If you are suffering from pain in pregnancy, you can’t take most over the counter pain killers, so find out how to freeze it to cope with pregnancy pain
It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid taking medicated pain-killers. So what can women use to relieve pain? Midwife Marie Louise, gives her top tips on when and how to use cooling therapy: the process of using cold temperatures to reduce tissue inflammation and soothe a range of pregnancy and new mum pains.
The physiological explanation behind cryotherapy is two-fold:
- “Dermatomal confusion:” On impact to the skin, the cold temperature triggers the cold sensors in the skin to travel to the brain faster than the pain sensors, reducing the feeling of pain. This explains why non-medical cooling products (for example products that don’t contain ingredients like ibuprofen), still relieve pain. The cold sensation ‘distracts’ from the pain sensation.
- “Inflammation reduction:” When ice is applied to swollen tissue, such as a sprained ankle, the cold temperature constricts the surrounding blood vessels and thus reduces blood flow to the area. The lack of blood flow to the damaged area decreases inflammation.
Marie Louise, “The Modern Midwife”, is a practicing senior midwife on a mission to help women have quicker labours, easier births and smoother postnatal periods. Follow @the_modern_midwife for pregnancy, labour and birth updates.
As your baby grows, the round ligament which connects your womb to your groin stretches, making it more likely to become strained. Often women experience sharp ligament pains in their side during the second trimester. It’s best to get checked and diagnosed before treating at home.
Option: “Keep a cocoa or shea butter moisturiser in the fridge and apply the cool cream to soothe your growing bump. The cocoa or shea butter may also help reduce stretch marks”.
As your baby grows it becomes increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep and many women wake up with sore and stiff necks.
Option: “Try pre-natal yoga. It is low intensity and safe to do during pregnancy, but will help you gently strengthen your muscles and ligaments. You will also meet other mums-to-be!”
Muscular lower back pain
As your baby grows during pregnancy it is natural for your centre of gravity to shift forward. In order to keep balance your body compensates by leaning backwards – which in turn can strain the muscles in your lower back, causing lower back pain.
Option: “Place a Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch to your lower back and let the cooling therapy work its magic”
Needing a break from carrying your precious load? Swollen ankles with no other symptoms are common and not usually anything to worry about, but can be uncomfortable.
Option: “Take a seat and dip your feet into a cooling foot bath. Cold water is a one stop shop for relieving your swollen aching ankles.”
There are limited pain relief options to treat episiotomies as many breastfeeding women are recommended to avoid oral painkillers
Option: “Pour water into disposable maxi pads and put them in the freezer to create your own cold pad. You can add Aloe Vera gel to them to make them extra soothing”
Visit Deep Freeze for further information