Pregnancy And Birth Are Times Of Both Joy And Pain But There Are Things You Can Do To Help
For many women, pregnancy is the most joyful time of their life, filled with anticipation, parties and events, picking out furniture for the baby’s room, and lots of other things that can be very fulfilling. They can also be stressful, depending on what kind of person the new mom is. However, almost universally, most pregnant women and new moms have a lot of pain during and after pregnancy.
There are a variety of reasons for this. Of course, being pregnant is like constantly carrying a bowling ball that is attached to your stomach. This extra weight can cause all kinds of lower and upper back pain, poor posture, and other issues. Many women also experience swelling of the ankles and feet, along with indigestion as the time grows closer, and morning sickness when it is still a long while off.
For these kinds of complaints, there are several things that can be very helpful. First of all, prenatal massage therapy can be quite helpful in reducing back pain, as well as indigestion, along with the stress that being pregnant can sometimes cause. Prenatal massage is done either using a special support pillow that allows the pregnant woman to lie on her stomach, or with side-lying support pillows.
Another thing that moms-to-be report has been very helpful is prenatal yoga. This type of yoga involves many stretches that are particularly helpful for the pregnant woman’s body, and can help to tone the muscles and keep the ligaments toned as well. Many obstetricians recommend this to their patients, as it can help to avoid interventions at the hospital.
Something else that has helped many new moms is refusing an epidural. In many cases, an epidural can cause long term lower back pain, along with spinal pain and referred pain. Most pregnant women do not actually need this medication, as labor and birth can be bearable with either a midwife or a doula present. Midwives and doulas are also quite helpful in preventing some of the more common pains that occur during childbirth, including excess lower back pain, as they do not encourage new moms to push so hard that they will tear ligaments. This is quite common, however, in hospital births.
A prenatal doula, or a midwife, can often accompany the new mom to the hospital, and can be extremely helpful during the birth process. Humans have been giving birth to babies long before hospital birth became fashionable, and it is often a much more pleasant experience to give birth in a birth center. Numerous studies have shown that the risks of interventions, especially c-sections, are much lower in a birth center.
Once the new mom has brought the baby home, there are often many other issues that she will face. Bending and lifting the baby, changing diapers, slouching while nursing, and doing housework can all contribute to a lot of lower back pain, as well as shoulder and hip pain. If she had an epidural, the back pain is likely to be worse, especially if the anesthesiologist was inexperienced.
Unlike in the prenatal period, exercise is not always recommended, outside of taking walks outside. Yoga and other stretching, if not something that the new mom had done before the birth, is usually not advisable to be done in the after-birth period.
Instead, many new moms will opt for post-natal massage. This type of massage focuses on the abdominal area, and can greatly help with any symptoms of diastasis recti that the new mom has. This is reported in at least 85% of births, so it is very common. It is also one of the reasons why stretching, especially core strengthening, is cautioned during this period. This is one condition that can be made worse by such exercise.
Post-natal massage also has special techniques for the back and lower body, many of which can help with a lot of the aches and pains that many new mothers complain about. Often, the hips and sacral area are quite tight after delivering a baby, as these are some of the muscles that get used for the first time to push the baby out. Sciatica is also quite common, and can be helped by massage.
Outside of going for walks, and resting in the home for as long as possible, heat packs can also be used to help with the pain. Eating well and nursing are also very important, as is staying hydrated. Hydration can also help reduce pain, especially if electrolytes are included in the hydration regimen.
For most new moms, breastfeeding the baby helps to burn off some of the fat that was stored during pregnancy, and it can also help the womb to slowly travel back to the place where it was before labor and delivery.
Pregnancy, childbirth, and bringing home the new baby should not be stressful times, but for many new moms they are. Massage therapy is known for reducing stress hormones, in addition to relieving pain without medication. Taking warm baths and hot showers are also ways that stress can be reduced.
For most new moms, these first few months with the baby are the best times of their lives. Mothers and mom-to-be can help themselves to feel this way as well, with just a few of the things mentioned here.