Breast engorgement or mastitis
If you are
breast-feeding, your breasts may be sore as they fill with milk. Place ice
packs on your breasts for the pain and swelling. Be sure to put a cloth between
your skin and the ice pack. Some women find a hot shower or warm towels on the
breasts help the pain. You can also use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that is most
commonly related to breast-feeding. This inflammation can be related to tissue
injury, infection, or both. Mastitis while breast-feeding usually affects only
one breast and starts as a painful area that is red or warm. Fever, chills, and
flu-like symptoms or body aches can also develop. You can develop mastitis at
any time while breast-feeding, but it most commonly occurs during the first 2
months after delivery, before your baby's feeding patterns become
If you are not breast-feeding, do not stimulate your
nipples or warm your breasts. Instead, apply
cold packs, use medicine for pain and inflammation,
and wear a supportive bra that fits well.
Many new mothers may feel
"blue" after the birth of their baby. This may be caused by a change in
hormones, not getting enough sleep, feeling too busy, or just worried about
taking care of the baby.
Postpartum depression is a medical
condition, not a sign of weakness. Be honest with yourself and those who care
about you. Tell them about your struggle. You, your doctor, and your friends
and family can team up to treat your symptoms.
- Plan activities and visit with friends and
family, and ask them to call you regularly.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep up your energy.
daily exercise, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve
- Get as much sunlight as possible—keep your shades and
curtains open, and get outside as much as you can.
- Ask for help
with food preparation and other daily tasks. Family and friends are often happy
to help a mother with newborn demands.
- Don't overdo it. Get as much
rest and sleep as possible. Fatigue can increase depression.
- Do not
use alcohol or caffeine.
- Join a support group of new mothers. No
one can better understand and support the challenges of caring for a new baby
than other postpartum women.
- Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression
Constipation and hemorrhoids
hemorrhoids may bother you after delivery. To prevent
or ease these symptoms:
- Eat a high-fiber diet with lots of fruits,
vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially
water and fruit juices.
- Try a stool softener, such as Colace.
- Do not strain (push hard) during a bowel movement.
more exercise every day.