Ongoing pain after childbirth may predict postpartum depression – even if a woman’s labor and delivery were not particularly painful, new research suggests.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have uncovered that it is the post-birth period that needs special attention.

They advise that doctors need to make sure that women are not sent home to suffer in order to protect their physical and mental health.

The authors of the new study found, if a woman has a great deal of pain during her recovery after giving birth.

Complications such as tearing or wounds left by a caesarean section have a greater than expected impact, shares Daily Mail.

Assistant Professor Dr Jie Zhou, who led the study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, said: ‘For many years, we have been concerned about how to manage labour pain.

‘But recovery pain after labour and delivery often is overlooked.

‘Our research suggests we need to focus more on helping new mothers manage pain after the baby is born.’

Dr Zhou added: ‘While ibuprofen and similar pain medications are considered adequate for pain control after childbirth, clearly some women need additional help managing pain.

‘We need to do a better job identifying who is at risk for postpartum pain and ensure they have adequate postpartum care.’

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  • How extremely interesting. I wonder if there is going to be further research done on this.


  • Whilst I haven’t had post partum depression I can certainly see why they’ve made this link and recommendation. No one likes being in the hospital but often after giving birth we push to leave before we are physically ready. More often than not we go home to an environment that needs cleaning, cooking, washing etc. and deal with an influx of visitors to boot. After having my youngest I was shocked at how long it actually took me to recover from the delivery. I had periods overnight where I simply couldn’t get warm, struggled to sleep, wasn’t hungry at all and felt quite weak. Feeling like that was awful and if it weren’t for the support from my partner I can see how depression would surface.


  • I certainly believe that pain after child birth can cause issues, but I also believe that depression can cause different pain perception.


  • Problems requiring sutures are more likely to result in infection.
    Most Mums are sent home from hospital too soon and a lot of important information not explained to them. Maybe that contributes to depression.
    Iboprufen is an anti-inflammatory and can be quite dangerous. What people are not told is that it leeches out of your skin for approx 10 hours, possibly longer if you have been given a high dosage. Skin to skin contact means that your baby or other person is absorbing it into their bloodstream. If anybody has a severe allergy to it you can actually stop breathing. I personally know of one such case. CPR was needed. The Mum of the child has been waiting for an epipen for over 2 years. Fortunately they live very close to a hospital and can drive the patient to it long before an ambulance arrives with siren and flashing lights.


  • I had a 2nd degree tear but the pain from that was NOTHING compared to the pain from my pregnancy hemorrhoids, and nobody takes them seriously. I can see why pain after birth would cause issues. I stopped breastfeeding after two days because I was in so much pain and that was something I could actually control.


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