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Pregnancy and childbirth take a huge toll on your body and it will take some time to heal. It’s perfectly normal for new mothers to experience postpartum pain and discomfort. If you are concerned about excessive pain, you should check in with your doctor to make sure that everything is ok. However, there are some simple things you can do at home to help manage your discomfort.
You might have been told not to do any special exercises during your pregnancy, but now that you’re a new mom it’s actually a great time to start a gentle stretching and strengthening routine. Your muscles can be put under a lot of stress during birth and many people experience soreness in the legs from being in stirrups, as well as pain in the back. Some light stretching can help to loosen the muscles and reduce pain.
Sitz baths are a great way to relieve pain and discomfort in the pelvic region. You can purchase a special seat that sits right in your bathtub or use a towel and some warm water. Taking a postpartum sitz bath for 10 minutes is generally enough time, but you can do it more often if you like. Just be sure not to get the water too hot, as you can burn yourself and increase the discomfort. As well as managing pain, a regular sitz bath keeps the area clean and reduces the chances of infections. This is especially important if you had sutures after birth.
Hot Water Bottles
Afterpain is a pain that you may feel as your uterus returns to its original size after giving birth. These contractions can be incredibly uncomfortable and they tend to be worse in the first few days after giving birth. You may also experience them during breastfeeding and they can last up to six weeks. Holding a hot water bottle against your abdomen can give you fast relief when you are struggling with afterpains.
Cooling packs are great for bringing down swelling in your perineal area. This can be done by placing one of these packs inside your underwear while you sleep. You’ll want to remove the pack when it gets too warm, but this should be enough time for the coldness to help reduce pain and discomfort. Cooling packs are brilliant for reducing inflammation and helping the healing process along while also providing relief.
Changes to your hormone levels often bring about headaches in the days and weeks after giving birth. The easiest way to deal with this is to take some over-the-counter painkillers, like Ibuprofen. They have the added benefit of reducing inflammation and can be effective for managing afterpains too. As your body heals, you should avoid taking any strong painkillers, so Ibuprofen is perfect.
Time is the thing that you need most and eventually, your body will be at full strength again. But until then,