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Postpartum Recovery: Exploring 10 Natural Pain Relief Options 

April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! After nine months of patiently waiting, you must be over the moon. While a baby brings lots of joy, your body is experiencing the physical and emotional challenges of childbirth.

One of these challenges in postpartum recovery is pain, which may include back pains, uterine cramping, pelvic and genital pain, gas pains, constipation pains, breast and nipple pain, and incision pains. Whether you had a natural birth or a cesarean section (C-Section), you’ll need a way to manage your pain.

Pain management during postpartum delivery helps reduce stress, prevent postpartum depression, and improve breast milk production. Furthermore, managing afterbirth pains helps you dedicate more time to concentrating on your little one.

African american mom holds newborn she just delivered and is in postpartum for an article by successful black parenting magazine on natural pain relief.
Becoming a new mom is blissful, but postpartum recovery can be challenging. Discover effective natural remedies to ease your healing journey after childbirth.

A sitz bath is the grandfather of pain relievers during postpartum recovery, for it has been around for centuries. It’s best for relieving perineal pain, itching, and discomfort. Furthermore, a sitz bath promotes blood circulation, leading to quick healing. It can also help reduce itching, soreness, and pain caused by hemorrhoids.

Sitz bath involves soaking yourself in warm water, to which you can add Epsom salts. Better still, you can buy sitz bath salts containing Epsom salt and natural herbal ingredients.

Special sitz bath basins are available in stores, but if you cannot afford one, you can use your bathtub or a small basin.

The perineal pain can give you a hard time, especially if you have stitches after delivery. Sitting down and urinating can also cause discomfort and pain. Postpartum perineal ice packs can help reduce the pain and keep you comfortable.

Since the perineal ice packs are designed for the perineal area, they’ll be comfortable to use, especially when sitting. You can also use a standard ice pack, but ensure you wrap it with a clean cloth to prevent ice burn. Ice packs are also excellent for use on C-section incisions, breasts, and nipples to provide much-needed relief.

There’s a saying that goes, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” and when it comes to managing your pain after giving birth, “Cleanliness is next to a painless recovery.” Ensuring that your genitals are clean whenever you visit the washroom can help ease the itching and pain in your vagina and perineal area. Urine can cause itching, leading to more discomfort and pain, so you can use a peri bottle as you urinate.

A peri bottle can help you clean these areas, preventing more irritation. Furthermore, this bottle can cleanse lochia (postpartum bleeding), ensuring cleanliness and comfort.

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is becoming popular for pain management during postpartum recovery. Besides pain relief, CBD can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and prevent postpartum depression. Moreover, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling, soreness, and pain.

While you may get the relief you need by using CBD, it doesn’t lack its risks. Common side effects that would concern some mothers include:

  • Decreases in alertness (e.g., drowsiness and sedation)
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Liver injury
  • Negative interaction with other drugs

As a mom, you may also be worried about passing some amount to the baby through breast milk and the effects it can cause. As long as you’re using it responsibly and as directed by your doctor, you will transfer very insignificant levels to your baby. However, there’s limited research to show the effects of passing CBD to your baby.

The important thing is to consult with your OB-GYN before using any CBD products for your postpartum recovery. Also, ensure you understand your state laws and regulations regarding CBD, which is a derivative of cannabis, a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law and illegal in some states.

Witch hazel is a plant with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe pain, swelling, itching, and irritation. You can use witch hazel pads on your perineum to relieve itching, pain, and swelling and facilitate healing. Put the pack in your refrigerator to cool it and receive the desired relief.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Centre, you can use a heating pad set on “low” to relieve pain from your abdomen and incision area. Furthermore, you can use a compressor belt (abdominal belt), which research has shown can reduce pain, facilitate healing, and reduce distress during postpartum recovery.

Constipation is common for mums after delivery, affecting 47% of moms who deliver their babies through vaginal delivery and 57% of those who undergo a C-Section. You can experience trapped gas due to constipation, which causes more pain. Furthermore, constipation leads to pain when passing stool, and this becomes more painful if you have stitches on your perineum or a C-Section incision.

To prevent constipation, drink lots of fluids, especially water, and eat fiber-rich foods. If you can, move around after eating for a few minutes to improve digestion.

You may be experiencing back pains and other joint pains that come with the strain of carrying your baby for nine months. Also, difficult labor can lead to pain in your body. On top of this, your breastfeeding posture can lead to back and neck pain if it’s not the right one.

One way to prevent back and neck pain is to use a heating pad. In addition, ensure you sit and hold your baby in the right position. You can use a nursing pillow to ensure you’re relaxed and comfortable. Additionally, you can breastfeed your baby while lying on one side.

Essential oils such as lavender can help relax a new mother during postpartum care in an article by successful black parenting magazine.
Essential oils such as lavender are great ways to help with relaxing during postpartum recovery. Source.

There has been an increased trend of using essential oils for pain management before and after delivery. Research has shown that these oils can be an effective natural remedy for relieving pain, especially after an episiotomy and management of postpartum depression.

Try essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, or clary sage to your abdomen and perineum to ease pain and aid healing.

Getting enough rest after your delivery is a ticket to pain relief and quick healing. You can look for someone to help you with household chores for a few weeks. If you had a C-Section, you may need help for a longer period compared to someone who had a natural birth.

However, it’s good to note that sitting or lying in bed the whole day won’t help ease the pain, especially if you have a C-Section wound. Take some time to move around and avoid lifting anything heavy.

The postpartum period can be difficult and stressful due to pain and coping with the strains of a newborn. Natural ways to manage the pain include having a warm sitz bath, applying ice packs or witch hazel pads, and using heat pads to ease the discomfort. You can also use essential oils, get enough rest, maintain good posture while breastfeeding, and ensure cleanliness. Over-the-counter pain medications and CBD products can play a crucial role during your postpartum recovery. However, ensure you speak to your OB-GYN before using any pain management products.

The smell of lavender will relax a new mom after she has gone through labor and delivery in an article by successful black parenting magazine.
Find comfort in recovery: natural solutions like lavender for postpartum pain management

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