Just because labor is over and you’re holding the cutest baby on earth doesn’t mean the pain of pregnancy is over. Pregnancy and labor pains are taken over by postpartum pains almost immediately after giving birth. Some pains last for several weeks or months after birth, but there is something you can do to ease nearly every postpartum pain.
There is no doubt you will feel soreness in muscles you didn’t even know you had after giving birth. The process of pushing a baby through the birth canal is strenuous, which is one of the main reasons doctors suggest keeping up with an exercise program during pregnancy. Remember to use heating pads and an over the counter pain medication approved by your doctor. If you are breastfeeding, double check all medications with your doctor before taking. There are some medications you may need to forego until you’ve weaned the baby.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, you will start producing milk immediately after birth. Your breasts will grow rapidly in anticipation of breastfeeding. If you start breastfeeding the pain will subside with time as a normal supply of milk comes in and baby regularly empties your breasts. If you choose to bottle feed, breast pain will subside after you stop producing milk. Wear a restrictive bra and minimize nipple stimulation to reduce pain naturally.
Vaginal births can cause pain around the vaginal opening and perineum. Sitz baths are effective at reducing local pain, but many women do not have sitz bath equipment at home. Ask your physician for the address of a local medical store where you can purchase sitz bath equipment. If you were given a sitz bath in the hospital, ask if you can take the equipment home to ease the pain.
C-section pain is similar to pain associated with general surgery. Your incision will be in the stomach area – below the belly button. Incision size will vary, but most doctors make the smallest incision possible, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel pain. A prescription pain medication is available in the hospital and, sometimes, at home. If you are experiencing extreme pain talk to your doctor as it could be a sign of infection or other surgical complication.
Before you know it the pain you experienced during pregnancy, labor and postpartum will disappear and you’ll be left with wonderful memories of rolling, kicking, pushing and holding baby for the first time.