Healing Like an Athlete
Painkillers are prescribed to new mamas for anything from perineal tears to C-section incisions. The potential for developing a habit is huge and spikes every day you use them. Abuse, addiction, and even death are all part of the opioid epidemic that is spreading worldwide. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 130 people die in the United States every day from an overdose of opioids. These issues don’t seem like they belong in the same place as a beautiful new family with their whole lives in front of them. Unfortunately, that’s where they are found all too often.
Between 2008 and 2016 Jama Network Open studied 300,000 women that were prescribed opioids after childbirth. Of those 300,000 new moms, 6,000 of them showed “persistent” opioid use by refilling their prescriptions beyond the average time a woman recovers from most postpartum pains.
Misuse and addiction aside, opioids can cause a person to feel drowsy, delirious, dizzy and nauseous… all of these things are distracting and can take away from the ability to care for a baby. On top of that, opioids can mask your birthing injuries so you push yourself harder than you should, making injuries worse.
It’s easy to accept whatever a medical professional tells you to do. This can make things like heavy pain medication seem absolutely normal and even enjoyable.
Postpartum women are especially vulnerable to misusing their pain meds. The prevalence of postpartum depression and the “baby blues” increase the chances of substance abuse. Turning to drugs to lessen feelings of sadness or loneliness is extremely common. Developing an addiction and not dealing with mental health issues in a proper way can set a person up for a lifetime of problems.
Substance abuse can also come on by accident. A new mom is already tired and it sometimes can feel like the days blend together those first weeks postpartum. How easy would it be to forget how much you took or when you took it?
Knowing that you will be dealing with pain postpartum can be scary. Setting up a plan to manage that pain is necessary and will set your mind at ease. Talking with your doctor about options and their risks and benefits is always a good idea. We want every mama to be as comfortable as possible after birth and that comfort doesn’t necessarily have to come from a prescription bottle. The world of sports technology has long been using pain relief approaches that do not require medication to treat athletes. Compression, support, icing, and heating are beloved methods used by professionals… so we applied this to postpartum care! Every mama’s journey is different so we encourage you to listen to your body and talk to your doctor if anything is not working for you.
Our dream is to make every new mama happy, healthy and feeling her best – our dream is to raise the standard of postpartum care.