A woman’s body is capable of doing the most remarkable thing; giving birth. After waiting for the whole nine months, you would be excited to return home from with your newborn baby and your focus for the next few months will certainly be on your bundle of joy. But, it is also important to take good care of yourself.
Delivering a baby is not an easy task. You might have had a C section or a vaginal delivery, and both of these will put a whole lot of pressure on your body and it would take weeks for you to totally recover. This is the time after delivery that your body will change again to come back to its non-pregnant condition. Like the symptoms are different from one pregnant lady to another, the postpartum changes too differ from one woman to another.
One of the most common problems faced by women after their delivery is the postpartum pain. The pain can be minor or quite painful depending on the kind of delivery you have had.
Why does the perineum get so sore?
During the birth of the child via vaginal delivery, there is a lot of pressure on the perineum area which is the area between the anus and the vagina. This happens as the perineum needs to stretch to accommodate the head of your baby as it comes out.
There can be a tear on the perineum or the doctor might as well make a cut to widen the opening for the baby’s head to come out easily. This procedure is known as episiotomy and it can be quite painful after the delivery.
Why does it pain so much?
Like mentioned earlier, the new mother’s body undergoes a lot of physical changes after delivery. Women can experience pain due to bleeding or even sore muscles. Some of the physical changes that can cause pain are,
- Contractions that are also called as afterpains which occur when the uterus shrinks back to its normal size after delivery. It would take about 6 weeks for the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size.
- Pain due to sore muscles is quite common after delivery. This can occur due to the hard labor and this normally disappears after a couple of days.
- Women can also experience pain in their lower abdomen due to the bleeding or vaginal discharge. In most cases, such bleeding can last for 2 or 4 weeks and can be irregular for 2 months as well.
- Pain or soreness in the vaginal area is common after childbirth. This is worse when there is an episiotomy or a perineal
- Women who have undergone a C section can also experience pain in their lower belly and are usually prescribed medications for the same for at least 2 weeks.
How long is the healing process?
The healing or the recovery time can differ from women to women, but in general, it all depends on the tear or the cut you might have had during the time of childbirth. While pain medications are prescribed in case of C section, no such medications are provided in case of a vaginal delivery.
If you experience a lot of pain, try applying an ice pack over the perineum using a soft covering. This will provide the much-needed relief from the swelling and pain.
In case of an extensive tear, the doctor might prescribe medication that is safe to use even when you are breastfeeding. Never take any medication without consulting your doctor when you are breastfeeding.
You also need to take in a lot of water and other fluids as it helps prevent constipation. You can even try taking a stool softener for few weeks till the tear or the cut is completely healed.
If you experience pain even after a few weeks, do call your doctor or the caregiver. You also need to talk to them in case you have a bad swelling accompanied by fever or any other signs of infection.
Remember that your body needs time to heal from all the physical stress. Save your energy and take good care of yourself and your newborn.