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Labor pains do not end abruptly after the birth of your little one. The pains continue for quite sometime after the birth and these pains are called after pains.
The after pains happen because the uterus that had expanded immensely during the pregnancy is now trying to slowly shrink back to its original size. Once the baby has vacated your womb, its muscles will try to contract and regain its original form.
These contractions of the uterus are experienced as severe cramps and intense pain. A first-time mother has it easy, as the muscles go back to their original size pretty quickly and will cause less intense pains.
A mother who has given birth many times will experience more pain and cramps, as the muscles of the uterus take a longer time and effort to get back to normal. This is because the uterine muscles have been stretched and contracted so many times, it is hard to go back to the way they were. The pain and cramps can get worse with each birth for some women.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to deal with the after pains. Pains that occur after the delivery can be managed with some simple tips and tricks. Today, we shall share some of them here. Read on to know more.
- Prepare Yourself Mentally
- Try And Relax
- Bundle Up With Your Baby
- Use Ice
- Use Heat Packs
- Use Herbs
- Taking A Warm Bath
- Going Naked
- Drink A Lot Of Water
- Pee A Lot Too
- Make Sure That You Do Not Have Constipation
- Belly Wrapping
• Prepare Yourself Mentally
You need to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that the after pains will indeed come once the delivery is done. Being prepared and learning why this happens and the ways to deal with it makes the experience of the pain much easier.
• Try And Relax
It is often seen that anticipation of pain or the shock of seeing the pain return even though the labor is done, can make you clench and tense up. This will only make the cramps and the pain worse. You should relax and let your body do its thing. Keep in mind that this pain is because your body is trying to get things back to the way it was.
Try and spend every moment you can spare resting. Trying to get too many things done soon after the birth can leave you feeling worse. It can also make the pain and the cramping worse. The body needs time to recuperate. So, do not waste your energy doing anything that is not absolutely necessary.
• Bundle Up With Your Baby
While resting, snuggle up with your baby and get started on the bonding between you two. The hormones that are produced by the bonding and the breastfeeding will help to ease your after pains.
• Use Ice
Take a tray of ice and dump it into a zip-lock bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your abdomen. You can also use a bag of frozen peas and cut vegetables in a pinch. The ice will help you numb the pain and can ease the cramps of the after pain.
• Use Heat Packs
Heat too can help with easing pains and cramps. It relaxes the uterine muscle, which leads to the reduction of cramps and the pain. You can use a normal generic heating pad. But often, a heating pad may not be available or may be unsuitable when in bed with a newborn. So, take some raw rice and microwave it for a couple of minutes. Check to see if the rice is comfortably warm. Now, tie the rice in a piece of cotton cloth and use it on the abdomen. The rice will stay warm for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the rice cools down, it can be plopped into the microwave again for a quick heating up too.
• Use Herbs
Use some herbs to help you reduce the impact of the pain. Brew some ginger tea, chamomile tea or some red raspberry leaf tea and sip it while warm. This will relax your uterine muscles and calm the pain. Other herbs that help in relieving cramps and pain of after birth are yarrow, motherwort and cramp bark.
• Taking A Warm Bath
Intense pains and cramps of after birth can be cured by soaking in a tub of pleasantly warm water. The heat will soothe you and help your sore muscles relax. Talk to your doctor before heading to a bath if you had a baby in a cesarean operation, as a bath may hinder the healing of the wound and stitches.
• Going Naked
If you do not have visitors or are not doing much around the house, try lying down on your bed bereft of clothing. This will help you relax, especially in the heat of summer. If it is winter, just a warm blanket will do. Doing this somehow relaxes the body and the muscles of the uterus. It also facilitates a lot of skin to skin contact with your baby, which also helps in reducing the cramps and pain of the after birth.
• Drink A Lot Of Water
Even under normal circumstances, dehydration can cause muscle pains. Help your uterine muscles do its job of going back to shape by drinking plenty of water frequently. This will also help in secretion of more milk and will relieve muscle pain too.
• Pee A Lot Too
Your bladder and the urinary system have taken a beating during the delivery. It is important for you to drink a lot of water and relieve yourself often to help your urinary system work properly after birth. A full bladder puts a lot of pressure on the uterus causing more intense pain. Even if you do not feel the urge to pee, you should still visit the loo every two hours. You will notice that the pain goes away or lessens instantly after letting out your urine.
• Make Sure That You Do Not Have Constipation
Constipation can cause the increase of pressure in your bowels. This can cause a lot of cramping and pain after the delivery. Eat a diet that is rich in fibre to prevent constipation. If you do have constipation, talk to your doctor and he will prescribe a safe pill that softens the stool.
• Belly Wrapping
Belly wrapping is a technique done in many societies. It is mainly done to prevent the sagging of the tummy, but it also has the fortunate side effect of preventing the after pains. The wrapping can also give your uterine muscles some support. Make sure to talk to your doctor about when and how to wrap your belly for the best results.
A massage can help you relax mentally and the muscles of your body are soothed too. Uterine massage is a massage done by some nurses or a spa to help the uterus regain its previous shape and size. It can be very painful, but it will help prevent any further pains. It will release all the clotted blood out and will assist the muscles contract efficiently and less painfully.