Pregnancy and childbirth can be an uncomfortable time for many women; between the sore feet, aching back, the mind-numbing pain of childbirth and the aftermath of it all. Fortunately, there are safe and economical solutions to help ease those discomforts. Hot and Cold therapy used as pain management is a proven method of helping to relieve pain to various parts of the body and can also provide soothing comfort. An added bonus of hot and cold therapy, especially for pregnant women, is the natural and drug free properties it possesses.
The First Trimester
During the first trimester, the changes to a woman’s body can cause tender or swollen breasts and headaches, which can both be remedied by applying a warm or cold compress to the affected areas. Additionally, morning sickness or nausea can occur so laying down with a cold compress can be of great comfort.
The Second Trimester
The second trimester of a woman’s pregnancy is generally considered the easier of the three but is still not immune to uncomfortable symptoms. Many women begin to feel the weight of both the baby and the extra weight they have gained, causing pain in the back, legs, hips and groin. Applying heat therapy to any of these areas will help soothe the discomfort and provide some much needed relief.
The Third Trimester
Entering the third trimester signals that the end of pregnancy is near; however, it also brings the most discomfort of the pregnancy. The aches and pains that started in the second trimester become more pronounced and the growing belly can also become uncomfortable at times. A warm compress such as a microwaveable gel, oat or clay pad can bring the relief that is needed. The use of cold therapy during pregnancy can also be beneficial. Swollen feet and hands are a common symptom of pregnancy but can be alleviated by the application of a cold compress. Additionally, some women can develop hemorrhoids during the third trimester, causing great distress; alas the power of cold therapy. A perineal cold pack applied to the area will help to numb the pain and provide a great deal of comfort.
Birth and After Care
The final phase of pregnancy involves childbirth, which undoubtedly brings significant pain and discomfort for most women. Prior to labor, studies have shown that applying heat therapy to the perineal area can help reduce tearing as the heat helps to increase blood circulation and in turn increases the flexibility of the area. There also has been sufficient evidence that suggests alternating hot and cold therapy to the lower back and abdomen during active labor can be an effective pain management solution.
Once the baby is born, there are still many uses for hot and cold therapy to aid in the healing process. Applying a cold compress to the perineal area can help ease pain and reduce swelling, while applying a warm compress can soothe the area while assisting in repairing any damage caused by labor. While a woman is still on her journey to heal after giving birth, the focus quickly shifts to breastfeeding for many women. Breast engorgement can occur and can be a very uncomfortable experience; applying a cold compress to the breast provides much needed instant relief as the cold works to reduce the swelling. A warm compress applied to the breast can also be applied prior to breastfeeding as the heat encourages the let down of milk, resulting in a more successful feeding.
Wrapping it Up
After interviewing and researching the efficiency of hot and cold therapy as pain management during the pre and post-natal stages, Rapid Aid proudly offers product solutions that will help a woman from pregnancy through till the end of breastfeeding.
Caution: It is always recommended to use hot or cold therapy for no more than 20 minutes at a time.