According to new research, physical recovery after childbirth can lead to unexpected breastfeeding challenges for new mums, with eight out of 10 mothers saying they were not fully prepared for their own recovery post childbirth.

Maternal health brand, Lansinoh has carried out extensive research into the impact of birth related injury and pain on breastfeeding outcomes. In a survey of 1,000 mums, 71% of new mums stated they experienced discomfort or pain while breastfeeding, and one in four of these mums reported that pain relating to their birth directly impacted their ability to breastfeed.

31% reported perineum trauma as a source of pain, with 53% reporting c-section, and 82% reporting nipple soreness as the most common discomforts when breastfeeding. However, 40% of women continued to breastfeed despite the pain, but said it negatively impacted their mental health.

With 47% stating they needed assistance during breastfeeding, and 50% of new mums unable to follow their initial breastfeeding plan, Marley Hall, registered midwife and antenatal educator, shares advice for how to manage postpartum discomfort.

  • Allow yourself time to heal. It may be a couple of weeks before you start feeling better.
  • In the meantime, ensure the area is kept clean and dry, wear cotton underwear and comfortable clothing. Lansinoh’s Organic Post-Birth Relief Spray may help soothe the area.
  • If it’s difficult to sit down, Lansinoh’s Cold & Warm Post-Birth Relief Pad may help by providing cooling relief.
  • If you experience discomfort from postnatal uterine cramping, using the pad warm can help provide soothing comfort. The most common reason you have cramping after your baby is born is that your uterus contracts to shrink back to its original size. These are commonly known as ‘afterpains’ and tend to settle down after a few days post-birth.
  • Many women complain of perineal soreness after birth. The extent to which you may experience will depend on the significance of any trauma to the perineum and vagina. You may be worried about peeing after birth as it might sting a little. Lansinoh’s Post-Birth Wash Bottle filled with warm water, poured on the area as you pee works wonders in providing soothing relief, keeping the sensitive area clean.
  • For caesarean scar tenderness, use a breastfeeding pillow to avoid baby knocking into the scar and causing further pain. It’s easy to bump the area when walking around so where possible, ask others (partner, friends, family) to take over things like washing dishes, preparing meals, going grocery shopping. Anything that avoids you stretching or bending in the first few weeks post-birth.

For more information, visit http://lansinoh.co.uk/pages/birth-prep-recovery

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