Postpartum Pain Relief: How to manage pain after having a baby
Having a baby changes everything.
Including YOUR BODY.
Yes, having a baby is beautiful and wonderful and the most amazing, life-changing thing in the world. It’s indescribable. But what it does to a mother’s body can be described in one simple word…
Don’t let me freak you out. The pain doesn’t last forever and it’s certainly manageable. But things will go a lot more smoothly if you’re prepared.
Thankfully, all the many mamas who have come before you didn’t go through it all in vain. Their wisdom has been passed down so that new moms everywhere can have a pretty dang good postpartum recovery plan.
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Trust me, when you have a newborn wailing for you every hour and catching up on much-needed sleep seems impossible, the last thing you need is to be in PAIN.
These are REALLY good tools to have ready before baby arrives so that you can manage the pain like a pro. All of the postpartum recovery items in this list are go-to’s for countless mamas and I have used almost all of these personally and can tell you…you want to have these waiting for you when you come home from the hospital.
Don’t just prepare for Baby with all the baby things…prepare for the real-life aftermath of bringing that baby into this world and have your own back. You’ll be super glad you did.
Postpartum Pain Relief
I highly recommend having a basket ready near your toilet with everything you’ll need right there within squatted reaching-distance (like the best postpartum pads ever.) My post on the DIY Postpartum Care Kit goes into detail on exactly how to put yours together and what you need in it besides pain relief items.
But for right now, let’s just focus on PAIN. These are the products I LOVE for postpartum pain relief. And soon, you will too.Perineal Spray – This spray is literally the most popular new mom item I recommend to pregnant mamas. It’s kind of amazing. A little spritz “down there” and you’ll be in love. If you end up suffering some tearing or even just normal after-birth soreness, this is a must-have. It’s all natural, very gentle and a favorite among mamas who know the pain all too well.
Tucks – My personal favorite postpartum go-to. Let’s just say all that pushing and pressure during childbirth can cause some “discomfort” below…and I’m not just talking about the front. These little pads are fantastic. The cooling affect relieves pain, itching, and burning. My nurse after I had my first taught my a little trick of overlapping 3-4 of these little babies and laying them on my pad every time I use the bathroom. You can also “tuck” them for extra soothing. I think every new mama I know uses these for pain relief after having a baby. Love ’em.
Sitz Bath Salts – Another favorite. Use a bit of this magic in a warm, shallow bath a few times a day for gentle, cleansing and quick pain relief. It’s also super relaxing and the lavender scent has a great smell. Sitz baths are known for reducing swelling and promoting fast healing and pain relief. This kind is really great, made with all-natural goodness like organic oatmeal, witch hazel, herbs, coconut oil and essential oils.
The “Mom Washer” Peri Bottle – Who knew warm water could be such a beautiful pain reliever? Using a cleansing bottle to rinse after those (often painful) visits to the little mamas room helps speed up healing, prevent infection, and really just feels great. I like to refill mine with hot water after each time I use it so it has time to cool down a bit and is ready and warm for the next time I need it.
Colace – Let’s talk about poop. I know – gross – but girl, honestly, get used to talking about some of the grossness that happens after Baby. Sugar-coating things isn’t gonna help you much, so I’m just gonna be real: your first postpartum bowel movement will probably hurt. The pressure on your bottom and that area that just spat out a baby will cause pain that just sucks.
Because constipation is a common postpartum symptom, a stool softener will help minimize that pressure when the time for number two comes. After you give birth in a hospital, your nurse will probably give you a few doses of this fantastic stool softener, so have some waiting at home to continue taking for a few weeks.Nipple Butter – Breastfeeding is beautiful…but starting out can be pretty painful. Don’t give up! It gets better and there is a lot of help available. One of the things you can do in advance to set you and Baby up for breastfeeding success is having this nipple butter ready. I really like this kind because it’s organic, safe for Baby, and is sooo soothing. It’s a new mom go-to that you really want to have on hand.
Pain Relievers – Ok, let’s stick with the basics. If you’re in serious pain (whether it’s postpartum headaches, body aches, breastfeeding pains, residual epidural pain, c-section incision pain, vaginal delivery soreness, hemorrhoids, or another lovely side effect of baby-having) sometimes a regular dose of a simple over-the-counter pain reliever can do the trick. According to Healthline, ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are considered safe for breastfeeding mothers because they pass into breast milk at extremely low levels. Grab a bottle for your postpartum care kit and keep in close.
Epsom Salt – Another postpartum pain that’s actually not talked about a lot is body aches. All that pushing and laboring, paired with those leftover pains of being 40 weeks pregnant, can cause a lot of muscle soreness. When I had my second baby (my midwife BARELY had time to make it into the room before he jumped out) I ended up with a severely bruised tailbone. OUCH. Anyway, a great remedy is taking warm baths and adding Epsom salt to reduce swelling and help with healing.
Lavender Essential Oil – I feel like every new mom needs a bottle of lavender. We should register for it. Adding a few drops to your postpartum baths can do wonders from relaxation and promote healing. (PLEASE make sure you’re using a high-quality and pure essential oil, like this kind. They are not created equal and the cheap stuff can be dangerous.)
Lavender is also a mama go-to oil for baby sleep once your little one is a bit older. I personally like to diffuse lavender in our home after having a baby to keep stress low and moods up. Oh, and it’s AMAZING during labor, so pack it in your hospital bag. It’s totally worth buying a bottle, you’ll use it.
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle – Another tip is using heat to treat your postpartum muscle pain. Many women suffer from back, leg, or abdominal pain after labor and delivery. Heat is always a great go-to for soothing pains and it just feels good. Since you’ll likely be spending a good amount of time in bed recovering, snuggling up with a warm heating pad or hot water bottle on your sore areas can give you that bit of extra pain relief you need.
Put all of these supplies in your postpartum care kit and don’t forget the other essentials I go over in this post on postpartum recovery basics.
Postpartum Pain and Tips for Moms-To-Be
The 6 weeks (minimum!) of recovery after having a baby can be tough, especially while, ya know, keeping a newborn baby alive, but these tried-and-true new mom hacks will help. Promise.
And I’ve got more!
Preparing pregnant women to become new moms is kind of my thing. It’s an extremely special, unique, and life-altering season you are about to enter and from the bottom of my heart, I want to help. You are not alone and you should NEVER feel like you are.
If you need a mama-friend, I’m here. Shoot me a comment or email or check out some of my other posts for some more advice and encouragement. Here are some of my most popular ones:
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