anyone that posted previously has received a diagnosis? has this turned out to be RA or lupus for anyone?

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