Giving birth is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Tornadoes are natural but can still cause damage. Hurricanes are natural but bring with them dangers. Birth is the same – a natural process, which can leave lasting effects. If you have recently given birth and want to help your body heal, these tips can help.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, are exercises that work the muscles around your vagina, bladder, and bottom. After giving birth, these muscles can weaken, causing urinary and/or bowel incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse. When in a comfortable position, tighten your pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds before releasing. Repeating this simple exercise ten times on a regular basis can help your body heal.
Soak in the Bath
If you have had a vaginal birth, spending time in a bath can help soothe any pains. Many women find a bath helps relax the body and ease muscles which have tensed during labor and birth. Even if a full bath isn’t possible (due to needing to rest or medical advice) a sitz bath can be a great source of relief, reducing inflammation, itching and soreness. If you had a c-section, ask your medical team for advice over when you can bathe. They may recommend alternative soothing options such as heat or ice packs in the interim.
Look After Your Stitches
If you have had stitches, it is important you take care of them as they heal. Whether you have had a c-section or a vaginal birth, if you have had stitches, you must keep them clean to reduce the risk of infection. Use plain water and carefully pat the area dry (do not rub). Be sure to change sanitary products and underwear regularly, particularly if you have had vaginal stitches – specially designed maternity pads are best to wear as they are softer and more comfortable.
Take Pain Relief
Don’t be a martyr – if you are in pain, take pain relief to help. Over the counter medication can work well, or use alternatives such as arnica to reduce bruising. You may also find relief through massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture or other traditional therapies.
In the days and weeks after giving birth, be sure to take it easy. Get help from your partner, family or friends so all your energy can go into healing and providing your newborn with what they need. Your body has experienced a significant trauma – allow yourself time to rest and recover.
For More Serious Birth Injuries
If your birth experience was traumatic and you suffered birth injuries, follow the advice given by medics and your healthcare team. You may also want to seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in birth injury law. Law firms such as Romanucci & Blandin have experience in supporting families where mother or baby have sustained injuries during the birthing process and can offer free consultations to discuss your individual case.
Remember, looking after yourself is a must after giving birth. Accept any offers of help and be gentle with yourself.