Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Managing Pain

Everyone reacts differently to postpartum pain. Adjust your pain management to your individual needs. This may mean trying a few approaches to see what works best for you.

Comfort measures

• Massage and relaxation • Deep breathing • Listening to music • Ice packs for first 24-48 hours • Warm pad on abdomen for cramps • Warm sitz baths /herbal baths

Medical pain relief

• Topical creams or sprays • Over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen • Prescription medication

In the hospital your nurse will review all your medications with you. It’s important to understand what they’re for, how often to take them, and any possible side effects. Pay attention to your pain levels. Try setting a personal goal for pain management or identify the number at which you feel you need pain medication.

WARNING

Pain Rating Scale

Call your health care provider if your pain is: • Constant • Unusual • Worse than it was before

no pain

worst imaginable pain

Tell your nurse if you have pain and need medication. Before giving you pain medication, you may be asked for your pain number. You’ll be asked again in about an hour to see how the medication worked. Always ask if you have questions about any medications prescribed for you. GAS PAINS A buildup of gas in the intestines and constipation are common problems especially after cesarean birth. You want to keep your bowels moving, so walk around as often as you can. Eat foods that are high in fiber and drink plenty of water.

• Keeping you from doing things you could do before • Located in the right upper area of your abdomen • Located just below your breast bone

CESAREAN BIRTH PAIN If you had a cesarean birth, remember you’ve had major abdominal surgery. So, start slow and be gentle with yourself. While you’re in the hospital, managing your pain is important. You may be provided pain pills to take by mouth. And some hospitals use PCA (patient-controlled analgesic) pumps. These pumps let you control the medication you receive by pushing a button. It is important that only you push the button. The pump is set according to the prescription from your health care provider so you won’t receive too much medicine. Once home, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually fine.

To minimize gas pains • Get in a knees to chest position • Walk, rock, or lie on your left side

• Drink warm fluids often • Avoid carbonated drinks • Avoid foods that give you gas

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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