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Pain Management

There are many causes of pain and discomfort following the birth of a baby. For pain from an incision, such as an episiotomy near the opening of your vagina, or labial swelling (inflammation around the outside of your vagina), applying an ice pack will ease the pain. For pain from a cesarean section incision, a heating pad (set on "low") or warm compresses will ease the pain around your abdomen and incision. You may also want to take a mild pain medication. Ask your health care provider to recommend the best one for you.

Afterbirth pains are similar to menstrual cramps, and occur the first few days following your baby's birth. They are normal, and may be stronger with each baby you have. They most commonly occur while breastfeeding. Warm showers or compresses can make you more comfortable, as well as mild pain medication. A full bladder may increase the pain, so try to keep your bladder empty.

Backache can be caused by tense muscles or by not using enough support while breastfeeding your baby. A heating pad may relieve the pain. Exercise will also help your muscles return to normal.

If pain develops in either leg, please call your health care provider. Mild cramping is normal, but warm painful areas in your legs is not.