This is “Nerve Damage from Childbirth’s” first blog post by a mom who suffered from lumbosacral plexopathy. Feel free to leave a positive or helpful comment below. A big thank you to Anne G. for sharing her story. If you would like to share your applicable story or have an idea for another blog post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a beautiful sunny day in October, I walked very pregnant into the hospital after being diagnosed with preeclempsia. I remember vividly that I wore a pair of brown flip-flops, thinking they’d be easy to slip on and off throughout my stay. My son was born the next day. But long after the epideral wore off, my right leg and foot were still numb. A neurologist at the hospital where I delivered said that my nerves had been compressed at the level of my right knee because of the stirrups used during labor.
Over the long week I stayed at the hospital, the staff appeared unfamiliar and uncomfortable with my condition. I was confined to bed—and learned later that I should have been up moving and doing physical therapy immediately. I was told I might not walk again—no more flip-flops for me. The whole experience was incredibly upsetting as it was not how my husband and I pictured the post-delivery experience and the first few months with our baby.
Several days later I was discharged, carried out by my husband because I had foot drop. The correct diagnosis took several days. I underwent a full body exam and a painful nerve conduction study (EMG) by another neurologist, not affiliated with the hospital. Finally I was diagnosed with postpartum lumbosacral plexopathy—my baby’s head had compressed the nerves in my pelvis (L4, L5, S1).
Of course, every woman experiences a challenging time after birth. And every woman should receive the help she needs. Although rare, any numbness of the legs and/or feet should be promptly addressed. Some patients could be among the 1% of new mothers who suffer from a complication, and I was one of those unlucky few.
There needs to be more awareness of this condition and other neurological disorders that can occur as a result of childbirth. The reality is that this condition should have been diagnosed earlier and correctly, as the prognosis is usually good.
Fortunately I’m almost 100% recovered. My nerves have regrown. I can walk (though no stilettos, thanks). More important, I can carry and even run after my baby, who’s grown into a beautiful, healthy toddler.