Originally Posted by Munchkimo
I am so glad I asked, otherwise I probably would have kicked myself for assuming their wouldn't be any afterpains if I never received any pitocin.
Here's another question for all you helpful Mamas...
If I'm trying to avoid post partum depression by having an unmedicated birth, would it be wise to skip the ibuprofen, too?
The difference between unmedicated birth and unmedicated after-birth is that the options for pain relief in birth in the US are limited to either narcotics, or total numbness from the ribs down. Ibuprofen doesn't do anything nearly as drastic as that. In terms of biofeedback, also, the sensations in labor are critical to keep the hormonal loop moving very smoothly for most women, whereas the pain after childbirth serves no known purpose, other than that it shows the body is resetting itself. Most women find that the pain of a swollen bum distracts them from enjoying their child as much, and depending how strong it is, can also interfere with breastfeeding. So, of course, it's your choice and if you feel that experiencing the pain after the birth is important for you, and will empower you OR if you don't like the idea of putting chemicals in your body, then you shouldn't take anything. If you feel that the pain might be something you'll need help with, you should know that ibuprofen can help with it. Depending on your care provider, you may also be offered narcotic pain relief in pill form, which has many drawbacks including the tendency to become habit-forming, but again, if you find that this is the best way for you to get through, then do that. There's a difference between the sensations experienced in childbirth, moving toward the purpose of bringing your baby out swiftly and safely, and the healing involved after.
I wouldn't even consider the afterpains to be the best reason for me to use pain relief medicine, but rather the swelling and soreness of the muscles, the perineum, and my vagina. I find the afterpains quite manageable, albeit distracting at times.