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How Can Moms Manage Their Pain?
How Can Moms Manage Their Pain?
Moms understand the sensation of pain. After all, we did bring babies into this world. Raising kids is a lot of work! But raising children while in chronic pain can be next to impossible. Follow these tips to learn more about your pain and manage your symptoms.
Acute pain has a quick onset, is sharp, and is often the body’s way of warning you that something is wrong. You experience acute pain in the following circumstances:
- Broken bones
- Labor and childbirth
Acute pain dissipates after the underlying cause has been treated, resolving in a few weeks or a month at the longest.
As the name suggests, chronic pain is continual, lasting longer than six months. The pain typically continues even if a doctor has healed the underlying illness or injury. Various conditions can cause chronic pain:
- Migraines and headaches
- Back pain
- Nerve pain
Chronic pain can impact your mental health, causing depression and anxiety due to the long-term effect of the pain in your life.
1. Be Real
When you live with chronic pain, you grapple with the symptoms on a routine basis. You recognize the signs of an impending migraine or a flare-up of lower back pain or arthritis. Explain to your child and let them know what’s happening to your body, especially since they can't see anything wrong with you. They need to know what's going on inside.
Depending on your child’s age, use easy-to-understand terms. Try being direct and making it relevant to your child – as in “Mommy has another headache” and “Do you ever get headaches?” If you get migraines that last a couple of days, explain to your child that you’ll be taking it easy for a few days. You can even try and make it fun by dressing in pajamas and watching movies in bed.
2. Ask for Help
When you face a painful day, it’s always okay for you to ask for help! Whether you need to ask for your partner to step in or grandma or even one of your older kiddos to lend a hand – never allow guilt to get in the way of asking for help when you need it.
The African Proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” really is true regarding the benefits children experience when interacting with multiple caregivers in a community. It also rings true for you regarding calling on the various means of support in your network when you need help when experiencing chronic pain. People will want to assist you and your family when you need it.
3. Invest in Therapy
Speak with your doctor about how to best manage your chronic pain through therapy. Water therapy provides an effective means of cross exercise, as it warms your muscles, builds strength and increases flexibility. If you have any joint swelling, you’ll also find the water pressure decreases the inflammation and reduces pain. Try swimming at your local indoor pool today to see if it helps you manage your chronic pain.
4. Take Care of Yourself
For some of us living with chronic pain, medication may be a necessary way of life. For others, we may not choose to take drugs to manage our symptoms. There should be no judgment for moms in either category. Those moms are privy to their medical situation, and to the doctor's consultation, and can exercise the best decision given their circumstances.
In all cases, moms need to care for themselves whenever possible. This means attending all doctor's appointments and using medicine or another treatment at the sign of a flare-up or attack. Ensure you get plenty of rest at night, at least seven hours of sleep to keep you healthy. If you have a new baby at home, this can, of course, be difficult, but try to rest when your infant naps.
5. Find a Support Group
Discover friendship and support from another mom. Chronic pain support groups exist for moms just like you! Your doctor’s office might know of local resources or chronic support groups.
Additionally, there are plenty of online groups on Facebook that you can take advantage of and join. When you find a chronic pain group, you can ask for specific advice and rely on moms for support during challenging times in your life. It could be that they have solutions for the pain problems you’re currently experiencing.
6. Be Present
Even if you’re bleary-eyed and still in your PJs, if your migraine is over, your kiddo will appreciate seeing you up and about regardless of how you look. Be present with your child and play a quick game, or read them a book. Have them tell you about their day or do a craft together.
Even when you're in pain, just being uncomfortable on the couch with your child is likely preferable for them than you being away in your room. Sometimes the pain is unbearable and you need your space to recover. However, the more you can be present with your family, the better you will feel, and your child will feel, too.
Start Managing Your Pain Today
Living with chronic pain doesn’t need to stand in the way of being a mom. You can manage your pain by being honest with your family about your chronic pain, asking your support network for help when you need it, and taking care of yourself by investing in therapy and other self-care treatments.
Remember your child loves you as you are, and because of this, you can do your best to care for them despite your chronic pain.