the road to recovery
How to help your mind and body heal after childbirth
What you can do Breastfeed! Doing so increases the production of oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates the uterus to contract; this helps speed its return to normal size and reduces bleeding. If the cramping is extreme, your doctor or midwife may recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil for a few days.
Some people also swear by chamomile tea. “It’s caffeine-free and seems to relieve cramping,” says Barbara Hughes, C.N.M., F.A.C.N.M., director of Exempla Certified Nurse-Midwives at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver and a spokeswoman for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. “We give it to our patients when they’re in the recovery room and urge them to drink it in the days and weeks following delivery.”