Improving maternal health by reducing pregnancy-related low back pain
Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain, postpartum hemorrhage, and delayed access to emergency obstetric care are three research areas that the AXA Research Fund Women’s Health Fellowship has funded.
Nina Goossens, a rehabilitation research scientist, has been studying the factors that could lead to pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (PLPP) and its persistence after childbirth at Hasselt University. Dr. Goossens’ objectives were twofold: to find out whether having less control over one’s body while standing can cause lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy and postpartum; and to uncover the reasons for this impaired control.
The results from the project have advanced our knowledge on the predictors of PLPP during pregnancy and after childbirth. Dr. Nina Goosen’s work has helped change current unhelpful biomedical beliefs and increase awareness of the condition, enabling healthcare providers to take women’s pain complaints more seriously and encouraging women to seek aid rather than minimizing their pain. Her findings are a stepping stone toward improving screening procedures and prevention and treatment strategies, which could help prevent lumbopelvic pain from becoming chronic and recurring after giving birth, in later pregnancies and indeed later in life.
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