Painful Abdominal Cramps After Delivery? This Is Why.

Many mothers are very well aware of the labor pain, how much sore and exhausted she will be right after delivery, etc. However, not every mother is aware of some of the pains that start after the birth of the baby. Postpartum period, the initial six weeks after giving birth, is somewhat distinctive and weak period of time during which a woman's body returns back to its pre-pregnancy condition. The new mother is more likely to have several pains and aches during this time. Painful abdominal cramps are one among them.

What causes abdominal pain after delivery?

There are several reasons that could bring about abdominal pain after delivery

1. Postpartum uterine contraction:

The woman's uterus is normally small and closed prior to pregnancy. During pregnancy, it will grow up to 25 times its original size. After delivery, obviously, it has to shrink back to its normal size.  This may bring about lower abdominal cramps, known as "after pains". Hence, in fact, even though irksome, abdominal pain after delivery is a good sign, as these cramps indicate that your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size.

How much time will the abdominal pain due to uterine contraction last?

The uterus takes around six weeks to return to its pre-pregnancy state. You may experience abdominal pain due to postpartum uterine contractions from three days to six weeks after delivery. It is quite normal for a woman to experience after-birth pains until the lochia, the tissues and bloody fluids that flow from the vagina following the birth of a baby has stopped.

Does the abdominal pain due to uterine contraction repeat in all pregnancies?

The intensity of abdominal pain due to uterine contraction is found to increase with the number of delivery. The first time mothers usually experience less pain than that of second and third time mothers. This is because the muscle tone of the uterus decreases with the number of pregnancies.

What is the effect of breastfeeding on abdominal pain after delivery?

The abdominal pain tends to be extreme during breastfeeding. This is because, during breastfeeding large amount of oxytocin, a hormone that triggers uterine contraction is released into the blood. This paves the way for strong contractions and therefore heightens the pain

How can I ease the abdominal pain due to uterine contraction?

You can alleviate these pains by applying a warm heating pad or taking a pain reliever (only after the green signal from the doctor as there are medicines that is not safe to take during breastfeeding. Also,

  • The relaxation and breathing techniques just like help you through the labor will help you to ease the abdominal pain due to uterine contraction.
  • After delivery (let it be a C-section or vaginal), start walking around as soon as possible.
  • Always try to keep your bladder empty.

2. Gas:

Most women soon after delivery, let it be a vaginal delivery or C section, are more likely to experience abdominal gas. Voluntarily or involuntarily the gas that formed has to pass out. However, if the mother has some trouble in passing gas, she will more likely to develop  sharp, stabbing pains in the abdomen, and also experience cramping, knotted feelings in the abdomen

How can I ease abdominal pain due to gas formation?

If your gas pain is hindering your day to day activities or caring yourself or your little one, never hesitate to consult with your doctor. There are several over the counter gas medication that is safe during the lactating phase, which helps to get rid of this annoying s issue.

3. Constipation:

Another contributing factor for abdominal discomfort and pain in the course of postpartum is constipation. Constipation also triggers gas formation, thereby, increases the chances of abdominal pain. A stool softener can help to get rid of constipation and gas formed due to constipation.