Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Some women have problems—such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and sore breasts—that last for a while after childbirth. Many minor postpartum problems can be managed at home. If you develop problems and your doctor has given you specific instructions to follow, be sure to follow those instructions.
Constipation and hemorrhoids
Home treatment measures are usually all that is needed to relieve mild discomfort from hemorrhoids or constipation.
To prevent or ease symptoms of constipation:
To treat the itching or pain of hemorrhoids:
Vaginal and perineal problems
Soreness in the vagina and the area between it and the anus (perineum) is common after delivery. You can ease the pain with home treatment. To reduce pain and heal:
Recovery from an episiotomy or perineal tear can take several weeks.
Pelvic bone problems
Recovery from pelvic bone problems, such as separated pubic bones or a fractured tailbone (coccyx), can take several months. Treatment includes ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and sometimes physical therapy.
Breast engorgement is common between the third and fourth days after delivery, when the breasts begin to fill with milk. This can cause breast discomfort and swelling. Placing ice packs on your breasts, taking a hot shower, or using warm compresses may relieve the discomfort. If you aren't breast-feeding, use ice rather than heat for breast soreness. For more information, see the topic Breast Engorgement.
For breast problems related to breast-feeding, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
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