Postpartum Cramps: Causes, Treatment And More

3 min read

Postpartum cramps
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“Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing” 

To give birth is the greatest moment of a woman’s life, after carrying a life inside them their journey only begins after that. 

The postpartum journey is equally difficult, if not more than the pregnancy period. With the ups and downs in the levels of hormones and there are a lot of things going around that do not usually come to your notice. Also, with that, a woman’s body goes back to the old form and this phase is not talked about much. Most often women don’t know anything about it. 

If you’ve been thinking is it normal to get cramps after giving birth or if you’ve been experiencing cramps and wonder if it’s something to worry about or not then continue reading.

If you are experiencing frequent cramps in your abdominal region, don’t fret; it is a part of the postpartum recovery. Here’s everything you need to know about postpartum cramps.

What are postpartum cramps?

Postpartum cramps are frequent burns and are similar to very severe period cramps. These happen because after delivering the baby your uterus is going back to its original form. This compressing part is very painful and similar to those contractions you experienced during labor. These are often called “after pains” although they are very common most women are not aware of this. 

These cramps usually increase and get severe after every delivery. These are especially painful for a few days after your delivery but fades gradually but it could continue for a few weeks. 

Do all women get them? 

No, while they are very common there can always be exceptions and if you are among the lucky few you won’t feel them as much as others do. It is also not necessary that these cramps are only a problem of those who had a vaginal delivery, these cramps are also common for C-section delivery. If you had a C-section you would feel extra discomfort during these pains as your body is under-recovery from surgery and the skin is also healing. 

How long do they last?

If you are worried about how long the cramping after birth would continue, then don’t worry as it is not for a long period. They usually begin soon after birth and can reach its maximum after 2-3 days. These pains generally continue for a month and this duration might increase after your second or third pregnancy. 

Postpartum cramps

If the pain continues for even longer then this, it could be because of some other reasons and you should consult your doctor. 

Causes of Postpartum cramps

Postpartum cramps or afterpains is usually caused due to the shrinking of the uterus to its earlier form. During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes and while that process is challenging so is the process of after giving birth. This phase is for your body to heal from all those changes and also to go back to how it was before. While the uterus is shrinking your body is also trying to protect all the blood vessels or else there could be a lot of internal bleeding. 

After giving birth you also start breastfeeding which further adds to this process and you could experience these pains while feeding your child also. 

Sometimes the reason for the abdominal pain you experience could be because of constipation which is a very common post-pregnancy problem. This pain is very similar to the afterpains and could be equally painful. Constipation could happen because of an increase in the levels of progesterone. To fix this, you should try to consume food that is rich in fiber. 

These cramps can also be confused with the abdominal pain you have after a C-section where your body is healing from the wounds of the surgery. While delivering in a C-section, you might not feel a thing but the recovery post-delivery could be very painful. 

No matter the reason behind the abdominal pains, if you feel like the pain is beyond your ability to take, you should consult a doctor and take proper treatment. You will only be able to take care of your baby if you take care of yourself, so don’t try to ignore these cramps and see a doctor when you should. 

Postpartum cramps

Treatments for Postpartum cramps

1. Heat 

Just like heating pads or heating bottles are helpful during the menstrual cramps, similarly, you can use them for these postpartum cramps. Whenever you feel that the pain or discomfort use them for immediate comfort. 

2. Run a hot bath 

Taking a hot water bath will also be helpful when it comes to cramps. These not only ease the abdominal pain but they even relax your whole body and this can also be a time for you to indulge in some self-care post-pregnancy. 

3. Medications

When you think the pain is unbearable, it is always the right option to visit a doctor and take medicines, by taking painkillers will help in reducing the pain. 

4. Breathing Exercise 

Many women have reported that performing breathing exercises or any similar exercise is a good way to calm your mind and body. It not only helps you to calm your senses but also helps with the pain. 

5. Get Going 

Most women think that taking proper rest is a good solution for these pains, while they can be helpful it is also very important to get going. You may not feel like doing any major exercises but going out for a little walk or working around the house, is not just good for afterpains but also for the problem of constipation. 

6. A little change

With a baby to take care of your life changes for good but you should understand that you need to take good care of yourself too. You cannot ignore the changes in your body and for that, you should eat well and drink enough water so that you don’t stress yourself out. 

You should learn to respect and accept these changes in your body after becoming a mother, now life depends on you so you should take the best care of yourself and the baby. If you are fine with the postpartum cramps and you think you can handle them, Great! But if they are out of your strength, always consult your doctor without any hesitation.