Maternal Health | The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka

Maternal Health

What are some common health issues that affect new mothers?

Vaginal pain

Even after a relatively easy delivery, there can be pain in the vaginal area. If the delivery required an episiotomy or if there was a tear, the area between the vagina and rectum known as the perineum, will be sore.

If you do experience pain, try icing the area. 

Women who have caesarean sections can expect some pain at the incision area. You’ll be given a prescription for pain medication to take for about two weeks. 

Breast pain

If your breasts are hard, lumpy or painful, they’re likely engorged. Breast engorgement is when your breasts become overly full. Warm compresses can help with milk flow. If there is an issue with sore nipples, try feeding more often or go braless for a time.  Speak to a midwife, lactation consultant or doctor for further support.

Urinary incontinence

Leaking urine after childbirth is very common. Some may leak urine when they laugh, sneeze, cough or exercise.

Most women find that it goes away in the first few weeks as the stretched muscles and tissues recover. However, for some women it can take much longer.

If you are experiencing urine leakage please speak to your doctor. Remember dealing with it early can reduce the risk of it becoming a life-long problem.

Uncomfortable sex

Many women have pain during penetrative sex after having a baby (dyspareunia). Painful sex after birth can happen to any new mother, regardless if the birth was vaginal or via caesarean section. One common reason for discomfort during sex after giving birth is vaginal dryness, often caused due to the change in hormones. Using lubrication can be used to manage this.

Trauma to the vaginal wall during vaginal births is another reason. Most tears and episiotomies heal very well and should not cause ongoing pain. 

Pain can also be the result of problems in the pelvic floor, as muscles and tissue that are connected to the pubic bone are sometimes strained, injured or weakened during pregnancy and birth.


When you are constipated, you have uncomfortable and infrequent bowel movements. To prevent it, staying hydrated and eating high-fibre foods in the weeks before labour and delivery is a must. 

Postpartum recovery has its challenges, but all of these health issues are temporary. Give your body time to heal.

If you have questions or concerns about any postpartum related health issue, don’t hesitate to contact FPA Sri Lanka on 077 955 2979 



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