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I had the baby--and NOW ouch!

934 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Jana315
I'm 8 days postpartum after a totally wonderful homebirth--which was, to be honest, painful and intense, but 100% worthwhile--and have a couple of nagging concerns.

I didn't have any perineal tearing, but I did have a labial tear (for which I can thank my munchkin, who had his hand on his face as he was being born)... It was small enough that my midwife said no stitches, and aside from some stinging, it's been mostly okay. But yesterday and today, as the swelling really went down, I noticed that, not only is my clitoris extremely sore (like, rubbing against the pad makes me wince), but the entire pelvic ring seems to be getting achier. I've read a couple of threads here about clitoral soreness after labor, but I guess I'm finding this really alarming because I already miss having sex with my husband, and I'm a little freaked out that I might have a real physical obstacle for... well, how long?

My second question is about breastfeeding, weight loss, and manual expressing. I was massively engorged on Day 4, but now am about the size I remember being pre-pregnancy. I've also lost 20 of the 26 lbs I gained during my pregnancy. I'm drinking tons of water and eating 3 pretty heavy meals a day plus snacks (fruit, milk, soy protein shakes) in between, but I'm getting concerned that I might be damaging my milk supply. I tried hand expressing today after he nursed, just to empty out completely, and I did manage to get almost 2 oz--but now, hours later, my breasts are rather wretchedly sore, with an almost stinging sensation when my nipples are even brushed. Did I do it wrong?

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Hmm, I'm not sure but I will share that I had labial tearing with no perineal tearing (with my first) and I definitely had some concerns at first with the way it was feeling but that was pretty short lived and everything went back to normal within a few weeks. I have no idea how similar my tearing was to yours though.

I'm not sure I'm understanding the weight loss thing correctly. Is it that you are worried that rapid weightloss might effect your supply? I'm not sure about the breast/nipple pain but I've definitely had both in the first weeks after my babies were born. I'm not a fan of pumping or hand expressing (other than just enough to relieve engorgement) because IME it just causes more pain and trouble if things are progressing normally.
I agree with the pumping hand expressing, it's just going to make you produce more milk and while that sounds good, if you're dealing with engorgment issues any sort of expression will just make it worse. If your nipples are sore baby might have a funny latch or the expressing might have made you sore. I don't think you've damaged your milk supply, nothing you posted suggests it.

Sorry about your pain. I wish I had advice for you. I had labial tearing and it hurt worse than anywhere else for a while. My labia was still sore for months after the birth. Not enough to stop me from enjoying my husband. Don't forget you're barely a week post partum, give your body the full six+ weeks to recover and remember to discuss all your worries with your midwife. I know my midwife told me any concerns or questions call, even if the baby looked at me funny and I worried she wanted me to call.
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Thank you, and sorry if anything I wrote was confusing--I wouldn't say I'm at my most coherent.

The nipple pain faded overnight actually, and my milk supply was more on target today. But the clitoral pain is just rotten; sitting hurts, walking hurts, leaning up out of bed hurts... I guess what I want to know is: is this just how one's nether regions feel after a normal birth? (Bruised, achy, extra sensitive--and not in a good way.) I'm not trying to seduce my husband right now (lol), but I would like to feel like I'm on the road to recovery.
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I also had a labial tear also with no perineal tearing. It sounds like what you are feeling is normal to me. I had to sit on something soft (pillow, couch or bed) first week after the birth. You just pushed a baby out of your vagina so you are going to be sore and bruised and achy and extra sensitive. It gets better just give yourself time to heal.
I had 3 third degree tears after my son was born and I used solarcane helped for a while. I also made sure everytime I went pee, I squirted warm water and healing tea tree help soothe! I hope that helps. I think you are on target with you breastfeeding though. Those first few times of expressing can be real painful. I remember those days! But losing weight is normal for some...I lost 25 lbs within days of my son being born! Just keep drinking and eating and nursing on demand and relax!!!! Congrats on your little bean!
I had a 3rd degree tear and some burns. The tear actually wasn't a problem (unless I sneezed!
But the "rug burns" on my labia and clitoris stuck around for awhile.

We DTD at 3 weeks PP and I enjoyed it. Just take it slow. Pain at 8 days PP might be nothing but normal healing.

You could try regular sitz baths and witch hazel pads/spray
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I can answer about the clitoral soreness. I had it BAD this time. I never experienced it before so I was really worried. It took about 2 1/2 weeks to go mostly away. I'm now 3 1/2 almost 4 weeks postpartum and the clitoral soreness is completely gone. I'd wear cloth pads if you can, and try to avoid too much pressure on it.
some advice: when you do dtd make sure you use loads of lubrication! BFing can make you drier in general.

Also, if the pain continues make sure you talk to your mw about it.
I would call your midwives about your concerns. At 8 days PP they are still your care providers and probably have great advice. One thing I thank my Dh for is forcing me to call my midwives when I didn't want to bother them but had unexplainable pain - they were able to immediately give me relief and stop the UTI I had in its tracks.
Definitely contact your midwife. I will say, though, that I remember being pretty darn sore and feeling just battered down there for a while even though all I had was one "skid mark". I didn't even wear pads for a while, just stayed in bed with old towels under me and changed the sheets a lot (other people changed the sheets).
Something I've found great relief from is cold, ice cold soda cans outside underwear are amazing to help take the edge off and give you some peace. Also I used the warm water after every bathroom trip and then would use a numbing spray (of which the name escapes me right now sorry) then the cold soda can, ice pack or pads that I froze. For me ice was a dream.
After my first dd I was unable to have sex for 8 months due to lots of pain. That was my hardest birth, I did have an epi with all my dc so far. Am hoping to get away without a cut or tear this time though.

No advice on the weight loss. But as long as you eat and drink right your supply will not go down. I always keep water near me while breastfeeding. And I found it helpful to keep a log so I would know which side I left off on from each feeding, that always helped to keep me from feeling sore. I only felt that initial engorgement with my first dd but putting her to the breast often helped a lot.

Congratulations and good luck to you!
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I've heard tales of women wearing size 4 jeans home from the hospital and jumping their dh's in the parking lot, but I don't think that is realistic for most people.

I waited at least 8wks after my first I don't remember with my second, I think it was longer.

Tub soaking and ice packs can help. You could order a postpartum herbal bath mix from "In His Hands."

Losing weight is not in and of itself a problem as long as you are eating. If this is your first babe you may just be bouncing back more quickly. I lost twelve pounds the day of the birth; I don't see 20lbs the first week as a stretch.
Hi Mama, You can actually separate the cartilage in your pubis synthesis when giving birth - I did it with dd#1, and it isn't serious, but it is seriously painful. Like you, it wasn't all that bad at first, but as other things started to heal, the synthesis got more and more sore. Honestly, mine was sore for several months and it did make pp intimacy with dh more challenging....

Regarding the weight loss - don't TRY to loose weight - just eat healthy & to appetite. For my kids, I lost about 20 lbs in the first 2 weeks (all baby stuff, I guess) and then held onto the extra 5-10 while breastfeeding (which for me, is usually several years).

Congrats! and enjoy the new baby!!!!
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