How to Manage Your Aches and Pains After Giving Birth: A Sensitive Guide to Help You Heal

We know that pregnancy and delivery would be painful, but nobody told us to factor in the aches and pains after childbirth. Many women are alarmed because pains, in various places and at various degrees, persist after childbirth. As do a host of other discomforts. 

But don’t worry. Here’s some help for you, new moms. Knowing about what lies ahead, will help you seek advice from your doctor in advance. Also, some simple healing tips will make your postpartum parts feel much better.

Do remember- the bottom line is that you should always consult your doctor before trying any at-home remedy for the following:

1. Your body aches all over

It’s normal to experience whole body aches- sometimes your whole body, right from your ribs, abdomen and your back where the epidural needle was pushed in, can pain after childbirth.

It’s also natural to feel washed out for a couple of days after childbirth but do remember this to get you through this rough time- you should be free from pain in a few days.

Sometimes, the doctor prescribes an over-the-counter painkiller for the pain, or asks you to take ibuprofen for a few days. But this is certainly not advisable to women who are choosing to breastfeed. All painkillers do not suit all women, so it is strictly advised that you do not self-medicate.

2. You get cramps in your uterus

Your uterus has gone through the churn. It has pushed out a baby and is now in the process of getting back into shape. This is felt as abdominal aches and flutters, just like menstrual cramps which get more painful during breast-feeding.

If your cramps get too painful, talk to your doctor, especially if they last for more than a week. 

3. Your breasts are bloated

Your breasts get huge and feel intensely sore when your milk comes in after childbirth.

The way to handle breast pain is to get your baby to drink all the milk from your breast.

You can use a pump to drain the milk from your breast if your baby has trouble latching on.

For sore breasts, you can also apply ice packs or bags of frozen peas on your breasts to ease the pain and soreness.

4. Be prepared for postpartum bleeding

Post-partum bleeding happens for up to four weeks after childbirth and most first-time moms are shocked at just how much they bleed. This, by itself doesn’t cause pain, though.

So, be prepared with enough pads and panty liners to stem the flow. But, don’t use tampons as these can cause infections.

Also be prepared for a heavier flow during nursing, which happens because the uterus contracts at this time.

If there are clots in the blood or if the flow is just way too much, report to your doctor immediately as this can be a possible red flag.

5. Night sweats are normal

Pregnancy and childbirth comes with changes in hormones. This can cause night sweats and it’s absolutely normal for you to wake up soaking wet sometimes in the morning.

Night sweats in the first days after childbirth are also your body’s way of expelling all the extra water retained by your body during pregnancy.

So don’t worry, these sweats dry up in a few days naturally.

6. Your C-section scars can pain and itch

If you delivered by C-section, please do understand that you gone through a major surgery and this comes with its own issues.

In the days immediately after delivery, you can feel extremely fatigued and you may feel nauseous too.

You may take up to six weeks to heal completely and you can expect some numbness, tingling, and itching at the site of your incision too. These are normal and your doctor will prescribe meds for these issues.

However, if you get fever with redness and oozing from your scar, this can indicate an infection and you should rush to your doctor immediately.

7. You're constipated almost all the time

Most women report trouble with their bowel movements post- delivery. This can happen sometimes due to anxiety because of episiotomy stitches and also because your body is taking time to settle back into its rhythm.

Don’t worry about the stitches- they will remain and will not tear.

You can also expect your constipation to go within a week. But, if due to some reason it doesn’t, your doctor can recommend a stool softener. You can also eat ISABAGOL for fibre, drink plenty of water, and get some exercise like an easy stroll for some help.

8. Your vagina hurts

Some of the unpleasant side effects of a vaginal delivery are episiotomy stitches and hemorrhoids, and not to forget the tears, abrasions, and swelling that accompany the birth.

You may also experience searing pain and burns during peeing, post-childbirth.

You have to wait for about 10 days for the sutures to go and the swelling to subside. In the meantime, apply an ice pack to your perineum, the thin tissue under your vagina, several times a day.

To take the sting out of peeing, use a peri bottle—a small, handheld plastic squirt container which you can use to spritz yourself while peeing to dilute the urine and reduce the burn. Just don’t spray directly into the vagina as this will cause more discomfort.

You can also squirt off the blood and pee afterwards to avoid touching the area as this will increase the pain too.

You can use a pillow to sit down on the toilet seat to avoid pain and discomfort to your vagina.

We hope these postpartum healing hints are useful to you. We believe that mothers need just as much care after childbirth, as much as the child itself. We urge you not to take your post-partum body lightly. Do not hesitate to reach out to communities of women, should you need any advice.

About the Author

Shikha Gandhi

Shikha Gandhi is a health journalist and a short film maker. She is also a certified Pranic healer and a lover of long walks.