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While we congratulate you on new motherhood, we understand that giving birth is not an easy feat, whether done naturally or via caesarean. Recovering from pregnancy pain can take days, and in some cases, months. The contractions women notice after delivery takes at least 2-3 days to subside. This is more pronounced in the case of women who already have experienced a pregnancy. Your hormones will also be fluctuating, making it more difficult to think clearly. Take your new routine slowly, and get someone to help you with your laundry or prepare meals for your family while you attend to your newest family member. Avoid using stairs and doing strenuous activities for some time. It is advisable to give your body some much-needed rest to recover from delivery.
Why Does Your Body Ache After Delivery?
Being a new mother has its challenges. Every day is filled with stress, new experiences, and lots of worrying. Body aches are very common after delivery. Though they make your daily tasks stressful with the baby, body aches are not serious concerns that need a medical intervention immediately. Here are some of the reasons why the body aches after delivery:
1. Hormonal Changes
After delivery, the muscles and ligaments which had gotten relaxed will start to get back into their position. This causes a lot of body pain and aches.
2. Weight Gain
You tend to gain weight along with the growing weight of your child during pregnancy. This causes joint pain, especially in the knees.
Certain pregnant women can suddenly experience pain in their joints due to arthritis post delivery.
4. Pain in the Tailbone
If you had some injury to the joints or any pain in the tailbone, you are likely to develop more aches in the joints and tailbone post your delivery.
5. Lack of Exercise
If you do not exercise during pregnancy, or you are not in a position to exercise due to any previous history of injuries, you are likely to develop pains in the joints after your delivery.
6. New Routine
Frequent feeding sessions interfere with your sleeping patterns and are a major reason for feeling fatigued. This results in body pain after pregnancy.
Post Pregnancy Aches and Their Solutions
It can be very frustrating to know that all the headaches, body stiffness and aches that you had felt during your pregnancy are not going to go any time soon. It will still be a while before you feel connected with yourself. Let us look at some of these aches and suggest a solution to help you in your journey post-delivery:
1. Joint Pain After Delivery
The weight that you gained while carrying your baby causes joint pains. During pregnancy, the muscles and ligaments get relaxed to accommodate the increasing weight of the baby. After delivery, all these ligaments and muscles take some time to get back in their original position, and that results in aches.
You can undertake light exercises to keep your muscles relaxed. A hot water compress or an ice pack application can alleviate joint pain to some extent.
2. Body Pain
With the change in routine to accommodate your infant’s feeding needs, you are bound to get sleepless nights which can make you feel very tired.
A hot water bath works wonders on a tired body. Gift yourself a nice body massage to help you deal with body pain.
The most common ache post pregnancy is backache. The weight that you carried during pregnancy has its effects on your back.
Massage your back with a relaxing oil and apply a hot compress or try to relax in a hot water bath for a few minutes daily.
4. Cramping of the Uterus
After your delivery, the uterus starts contracting which causes discomfort. This is a natural phenomenon since the uterus goes back to its original position.
A hot compress helps in giving temporary relief to the pain in the uterus. This is safe, and you can use it frequently.
5. Pain in the Tailbone
Your spine has to accommodate a lot of weight during pregnancy. This takes a heavy toll on the tailbone, and it becomes sore after delivery.
Try using a soft pillow or cushion when you are sitting. Avoid sitting on a hard surface. You can also try a sitz-bath. This is a process in which both your buttocks and hips are completely immersed in warm water. They are known to alleviate pain due to haemorrhoids.
6. Persistent Headaches
The headaches that you experienced during your pregnancy are going to stay for some time. They are caused by changes in your hormonal levels, sleeping patterns and overall anxiety. Also rule out lactation headaches and post-spinal headache
Try applying some pain relief balms to soothe yourself. Lavender oil is excellent for relaxing your body.
Some women with no prior history of arthritis can develop this pain post delivery.
You can try applying a hot compress or ice pack to the affected joints. If you experience severe pain, see your doctor and seek further treatment.
These are caused due hormonal changes and increased blood circulation. They cause discomfort while passing bowel and can cause both bleeding and pain.
Witch hazel is known to help get some relief from your haemorrhoids. It helps in controlling the itchiness that these haemorrhoids cause to your body and shrinks them down. In case of severe cases, consult a surgeon for medical and surgical treatment.
Tips to Manage Pain After Delivery
It must be really challenging for you now, with so many changes happening to your body and your routine. Although it is going to take you a while to recover from the pain after pregnancy, the tips we offer will make your new journey into motherhood less painful and more enjoyable:
1. Eating Healthy
A healthy diet plays a significant role in helping you recover from the pains and aches after delivery. Eat nutritious food and frequent, light meals. Dehydration is also known to cause a headache. Drink plenty of water, especially since you will be breastfeeding your baby.
2. Avoid Constipation by Eating Fibre
Haemorrhoids are very painful, and constipation increases the pain during bowel movement. Include plenty of fibre in your diet and drink lots of water. You can also use a stool softener.
3. Heating Pad or Ice Pack Application
Most of the time, pain in the body or the joints gets relieved with the application of heating pads or ice packs. Keep them handy and apply whenever you have time. They work amazingly well to relieve the built-up stress in your muscles.
4. Relaxing Massage
Treat yourself to a relaxing massage every day. This helps in reducing your stress levels and also provides the much-needed relaxation to your sore body.
Pains and body aches are natural after delivery. It will be a while before you feel like yourself again. It takes almost two-thirds of a year to deliver a baby – give your body time to recover from the delivery process. Resting is the key to faster postpartum recovery. A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle go a long way in establishing a better recovery routine for yourself. Though the aches and pains are natural postpartum effects, it is wise to pay attention and listen to your body’s needs after delivery. If you notice any changes to your body like swelling or redness or a fever, seek help from your doctor immediately. Most of these pains and aches go away in a few weeks, but some may need further treatment from your practitioner. Enjoy motherhood, and take good care of yourself as well.
Also Read: Back Pain after Childbirth