Postpartum Aches and Pains You Should Definitely Know About

Updated on February 20th, 2020
postpartum body aches

It is normal to experience aches and pains after birth, and it generally subsides over time. But, ladies are experiencing severe pain and problems post their delivery. If you’re struggling with postpartum issues, it may even be a warning sign you need to seek medical attention. Postpartum aches and pains should be treated after delivery, or they can worsen. Here are the post-pregnancy aches and pains you should know about.

Postpartum Aches and Pains

1. Severe Pain

It is usual to experience postpartum pain throughout the body. The body goes through intense strain at the time of contractions. Often, these contractions can be severe, in that women continue to experience aches and pains weeks following the delivery.

After giving birth, most women complain about lower back pain. This is possible because the amount of pain and strain the body goes through during labor contractions is the reason. Headaches, stiffness, and pain between shoulders may also be experienced.

Further, there may be tingling in the wrists and hands. If you are experiencing the pain across the body after the six weeks, post-childbirth is over, seeking medical attention is critical. Doctors may prescribe pain medicine and other forms of pain management therapy.

Consider acupuncture, which successfully treats headaches, pain, anxiety, and depression among crucial health issues.

2. Engorgement

Breast Pump

A common and significant change one notices after birth is how tender and large the breasts are. Patients experience the onset of lactation, letdown, or engorgement post 24-72 hours postpartum. Engorgement occurs when excessive milk is stored in the breasts.

It leads to warmth, firmness, and tenderness of the chest. Patients complain of heat or pain in the breasts, experiencing fever. Once nursing begins, breasts become less hard and swollen. As one continues breastfeeding, breasts become less swollen. If the nursing frequency is low, breasts can become engorged.

A natural way to cure the problem is nursing often. Consider nursing every three hours for reducing engorgement. Avoid taking 4-5 hour breaks between feeding, as it causes breasts to become engorged. Nursing the baby 12 times a day or so can avoid breast engorgement.

The swelling or inflammation can be managed through cold or heat packs. Tight bras, analgesics, and anti-swelling medicines are useful, too. A breast pump can also reduce engorgement.

3. Postpartum Contractions

Contractions can be experienced after giving birth as uterus contracts back to its pre-pregnancy state. This is referred to as involution. Intense contractions or afterbirth pains can result when one is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding triggers postpartum contractions(1), which last a few days and then subside.

To manage your contractions, consult a doctor and try pain medicines or breathing and relaxation techniques. Try urinating frequently and increase nursing frequency to alleviate contractions.

4. Perineal Tears

These tears occur at the time of vaginal delivery. Lacerations of soft tissue occur between the vagina and the anus. These lacerations vary in terms of severity. Most are mild and don’t require treatment.

Sometimes, tears are so severe that they trigger bleeding and chronic long-term pain. Depending on the severity of the damage, perineal stitching may be required to heal tissues. Minor tears do not need stitching and must improve on their own.

Ways to manage perineal pain include placing ice packs on wounds for relief, averting frenetic activity, wearing loose clothing, and consuming a lot of liquids. Caregivers can also recommend pain medicines to manage the issue. Scars may itch while healing.

If you have a C-section, and scars itch, it is reasonable, and itching subsides as injuries heal. Another reason whys cars can itch is owing to dry skin or infection. One may experience itching as the scar heals and itching may increase as wounds further improve.

Although it may be tempting or relieving to scratch the area, avoid doing so. Use ice packs and opt for topical anti-inflammatory agents to reduce oozing and swelling.

[ Read: Multivitamin for Women ]

5. Postpartum Hemorrhage

Postpartum Pain

In the weeks following childbirth, postpartum bleeding should stop. If persistent heavy bleeding occurs post the delivery for more than ten days, one needs to seek medical attention.

Postpartum hemorrhage is severe and should not be ignored. It causes complications like heart palpitations, low blood pressure, weakness, chills, nausea, and blurred vision. Doctors will decide the course of action based on the condition’s severity.

Medications help the uterus to contract or shrink. Remove different parts of the placenta left in the womb. Uterine artery embolization and blood transfusions may be recommended.

6. Postpartum Gas & GI Issues

If one experiences gas post-pregnancy, one is not alone. Women report postpartum flatulence after giving birth. Pelvic floor damage can cause gas by putting a strain on the pregnancy. At delivery, the sphincter muscles may tear the anus(2). This can lead to anal incontinence.

Change in bowel habits may also occur, including change in bowel urgency, anal leakage, loss of control over stools or gas. Women undergoing more than single childbirth may experience worsened incontinence over time. The issue may persist in sans intervention.

If your gas is trapped and painful, it could be a side effect of constipation. Bowel movements need to be slowed down for the first few days post-delivery, whether one has a vaginal or cesarean delivery. Illness can even last longer,

Symptoms suggest the following:

  • Hard stool
  • Lack of regular stools,
  • Bloating and stomach discomfort,
  • Straining during bowel movements.

Doctors may prescribe iron supplements for cesarean delivery. Iron also causes constipation. If this continues for 3-4 days, the doctor must be contacted. Certain pain medications also increase the chances of illness. Use dietary methods to control gas.

Avoid gassy foods like beans, veggies like cauliflower and cabbage, dairy products, carbonated drinks, onions, whole grains, and processed foods. You can also try pelvic floor muscles at home for controlling anal incontinence.

Doctors may suggest a lot of solutions for every postpartum ache or pain you may be having. Remember that while childbirth is over, postnatal care is essential for gaining a healthy lifestyle once pregnancy is over. Don’t fall prey to these ills and issues. Take care of yourself and your baby. A healthy child and a healthy mother are a must for every family. Make your health a priority, besides caring for your little one, too.

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