Giving birth is a miracle in itself, but it often comes with a lot of pain. After delivery, many women experience various body pains. About 60% of women report some pain after giving birth, ranging from mild to severe. While some pain is to be expected, there are things you can do to ease the discomfort. Here are some tips to help you deal with the various body pains after giving birth.
1. Know what is causing the pain.
If you’re dealing with body pains after giving birth, the first step is to identify the source of the pain. Many women experience back pain due to the strain of carrying a baby for nine months. Additionally, the hormone relaxin, released during pregnancy to loosen the joints and ligaments in preparation for childbirth, can persist for up to six weeks postpartum, leaving the joints and ligaments around the pelvis more susceptible to injury.
Knowing the source of the pain can help you to better target the pain with specific treatments. If this kind of back pain is what you are experiencing, you can try doing some pregnancy-safe exercises or stretches to help ease the pain. Some women also take relaxing massage therapy, where the therapist will use gentle pressure and strokes to help reduce the tension in their muscles.
2. Use ice or heat to help relieve the pain.
Applying ice or heat can be an effective way to deal with body pains after giving birth. Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation, while heat can increase blood flow and relax tight muscles. For the first few days after giving birth, you may want to alternate between ice and heat to see what provides the most relief.
But, do not put ice or heat directly on your skin. Instead, wrap it in a thin towel before applying it to the affected area. You should also avoid applying ice or heat for more than 20 minutes at a time. This can cause further irritation and pain. Only use ice or heat as directed by your doctor.
3. Over-the-counter pain medications may offer relief.
If you’re dealing with body pains after giving birth, over-the-counter pain relievers can be a helpful way to ease the discomfort. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are generally considered safe for use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. But, as with any medication, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking anything, even over-the-counter medications.
You can take these medications as directed on the package for relief from pain. Just be sure not to take more than the recommended dosage. Additionally, it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids when taking these medications, as they can cause dehydration. You should also avoid drinking alcohol while taking these medications.
4. Prescription pain medications may be necessary.
In some cases, over-the-counter pain medications may not be enough to provide relief from the body pains after giving birth. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. These medications should only be taken as directed by your doctor.
Some of the prescription pain medications that your doctor may recommend to ease body pains after giving birth include:
These medications can help ease the pain but also have serious side effects. You should only take them as directed by your doctor and stop taking them as soon as the pain subsides.
5. Rest when you can.
When dealing with body pains after giving birth, getting plenty of rest is essential. This can be difficult to do when you have a new baby at home, but you should try to get as much rest as you can. If possible, have your partner or a family member take over some of the baby care duties, so you can get some much-needed rest.
You should also avoid strenuous activities that require a lot of physical exertion. These activities can exacerbate the pain and make it more difficult to recover. You may need to take a few days or weeks off from work or other activities to recover from the pain.
6. Try natural remedies.
Many women prefer to try natural remedies to ease body pains after giving birth. Some of the most popular natural remedies include:
- Herbal teas
- Homeopathic remedies
- Chiropractic care
Before trying any natural remedy, be sure to talk to your doctor. Some natural remedies may not be safe for you or your baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You can also talk to a naturopathic doctor or another healthcare provider to get more information on natural remedies for body pains after giving birth.
Dealing with body pains after giving birth can be difficult, but there are many ways to ease the discomfort. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your pain. You may need to take over-the-counter or prescription medications, get plenty of rest, or try natural remedies. With the proper treatment, you can relieve your body pains and start enjoying your new baby.