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Post Natal Arthritis Lock Rss

When my son was around 3 months old I started having problems with my knees. I found it really hard and painful to bend, climb stairs, crouch on the floor or to sit for too long. I was unable to straighten my legs if I had them bent for a short time. It was so hard to try to play with my baby as I couldnt get down on the floor with him. It use to take me so long to do every day things like washing or simple house work. I complained and complained until I got sick of listening to myself and just put up with it. I thought it may have been from the extra weight I was carrying however I didnt have a problem while I was pregnant. Then the problem started in my feet to the point when my baby cried in the night I couldnt get out of bed in a hurry as my feet were so stiff. I top of all this I was so tired all the time. I started seeing a Chiropractor but it didnt help much. It got so back the pain started in my wrists. I started to wear a support bandage as I thought it must have been RSI. I finally got to the point where I couldnt open the baby food jars or even change my babies nappy. The final straw came when I had to ask my husband to take the day off to look after our son as I couldnt even lift him!!! I finally saw my GP who after running some test said I had post natal arthritis. He said it will go away eventually but no ball park figure as to when. He said that would explain why I have been so tired. You could have hit me down with a feather. I had never heard of this. I came home in tears asking my husband if he had ever heard of!. Then I rang my!. I then rang the girls from my baby! I read through all my things from my anti natal classes, baby books, baby magazines..............still nothing. I went on to the internet and searched under arthritis. I found a site all about arthritis which had a small paragraph which said " It is common in young women from pregnancy and childbirth to develop arthritis". That was all it said. I am a lot better now but still have good and bad days, but it would have been easier if I had know this prior to all the worry about what was wrong with me. I did see a physio who helped a great deal. I have not come across another person who has even heard of this. So I am now posting this in the hope that it may help some one else and to get the word out that this can happen and it will go away, eventually. If anyone else has had this or has heard of or even knows of some one having it I would love to hear from you.
Hi Janeen,
Does the arthritis have a specific pattern to it? And does it specifically attack certain joints or appear at a certain time and how long does it hang around for? Where abouts have you got all your information from? I am very curious. I, too have been going to a chiropractor, for the usual. But a couple of months after my son was born I started to have lots of problems with one of my feet. It was the worst in the night if I had to get up and still now when I wake up in the morning, I hobble around for a few minutes and quite literally cannot put any weight on it as it seems to be all screwed up and out of wack. It only appears to be my foot and one chiropractor seemed to think it was because of my feet to start with, so I'm not sure. Very coincidental only happening after giving birth. I would be very interested to know more if you can help.
Hi Ange,
Unfortunatly I was unable to get a lot of info on this subject at all as I was unable to find it. As I said just about everyone I spoke to didnt know what I was talking about. I looked into the Arthritis Australia web site they have FAQ on this site. I then went into the QLD site at the top (this is where I am from) then up the top it has a sub heading Arthritis Info. Click on this and you will find in the 6th paragraph the only info I really found about Post Natal Arthritis. You will notice it says "It OFTEN strikes" which is the real mystery to me. In the main web site under symptoms it states "Symptoms vary from person to person and may include: Tender, warm, swollen joints, particularly the hands, feet, shoulders and knees Persistent fatigue and feeling "run down" Joint stiffness more noticeable in the morning Generally, both sides of the body are affected similarly". When I saw my GP about what was wrong he acted like it was common knowledge and then the physio I saw (recommended by my GP) know all about it as well! I thought I was the only one in the dark until I spoke to just about any one I could and I have not found another person, other the medical professionals, who know about this. In the beginning I had to take Voltaren tablets to start with, which I am pretty sure you can only get on prescription. You have to be careful with theses as they can cause other problems. My GP and the chemist where I got the prescription filled sat me down and warned me. I only took them when I really needed it and they help within around 30 mins. They help to get the swelling down to ease the discomfort. You can also get Voltaren gel from chemists and I think supermarkets are starting to sell this. You dont need a prescription for this. The other thing I was strongly advised was to exercise either walking on level ground or swimming. I was told I have to remain active to ease the pain. The physio also gave me some special exercises to strengthen my knees, as they were the worse, which also helped. I have been told that either a Naturopath or a good health food shop can advise further on vitamins or supplement tablets which may also help. I went to the Drs thinking I had either RSI, Glandular Fever. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or perhaps Ross River Fever. That was how bad I felt. My Dr did a full run of blood tests including thyroid as that too can make you feel run down. They all came back clear.
The best way to explain how my feet felt was to say it was almost like they were so stiff they were about to snap if I tried to move or walk on them. That was a very hard thing as my baby would be crying in the night but I just couldnt get them fast enough. I would be half asleep and forget and tried to get out of bed in a hurry and nearly fell on my face a few times. It was lucky we have bed ends to steady myself. I am sorry I cant help more but as I said before the main reason I left my post was to let people know this does exist, it is real and it happened to me. I would suggest speaking to your GP about this or even mentioning this to your Chiroprator. In the FAQ on the main Arthritis site it does touch the subject of Chiroprators and Acupuncture for treatment of Arthritis you may like to read it. If I can help in any way please let me know, I check this site just about every day!
Good luck. Janeen
Thank goodness!! I have had sore wrists for a couple of months now (my daughter is 4 months old) and I simply woke up one morning and they were sore. I put it down to the fact that I may have slept on them, but after a couple of weeks when they still felt the same way, I started to wonder if it was related to having the bub. I jumped on the net briefly, but didn't come up with anything. My sister-in-law who has recently been admitted as a midwife didn't recognise it at first, but kept insisting that I go and see about it. Of course I haven't done that, but only today she said that a mum on the ward had her splits ready, expecting that she would be getting sore wrists. This reminded her something she had learnt in one of her lectures. Apparently it has something to do with the extra progesterone in the body, amongst other things. You also mentioned the fact that you couldn't walk properly upon getting up and funnily I hadn't put the two together, but I feel that way too. It doesn't exactly hurt, I just can't walk property for a few minutes!! Thanks for all the advice - most appreciated. I guess I just soldier on.

Davina, QLD, 4mth baby girl Jaidyn

Hi Davina E I am sorry to hear this terrible thing has happened to you too. But on the up side my son is now 16 months old and I only get the odd bad day now. So there is light ahead of the tunnel but it does take a bit of time. Thank you for replying, this will probably come out wrong but its good to know I am not the only "one". I know the web site says it is common but I have not met anyone else with the ritched thing. If I can help in anyway please just let me know. If you just want to have a whinge then that is just fine too.I think knowing what was wrong with me made it easier to deal with. I wish I had gone to see the Dr earlier but just thought it was all part of being a new mum! I hope things improve for you in no time.
Janeen you are a life saver!!!!!!!! I was just browsing through all the topics when I came across yours and thought "Oh my God, that's me". I thought my body was going to the pack because of my age but now I know different and I feel so relieved. I'll tell you a bit about my symptoms.

After the birth of my first baby 8 years ago I had terrible trouble with my knees but I put it down to the epidural because I had been told they can effect the joints for a period of time after birth. Anyway my knees eventually came good after a year or so and I didn't worry about it.

I had my second baby in March 2003 and was expecting (and got) the same trouble with my knees but my wrists started to give me trouble as well. I put this down to my age with this baby and not being used to carrying around a baby again. I brought a magnetic wrist strap and after about a week my wrists were ok.

Then my feet went....... I got out of bed one day and my feet wouldn't support me, as I was going to get the baby I had to hobble on the sides of my feet to get there.

I'm still having trouble with my feet and my wrists have started hurting again so I'll start using the support again tonight. I feel like such an old cripple but at least now I know why. Did your doctor say how long it is likely to last? and does that mean we're more likely to suffer from arthritis when we're older?

Thanks again for posting your message otherwise I would still be feeling like an old, out of shape mum.


VIC, G 8, Step G 8, B 8months

Hi Jo sorry for the delay in replying. My Dr said it will go away eventually, when I asked for a ball park figure all he would commit to was eventually. My wrists and knees are pretty good now but I still have the odd day with my feet. When it was really bad I doubt I would have been able to even hold a pen for too long. As you said you feel like an old cripple and although I am 35 I dont believe that is that old!!!It is interesting that you said you had a epidural, I had a spinal block as I had to have a caesarean. As you know they run on the same sort of lines. Did you have an epidural for your second birth? You would have to wonder if this too increases our chances of arthritis if there is a family history or you are susceptible to it.
I was told by my Dr that there are studies which show that arthritis can be hereditary. My mum does suffer from it but she has had a very hard life and a lot of illnesses. It would stand to reason it may increase your likelihood to getting arthritis later in life as it is an inflammation of the joint. This may cause damage to the joints/cartilage. I have read about many natural treatments for arthritis and wonder if we should be looking further into something like this to help us in our later years. Perhaps the Arthritis Council may be able to give further advice on prevention or even a visit to a good naturapath or herbalist would be a good idea. I would also be interested to know if it increases the babies chances of getting juvenile arthritis just like gestational diabetes increases the chances of juvenile diabetes. I am hoping to have another baby and due to my age plus the arthritis and the fact I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant and will be seeing a brilliant herbalist in the new year. I am hoping they may be able to help me in my next pregnancy through the chinese herbs they give you. I will rack their brain regarding this sort of thing and send another post if I find out anything. I am sorry I dont know too much about this terrible disease. I hope you are feeling better soon as it is so hard to enjoy being a mother when you are in constant discomfort and very tired all the time. If I can be of any further help please just let me know. Take care..
Hi Janeen,

I will be 35 in 2 days and I'm wondering if this might be more common in our age group. Yes I did have an epidural with my second birth as well as the first. Could possibly be related but I know a lot of people who have had epidurals and don't have any pain in their joints afterwards. My feet have got a lot better in the last week but I picked up Toby awkwardly the other day and I'm in agony with my right wrist. As I mentioned in my last email I wear a magnectic wrist support and I swear, in about a week my wrist is 100% to what it is now. I am also considering having another baby, hopefully getting pregnant around the end of next year, depending on finances etc. My local chemist has a naturopath who calls in every Tuesday and Friday for free and I keep meaning to call in and have a chat to her about the joints (and other things.....too many to mention...ha....told you I was feeling like an old chook). When I do finally get around to it I'll let you know if I find out any exciting info. 'Til then look after yourself.

VIC, G 8, Step G 8, B 8months

Hi Janeen and Jo
I too was just looking through the topics and what "aha maybe that's what it is" and after reading all the comments I have to say - ME TOO!!
I'm 33 and didn't have a C-section birth and my feet have been killing me since about a month before the birth of my daughter. I also haven't found anyone else who has suffered the same thing so thank you because now I know I'm not nuts!
Hi Kirstie
It's almost as good as a cure when you find other people with the same problem as you. I found it's a huge load off my mind because now I know I don't have a mental problem (thinking it was all in my mind) or a serious medical condition and I'm not the only one. I hope you continue to improve like the rest of us.

VIC, G 8, Step G 8, B 8months

Isnt it sad that we are happy to just find others who know what on earth we are talking about!! My son is nearly 17 months and I havent had a bad day in ages(fingers crossed) so hopefully you guys wont suffer further than that. What I didnt know about arthritis is how tired it makes you feel. I just thought I was old and had a caesarean and my body is just not coping with it all very well. Not to mention I had a 6 month old who weight 9- 10 kilo so I blamed carrying him around as well. It was so sad in the beginning so see other mums getting down on the ground to play with their babies as I couldnt do that without pain. I remember a friend of mine telling me her daughters favourite game was for both of them to get on their hands and knees and they would both crawl around the house together. They would also chase each other. I could never have done that. I remember the pain I was in just trying to do push ups ( I go on my knees not my toes). At the time it was bad but the next day was so painful I was unable to try to do push ups again for weeks!I was pushing my sons pram up a hill and I actually felt my knee cap go out and back in again. It was really bazaar as my knee caps had hardly any muscle in them to keep them in place. The physio fixed that up for me. Then my feet started, although I did notice wearing high heels made it worse.
It is a terrible thing being tired and in pain. As my Dr said at the time "you have to remember that you have just had a baby" Like dah........ Its funny the things you just take for granted like assuming you just have a baby and in no time you are just like normal. I think the media portrayal of famous mothers who have just "bounced" right back doesnt help when probably in reality they have just as much of a hard time as we do. Except of course they have nannies and personal chiefs to help them suffer! I remember thinking what sort of a lunatic has a baby around the same time as Posh Spice and Liz Hurley, I know one...............ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not good for your self esteem when everyone sees them and then sees you. Remind me if I every have another child to check in with that pair so that doesnt happen again.....
I hope you are all feeling better very soon. I do know how you are feeling and it sucks. Take care.

I was just telling my husband that I have been feeling stiffness and like a bruised feeling in my finger joints and also finding it difficult/sore to button up my 6 mths growsuit up. Then I remembered seeing this site. My knees have also been giving me grief since Madison was born and I have been putting up with it, the sore finger joints have only presented in the last couple of weeks and this has only been mildy uncomfortable - will this get worse over time? I hope not.

After reading everyone's comments, I wonder if this is more common than we think and women are suffering in silence (as we do)
Yonny, Vic

Vic, 2 girls - 9 yo & 17mth old

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