Bruised, Sprained, or Broken Tailbone

If you feel pain at the base of your spine, near your coccyx (tailbone), you may have broken or bruised your tailbone or sprained the joint between your coccyx and sacrum during labor and birth. While there isn't necessarily a quick fix here, it's still important that you recognize the problem and allow for it to heal.

Prevention

Tailbone injuries can be caused by several factors, but the only one you have any real control over is your baby's position. If your baby's head is bumping up against your tailbone during labor and delivery, it can cause injury and pain. See Chapter 1 for information on how your baby's position can affect your birth and postpartum experience, and how you can help him settle into a place that's comfortable and healthy for both of you.

Treatment

There's no real way to stabilize a broken tailbone (you can't put a cast on it), so the best thing you can do is take it easy and wait for it to heal on its own, which may take months.

It might hurt to sit or put pressure on the tailbone, so try sitting on a ring-shaped pillow (the same kind recommended for women with hemorrhoids) or a Boppy nursing pillow. Lying on your side will probably be more comfortable. Alternating heating pads or warm baths with an ice pack on the sore area can aid healing and reduce pain and swelling, and the pain should go away completely within a couple of months. If the pain is still acute after the first week, let your caregiver know. He or she may recommend massage, or a visit to a chiropractor or an osteopath for spinal manipulation to speed healing and relieve some of the pain.

Question

What is pubic separation?

Sometimes the pubic cartilage separates before or during birth. This can range from very uncomfortable to debilitating. To help it heal, keep your legs close together when lifting or moving, and try a hip belt for stabilization. An adjustment from an osteopathic doctor (DO) or chiropractor may be able to help relieve pain and assist your body in healing itself.

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  3. Postpartum Complications and Health Concerns
  4. Bruised, Sprained, or Broken Tailbone
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