Pain when urinating

If you’ve had a vaginal delivery, your vagina may be a bit tender when urinating. Pour warm, salty water over the area while you urinate. Otherwise do it in a salty bath or sitz bath. The salt will help clean the vagina and prevent infection from setting in.

If you’ve had an epidural or a caesarean section, you may also find that you experience some discomfort where the catheter was inserted. Again, pour some warm water over your vagina while urinating or wee in the bath.

Painful breasts

After the first few days, as your milk comes in, your breasts will become larger and harder. While you may appreciate your newfound cleavage, you’ll probably cringe every time your baby brushes against your breasts. This is also not the time to go running.

Make sure you’re wearing a bra that provides good support. The good old fashioned remedy of putting cabbage leaves into your bra cups, also works wonders.

Pain after Birth

There is no doubt that after your baby is born, you’re going to be sore. Depending on your own experience and your pain threshold, It could be minor pain or it could be intense pain; either way you’re going to be sore. So what should you expect?

You may find that you’re sore in places you never thought possible. Your shoulders, arms, stomach muscles, back, buttocks and legs will probably be sore from bearing down and pushing. It’s nothing that a good massage won’t fix. Also, a nice warm bath with a good book will do wonders (once baby’s fast asleep of course.)

Episiotomy and tears

Ouch! Your doctor or midwife was forced to make a cut from the opening of your vagina, to just past your rectum, to prevent an ugly tear as your baby was being born. No doubt it’s very sore and you’ll find it difficult to sit down or walk without wincing.

Hold some ice on the area, to help reduce swelling and provide some relief from the pain or sit on a rubber ring. After a day, you can also climb into a salt bath. The salt won’t sting your wound but will instead clean the area and help prevent infection. You should also douche with salt water after every visit to the loo.

When drying the area, pat dry or use a hairdryer.

If the pain is intense, ask your doctor to prescribe a pain killer.
Because the wound is raw and swollen, many new moms avoid going to the toilet, fearing they’ll rip the stitches out. Don’t worry about that; it’s highly unlikely you’ll open your wound and anyway, the more you avoid going to the loo, the more constipated you’ll become. Ask your doctor for a stool softner, for the first few days after baby has been born.

If going to the loo is painful, consider sitting in a warm bath and passing your stool in the water. It sounds disgusting, but it will help ease the pain. Afterwards, run another bath, add salt and soak for a while.

The stitches used in an episiotomy will usually dissolve, so you won’t have to worry about having the stitches removed at a later stage.

Pain after a Caesarean Section

Many women are terrified of having a caesarean section because of the horror stories that they’ve heard about the first few days after the birth. Their girlfriends will tell them that they won’t be able to sit, lie down or hold their babies. They’ll be in agony and want to lie, motionless in bed all day.

For some, this may be true. But in many cases, a mom who’s had a caesarean section can be up and about the very next day, doing everything that the mom in the room next door did after having a vaginal delivery.

The first step in recovering from a caesarean is to accept that you’ve had major surgery and that there will be pain. Then, resolve to get onto your feet as soon as your doctor allows – without pushing yourself too far. The sooner you’re up and about, the better.

The best way to get up and about is to start slowly and to ask for help when necessary. If this means asking for pain medication, then so be it. Your doctor will not prescribe medication that will be harmful to your breast-fed baby.

When lying in bed for the first few days, you may feel incredibly uncomfortable. It’ll feel like your insides are churning about every time you move. Hold a pillow to your stomach and try to stay in the same position for as long as you can.
Also, avoid wearing pants that will put pressure on your wound. Loose-fitting clothes are the best.

Removing your stitches or staples won’t be sore, as area around the wound is usually numb for several weeks. You’ll probably feel a slight tugging when your doctor removes the stitches or staples.


As your uterus contracts back to its old form, you’ll probably experience cramps similar to period-pain. These contractions usually last a few days and help ease or stop your vaginal bleeding. You’ll probably notice them more, when you’re breastfeeding.

The easiest way to deal with these cramps is to hold a hot water bottle to your stomach.


Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, found around your rectum. They usually develop when you bear down and push, during a vaginal delivery. (who said childbirth was glamorous?) Treat the hemorrhoids the same way you would an episiotomy, with a warm salty bath, ice and stool softners.

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