Pain After Birth

If you have been pregnant, then you know by now that pregnancy changes your body in ways you did not imagine. These changes do not end when your baby is born. If you go through a vaginal delivery, it is critical that you take very good care of yourself after giving birth. Soreness is normal after birth, which range from swollen breast to abdominal cramps among other changes. Read on to learn why you experience these pains and how to deal with them.

Pain After Birth

1. Pain All Over the Body

After delivery, it is normal to feel aches in different parts of the body. The most common areas include your ribs, back and abdomen. This is caused by the pushing and contractions while in labor. Even so, this discomfort should only last for a few days. It is also treatable with over the counter medication.

2. Vaginal Soreness

If you suffered a vaginal tear or episiotomy, it may take a few weeks for the wound to heal. It may even take longer for the tear to heal if it was extensive. There are several ways you can help with the healing process:

  • Soothing the wound. Use an ice pack to soothe the wound or use a witch hazel pad that is chilled. This can be purchased from the pharmacy.
  • To ensure you do not suffer a stingy sensation while urinating, you can pour warm water over the vulva while urinating. Press a pad gently on the wound to ease bowel movement.
  • Ensure you keep the wound clean at all times. Use a squirt bottle with water to rinse tissues between the anus and vaginal opening each time you use the toilet.
  • Ensure you sit comfortably. Use a pillow or padding ring for comfortable sitting.

During the wound healing process, you may experience some discomfort, but this will soon go away.

3. Sore Breast

A few days after delivery, expect your breast to become heavy, tender and swollen. This is referred to as engorgement. To make the discomfort easier to bear, you can nurse your baby or pump the breast milk to ease the pressure on the breasts. You can also apply icepacks or cold washcloths on your breasts. Alternatively, you can use over the counter painkillers to ease the soreness. Avoid nipple cracks by positioning your baby properly while feeding. If feeding becomes painful, seek the doctor’s advice.

4. Pain When Urinating

If you have swollen or bruised vaginal tissues, you may experience pain when urinating. You may experience a stinging sensation while urinating because of the contact of the tissues with the urine. You can pour cold water over the vulva while sitting on the toilet. In case you experience symptoms of urinary tract infections, contact your doctor. Some of the symptoms include frequent urination, pain while urinating and frequent urge to urinate.

5. Afterpains (Contractions)

These are pains in the form of cramps. They are caused by uterus contractions as it shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size. If you’re a first time mom, the after pains are mild and do not last long. However, these pains are uncomfortable after the second delivery and get worse with each successive birth. This is because the muscle tone deteriorates as one gives birth since the uterine muscles tend to contract and relax often. The cramping is only intense during the first few days.

6. Perineal Pain

This is pain between the vaginal opening and the anus. It is normally characterized by a feeling of soreness and discomfort.This may last for some time after the birth. This is caused by the stretching of the vaginal walls during birth. This can also be caused by tearing, episiotomy or bruising during child birth.

All these are normal pains after birth. However, if they seem to last longer than six weeks, or if they get severe with time, it is best to see your doctor. This will catch any serious infections or complications before it gets severe.

Other Body Changes after Birth

1. Bleeding

If you a first time mom, bleeding after birth is normal. Most first time moms are shocked by the amount of blood that appears. The bleeding can continue for a few weeks after delivery even though it tapers off after a few days. Avoid using tampons as they can cause infections. The blood flow may increase when nursing as breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract. If the blood gush increases, consult your doctor.

2. Sweating

It is normal to experience sweating especially at night. This is caused by the body’s hormonal adjustment. This is done in an attempt to rid your body of the fluids retained from the pregnancy. The sweating should cease after a few days.

3. Itching in the C Section Incision

Days following the delivery of your baby through c section, it is normal to feel fatigued and nauseated. Between four and six weeks, you will feel numb around the c section wound, but this will soon turn to a tingling and itchy feeling. If this is accompanied by fever, oozing or redness around the scar, you need to see a doctor as the wound may have caught an infection.

4. Constipation

The day following your baby’s delivery, it is normal to feel constipated. Sometimes, this can be caused by your phobia or tampering with the episiotomy stitches, or it could be constipation that you suffered while pregnant. Eat plenty of fiber rich foods and take plenty of fluids to ease bowel movement.

5. Hair Loss and Skin Change

It is normal to lose your hair after birth. This is caused by hormonal changes in your body. On average, a new mom loses100 hair strands each day. However, this should ease up after a few days. It is advisable to consult your doctor if the hair loss persists. Your skin may become dry after birth. This should clear up after a while. Taking plenty of fluids can also help in softening the skin.

6. Mood Swings

It is normal for a new mom to experience mood swings. Again, this is caused by hormonal changes taking place in the body after birth. Mood swings are characterized by sadness, depressions and being delusional. It is important to see a doctor in case of severe mood swings or distorted thoughts to be checked for postpartum depression.

7. Weight Loss

While pregnant, expectant mothers put on a lot of weight. After birth, it is only normal for some of this weight to shed off. However, too much weight loss can be risky. It is advisable to eat healthy and keep fit to ensure healthy weight loss after birth.

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