Stomach pain - 6 mos post partum?

Discussion in 'General' started by JenniferZ, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. JenniferZ

    JenniferZ Well-Known Member

    I have been having UPPER abdominal pain on and off for the past month. My twins are now 7 mo. At first I thought it was gas, something I ate, lactose intolerant -- but when I medicated for each of these things, nothing helped. The pain is so bad sometimes i can barely walk, it is a throbbing pain that radiates across my upper abdomen. I finally went the ER and after gallbladder ultrasound, xrays, CTs and the works, they can't find anything. The doc said by process of elimination, the only thing he can think of is a pulled muscle. has anyone else had something similar?

    I guess I have been picking these (big) babies up for 7 months now. But wouldn't a muscle strain be constant? Sometimes I go a few days with no pain at all, then all of sudden out of nowhere, bam. I joked that I need to get one of those back brace belts like they wear at Home Depot :)
  2. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    Hi Jennifer! Welcome to HI/SN :sign0016:

    It could be just strained muscles, but I agree that it is odd that it comes and goes. One would think a pulled muscle would hurt until it healed and then stop hurting at all...not hurt a little then stop then start back up again.

    If this persists, I would go back and let the doctor know about it. If you've been having pain enough to want to medicate, then that's too much to ignore.

    More than likely, though, it really is just gas!* Think of how your physical habits have probably changed since your babies arrived. You sleep a LOT less, you are trying to operate on little sleep all the time which makes your metabolism sluggish (including digestion), you probably eat at odd times, possibly while holding a fussy baby....even a person who did not normally experience much gas before pregnancy and motherhood can often experience quite bit of it in the months after the baby (or babies!) is born! When you are sleep-deprived, all of your systems are a little bit stressed. Your body craves sleep and will actually try to slow down other processes in order to do so...hence your digestive system may not be working at the top rate and you can get some gas and other discomforts as a result. Do you notice a difference after a night or two of better than normal sleep? I hope so! :) That will give you your answer!

    There are rarer causes for abdominal pain and it sounds like your doctor already checked most of them out, which is a good indicator that it is just miserable gas. Some signs of rarer conditions which could cause these symptoms: Is the pain more on one side than the other? Did the doctor do a lot of bloodwork, too? I'm sure he did, but just checking. Sometimes a blocked duct in the liver will give pains like this (usually on the right side right under your breast), which would gradually become more persistent. Severely itching skin and extreme tiredness would also start to become noticable. It's treatable, but your doctor would need to look at liver enzymes in your bloodwork to suspect something like this. I feel sure that he would have done this, though, as it is fairly routine in a full blood workup. Also, appendicitis is an odd but not too unusual event about 6 months postpartum for many moms, believe it or not! Especially after twins. That happened to me and to at least one other TSer that I know of and my surgeon said it is an interesting thing he's noted that a lot of women have it about 6months after delivery; it is not usually acute and life-threatening (which is why it isn't the first thing suspected), but it is miserable enough! If you still have your appendix, you might want to mention it.

    Is the pain present when you are at rest or just when you are doing things? Another unusual thing that can rarely happen post-partum, especially if the mom was given terbutaline (to stop early labor) or steroids (often betamethasone) to hasten lung maturity in the babies, is a type of heart condition called postpartum cardiomyopathy. It is nearly always completely treatable, but it would need to be diagnosed and not many doctors think of heart problems in a young, healthy new mother. A sense of breathlessness and squeezing pain (sort of gassy feeling) would be typical, along with general tiredness. These aren't easy symptoms to spot because what new mother isn't tired? Or hasn't got occasional aches and pains? But if you had meds like that during your pregnancy, it might not hurt to ask your doctor about it and let him or her know about it, especially if your present doctor was not your OB during the pregnancy.

    BTW, the drugs I mentioned above are usually quite safe and the risks of NOT taking them in a high-risk pregnancy usually far outweigh the slight risk of a complication like post-partum cardiomyopathy. It is unilkely to be what is going on with you, but it wouldn't hurt to rule it out.

    The things I mentioned above are all rare or extremely rare, so don't worry unnecessarily. They are also all treatable. But, if your symptoms persist and really do not seem like gas symptoms, then I would go back to the doctor and ask for a little more investigation. Good luck! Let us know how you are doing! I'd really like to know what you notice about the relationship between your gassy pain and rest. I do think it's most likely that these intermittent pains will subside when you are able to get regular full nights of sleep and to eat regular small meals in peace.

    * Let me note here that "just" gas does not mean that it is insignificant nor that it isn't deucedly painful! Digestive gas can really build up and be agonizing. If you're spending a lot of time folded up on a couch holding or nursing babies after a quick snack, your stomach and small intestine are folded up, too and the digestive by-products (gas) have no way to escape normally. Add to that the complication that your digestive system is already sluggish due to stress on your body and lack of sleep and you've got a recipe for some serious gas pain!
  3. becky5

    becky5 Guest

    My husband was having terrible stomach pain a few years back. From what I remember(it's a lot sketchy!), they did not see anything when they did a gallbladder u/s, but when they went in there with a scope, he had a bunch of sand-like matter in it, which was causing the problem.

    I hope you figure it out, and feel better soon! :hug99:
  4. JenniferZ

    JenniferZ Well-Known Member

    wow Renee - THANKS! That was very detailed :) my husband insists it is gas. But I took about 4 gasx pills each episode and NOTHING. But I guess it could be really really bad gas that maybe wouldn't respond to that. the pain almost always shows up at around 2 a.m. and then will last pretty much the whole next day - getting better as the day goes on. Then, like I said, I may not feel it again for a few days. I too think it may be gas now that you explained how all that works, with sleep deprivation and all. The twins sleep 12 hours and I get about 6-7 hours....but we all know that is not a solid 6-7 hours. i sleep very lightly *listening to monitor* and usually get up every hour or two and check on them. So I guess I STILL have sleep deprivation, just a different kind now!! THANKS AGAIN. Next time the pain resurfaces, I am going to a specialist.
  5. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(becky5 @ Apr 29 2008, 12:08 PM) [snapback]746011[/snapback]
    My husband was having terrible stomach pain a few years back. From what I remember(it's a lot sketchy!), they did not see anything when they did a gallbladder u/s, but when they went in there with a scope, he had a bunch of sand-like matter in it, which was causing the problem.

    I hope you figure it out, and feel better soon! :hug99:

    YOu're welcome Jennifer. Also please see Becky's reply above; sometimes gallbladder issues are not readily apparent upon initial examinations and tests.

    If the pain presists and does not improve with rest and a proper diet of small meals not taken on the fly (ie without a chance to digest properly), then please do see the doctor again and ask for a little more investigation.

    Good Luck! Let us know how you are doing!
Similar Threads Forum Date
Stomach pains Pregnancy Help Aug 22, 2012
stomach pains...normal? Pregnancy Help May 21, 2009
*update* on my stomach pain... Pregnancy Help Mar 11, 2009
side stomach pain Pregnancy Help Mar 9, 2009
Having stomach pain...been sick all day... Pregnancy Help Aug 26, 2008

Share This Page