Women experience a range of physical feelings after having a baby. You will likely experience soreness, whether you had a c-section or vaginal delivery. You might be sensitive in the location of your incision or epidural, and your muscles might ache from pushing. Gas and cramps might seem minor compared with other post-birth aches and pains, but these common symptoms can be irksome.
Even though they are not comfortable, cramps are a good sign after you have a baby. Described as "after pains," these post-birth cramps are a sign that your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size after growing for nine months. You might notice an increase in these cramps while you are breastfeeding, as breastfeeding can trigger uterine contractions. While these contractions, or cramps, are less severe than the contractions you experienced during labor, they are common and an important part of getting your body back to normal.
While you cannot stop these important post-birth cramps from happening, you can ease the pain in a few ways. Keep your bladder empty, as a full bladder can make the cramps more severe. Over-the-counter ibuprofen also can help ease the discomfort associated with these cramps. You can gently massage your stomach, which also might help.
Pregnancy likely threw your bowel habits out of whack; many pregnant women suffer from constipation. Now that you've had your baby, you might notice an increase in gas. Childbirth puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the pelvic floor and anus, and this pressure can make it more difficult for you to control your gas.
The good news is that your post-pregnancy gas should go away a few months after birth, once your muscles down there have regained strength. In the meantime, you can take over-the-counter gas medication to treat it. Often, women struggle with their first post-birth bowel movement. If you have gas but remain constipated, a stool softener can help get things moving.