Pregnancy and birth are one of the most remarkable things our body is capable of. After nine months of excitement and anticipation, you are ready to bring your little one home. While it’s true that much of your focus and attention will be on your baby in the initial few months, you too need to take rest and look after your body. You may experience muscle inflammation, aches and pains, especially in lower back, knees and abdomen. You may also notice that the swelling in your feet, ankles, legs and face, which started during pregnancy, did not go away immediately after giving birth. During pregnancy, the body retains extra water to support the baby. This weight builds up and is known as postpartum swelling. It doesn’t immediately go down after pregnancy.
How long does it take for postpartum swelling to go away?
The process of pregnancy and birth has changed your body and it will take time to recover. While some women feel they have recovered in 6-8 weeks, it may actually take longer to be back to your normal self. During this time, it’s normal for moms to complain of backache and knee pain, sore nipples and breasts, abdominal pain and notice swelling in the legs, ankles and face. However, it’s important to have patience and take rest so that your body can recover at its pace while your hormone levels, which had changed to support pregnancy, go back to normal.
What can I do for postpartum swelling and Muscle Inflammation?
While you must ensure that your baby is getting adequate rest for it to recover, there are some tips you can follow to get relief from postpartum muscle inflammation and soreness.
1. Drink lots of water
Dehydration leads to water retention in the body. By staying hydrated, you can ensure that your body is able to flush out toxins and waste from the kidneys and keep it healthy.
2. Do light exercises
Moving around helps improve blood circulation and reduces water retention. Try going for a walk, do yoga or gentle stretches at home to reduce swelling and soreness. However, you must listen to your body and avoid movements that cause pain. If you are planning on taking on a new exercise regime then speak to your doctor first and follow their advice.
3. Eat healthily
A diet rich in Iron, Protein, Calcium and fibre will help your body recover and strengthen your bones and muscles which will reduce muscle soreness and inflammation. During pregnancy, your body’s nutrients are used towards helping your baby grow which may result in deficiencies after pregnancy. Fortify your diet with healthy food items to ensure that your body is able to make up for the lost nutrients and build strength. Eating healthily will also help you lose weight that was gained during the pregnancy.
4. Avoid foods high in salt
Excess salt can lead to water retention in the body which can lead to inflammation. Avoid eating processed foods which are high in salt content such as chips, packaged meals and cakes as these can do more harm than good.
5. Wear loose-fitting clothes
Tight-fitting clothes can reduce circulation which can result in water pooling and leading to inflammation. Wear loose-fitting clothes to keep yourself comfortable and prevent water and blood from pooling.
6. Apply heat
Take a bath with hot water or use a hot water bag to reduce soreness and muscle pain. Using a hot water bottle can also help improve circulation which can reduce muscle inflammation. It can also help relax sore, tired muscles and bring relief from backache.
7. Try a pain relief oil
Choose a natural oil for pain relief and apply it to affected areas to soothe tired, sore muscles and bones. While you may want to opt for medicines or pain relief ointment to get relief, these options can do more harm than good in the long run. If you are breastfeeding then a pain relief medicine may not be a safe option and you should speak to your doctor before taking any medicine. Similarly, pain relief ointment can contain strong medicines which provide temporary relief and may not solve the root cause of the problem.
However, a natural relief oil can help your body recover by improving blood circulation, reducing pains and aches and imparting minerals and vitamins to improve bone and muscle health. Choose a relief oil that can double up as a massage oil to help relax sore muscles. Make sure the oil you opt for has Turmeric and Mahua oils which have been known for centuries as natural remedies for tired, sore muscles, backache and pain caused during postpartum recovery.
8. Go for a massage
There are many benefits of postpartum massage for your body. A full body massage after your baby is born will help ease sore muscles and tension, especially in the lower back, abdomen and hips.
A good massage also helps improve blood circulation and remove toxins and excess fluid from the body. When going for a full body massage, choose a postpartum massage oil which has natural oils such as Mahua, Turmeric and Mustard as these are known to ease back pain, relax stiff muscles and reduce inflammation. These oils are also a good source of Iron, Calcium and Phosphorus which also help improve bone and muscle health.
Massages are known to release endorphins which can help you feel relaxed and sleep better. A massage can also help reduce stress and improve mood which is beneficial for your mental health as well.
Just like any other mom care products that you have used during and after pregnancy, it’s important to ensure that the massage oil you use is free of harmful chemicals, toxins and Mineral Oil. Choose The Moms Co.’s Natural Relief Oil which has 15 natural oils including Mahua and Turmeric to bring you relief from muscle inflammation and soreness.
Some new moms also complain of knee pain after pregnancy and that’s because your joints and ligaments loosen up during pregnancy because of change in hormone levels. This oil also works very well as a knee pain relief oil and gives you the freedom to move without pain.
Afterpains or contractions of the uterus after giving birth can also lead to pain and discomfort. However, using essential oil for muscle cramp can bring relief. The Natural Relief Oil has Lavendar and Rosemary which can alleviate pain from contractions and menstrual cramps. It can also be used to reduce pain caused by cramps during the menstrual cycle.
The Natural Relief Oil also has Tamanu Oil which helps in wound healing, Sea Buckthorn Oil which strengthens bones and muscles, Mustard Oil which relaxes stiff muscles and Chia Seed Oil which reduces inflammation. The Natural Relief Oil is made without any harmful chemicals and toxins such as Mineral Oil, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol and more which makes it safe to use after pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding.
As with anything else, speak to your doctor and take their advice before you go for a body massage or start anything new. More importantly, listen to your body and refrain from doing anything that causes you pain or discomfort. Take the help of your family members to look after the baby as the first few days can be tough and demanding and you don’t have to do it alone. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby.