How to Manage Delivery Cramps?
After undergoing the stress of early pregnancy, the severe symptoms, nausea, and weird body changes, you have finally put to bed! All the worries and anxiety of labor pains have become things of the past. All you want to do now is, hold your bundle of joy and dance around with it in your arms. However, while all of these thoughts keep flooding your mind, you feel a sharp pain in your stomach, a pain that is about ten times your normal menstrual cramp. It hits you so hard that you are almost beginning to scream. This severe cramp and sharp pain you feel is called “post-partum” cramps. This is a normal experience for women who just had their babies.
Are you wondering how this is possible? Then you are in the right blog. Contained in this article is the explicit explanation of the causes of post-partum cramps. This topic explains the reason for the sharp pain you feel after delivery. Also, in this article, we would be discussing the treatment and natural remedies for post-partum cramps.
Before we go deeper, note that post-partum cramps are not an illness and are not caused by any form of infection. It is a regular occurrence in a woman’s body after delivery. Post-partum cramps happen when the enlarged uterus during the period of your pregnancy tries to shrink back into its standard size. During the process of returning to its normal position, you feel severe cramps in your stomach. This is a reminder that if you always have cramps after delivery, do not be scared because you are not sick; it is a normal stage that you have to pass through. Also, if you are a new mother, or if you are still carrying your pregnancy, you must prepare your mind for experiencing post-partum cramps.
How Long Does It Last?
Usually, post-partum cramps begin almost immediately after delivery. The pain becomes very severe on the second to the fourth day of delivery. Then this pain is said to continue for about ten for fourteen days after delivery or more, depending on when the uterus finally returns to its original size.
Cramps that are experienced after delivery with cesarean section might last for about the same number of days. However, pain from the area of incision might linger for a more extended period, pending the time the wound finally heals.
The duration of cramps caused by other factors like infections might take more days. At this point, the cramps would improve only when you go for professional medical treatment to stop the infection.
Since your uterus, its walls, and blood vessels grow many times its normal size in order to support and hold your baby during pregnancy, after your baby is born, these baby supports will then start to go back to their typical sizes because they have completed their jobs. In this part of the article, we would be discussing other causes of post-partum cramps. These other factors, coupled with the shrinking of the uterus, amount to the severe after-delivery cramps you feel. These factors include;
The normal shrinkage of the uterus and its lining. This is the major cause of post-partum cramps. While breaking this cause down into understandable bits, medical practitioners have, over the years, explained how the uterus multi-tasks during this shrinking process. According to them, as the uterus and its lining and blood vessels shrink back into their normal sizes, the uterus also ensures that it prevents too much bleeding in order to avoid post-delivery complications. This pain might be active for a few days after delivery but fades away after some time. In some women, the pain tends to be mild, while it tends to be severe in others. The medical record holds that the cramps become more noticeable when you have your second or third child.
Another cause of post-partum cramp is cesarean delivery. Though the normal uterus shrinkage process occurs even when you undergo a cesarean section while giving birth, there would be extra pain and discomfort resulting from the cesarean section. Being a major surgery, it brings more pain than normal after-birth pain. Also, as the eye of your wound begins to heal, you might tend to feel more pains.
Constipation is also a significant cause of after-delivery cramps. During pregnancy, high progesterone levels can either be due to poor diet or poor engagement in physical activities, leading to constipation after delivery. Constipation can also take place as a result of your first bowel movement after delivery. Naturally, constipation brings cramps and discomfort along. It makes you feel bloated and swollen. Most times, medical practitioners attribute the cause of constipation to cesarean sections. This is because while taking medications that would help your wounded tissues heal, these medications slow down the functioning of your digestive system, thereby leading to constipation, which would, in turn, introduce cramps.
There are some infections that have been identified to be the cause of post-partum cramps. New mothers are easily susceptible to these infections. Suffering from this infection is likely to add more severity to the degree of pain you would feel during post-partum cramps. Some of these infections include;
- Endometritis; is a situation whereby the uterus walls and lining get irritated and inflamed. Endometritis is caused by an infection that is majorly associated with new mothers. Symptoms of endometritis include; weird vaginal discharge, pain in the pelvis, fever, and constipation.
- Appendicitis; is the inflammation of the appendix. Though this condition is rare after childbirth, however, a new mother can experience appendicitis.
- Urinary tract infections; these infections attack the uterus, kidneys, bladder, and so on. Its symptoms include; constant urination, traces of blood in your urine, fever, and pain in the pelvis.
- Bacterial vaginosis; is a form of infection that is caused by excess unhealthy bacteria in the uterus. How do you identify this? Smelling discharge, pain, and itching in the vagina, burning sensation while urinating.
Can Post-Partum Cramps Be Boycotted?
No. Your uterus needs to return to its pre-pregnancy size. Of course, you would not expect that it retains its big size even when there is no baby in it. Hence, there is no known method of boycotting after-delivery cramps. However, there are methods for the treatment and management of it.
Treatment of After-Delivery Cramps
- Use over-the-counter pain killers. You could also seek your Doctor’s consent before doing this in order to know which of the pain killers is best for you.
- Take walks around the house. It would help relieve the cramps, especially when it is caused by constipation.
- Try relaxing. Also, engage in breathing exercises. They can help you remain calm through the pains.
- Use heat. Heat is the most popular and most effective remedy for post-partum cramps. Sitting carefully and directly on a bucket filled with hot water can help. Also, try swallowing hot foods carefully in such a way that you will not get hurt. In addition, try steam-bathing. These heat methods have been proven to be effective.
- Try to urinate as quickly as you feel the urge to.
- Sleep more on your stomach.
See Your Doctor When;
- You experience excess bleeding.
- You notice the symptoms of infection.
- You feel so sick.
- Urinating becomes a painful experience.
- You notice any irritation around your C-section wound.
Natural Home Remedies for Post-Partum Cramps
- Consume honey. Honey naturally has relief effects on it. Consuming it when you feel these cramps would help reduce the pain. Use it first thing in the morning.
- Take fruits that contain vitamin C. These fruits include; orange, tangerine, lemon, and so on. They help repair and strengthen your immune system.
- Use warm water and steam-bathing remedies.
- Mix turmeric powder in one glass of milk and drink every day until the cramp stops. This remedy has worked for quite a lot of women across different continents.
- Ginger tea mixed with honey is also effective in the treatment of cramps.
Post-partum cramps are an everyday occurrence in every woman’s body after delivery and cannot be prevented. This is so because the uterus and the stomach as a whole contract into their pre-pregnancy sizes, thereby causing sharp pains in the stomach during the process. The cramps last for about ten to fifteen days and fade with time, leaving you to enjoy the result of your 9 months of sleepless nights. Taking the right steps while experiencing after-delivery cramps would help mitigate the severity of the cramps.