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Problems After Delivery of Your Baby - Home Treatment

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 regular.

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.

Postpartum depression

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.
  • Get daily exercise, such as outdoor stroller walks. Exercise helps improve mood.
  • 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.
actionset.gif Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression

Constipation and hemorrhoids

Constipation and 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.
  • Get more exercise every day.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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