Pregnancy marks the beginning of a grand adventure. Carrying the baby inside the womb for nine months is an adventure in itself. Not only is it a somewhat unimaginable feat to carry another human being inside you (someone you already love and care for so much even though you haven't even met him/her yet), it is also packed with lots of difficulties and challenges.
But things don't end after you deliver your baby. As much as you would want to shower your baby with attention right away, some aches and pains from the birthing process may prevent you from doing so. In order to relieve pain and have more energy and vigor to tend your bundle of joy, here are ways to relieve various types of post-delivery pains.
Episiotomy (Peritoneal Tear)
This is common for women who gave birth the natural way. There is an area between the vagina and anus that is called the peritoneum. It can tear during a vaginal delivery. Or a doctor may cut it to deliver the baby more easily. This procedure is called episiotomy, also called peritoneal tear. The area may itch and swell for several days or weeks. Relieve the discomfort with these techniques:
- Apply an ice pack 24 hours after the delivery. This will help reduce the pain and swelling.
- Take warm baths 24 hours after giving birth. Submerge only your hips and bottom. Hold a warm compress in the painful area to relieve the pain.
- Squirt warm water while urinating. This is a strategy advised by doctors so there is less stinging sensation during urination. The hospital usually provides a squirt bottle for this purpose but you can also use any clean bottle that has a squirt top.
- Apply anesthetic cream, ointment or spray to numb the area temporarily. A solution that comes with witch hazel is especially useful.
- When resting, opt to lie on your side instead of your back. This helps alleviate the pressure on the site where the episiotomy procedure was done. Also, avoid sitting or standing too long. It's also a good idea to sit on a soft pillow.
- Do Kegel exercises. Kegels are effective in strengthening the muscles near the incision or tear. This can also help speed up the recovery process. To do this, tighten the area in your vagina as if you're trying to control your urine flow. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds then release. Do this 20 times.
Cesarean Section Incision
If you gave birth by C-section, you'll need to stay in the hospital for a while. You'll be given pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to ease the pain. Some of the instructions on self-care at home that your doctor will give you include the following:
- Clean the incision. Wash it several times a day using warm but not hot water. Keep it dry after rinsing.
- Change the bandages every day.
- Wear loose clothing. Don't wear anything that can rub against the incision. Be careful about underwear bands.
- Call the doctor if you have fever that is over 100.4 degrees, persistent drainage or fluid from the wound, increased tenderness, redness of swelling, or sore breasts and nipples.
Giving birth is lovely. What's even lovelier is that adorable little baby that you've introduced into this world. Don't let aches and pains get in the way of your happiness. Alleviate pain with the tips above.