Postpartum cramps, also called as afterbirth pains, can sometimes be a result of contractions happening in the uterus when it is trying to go back to its pre-pregnancy size after giving birth to the baby. It process is also known as involution.
First-time moms may not experience severe after-pains which may disappear after a short time period. Some may not even experience them at all. They are usually very uncomfortable after an individual has given birth the second time which keeps getting worse after every consecutive delivery. The reason behind this is that first-time mothers generally have a decent uterine muscle tone to keep the uterus contracted even after birth.
The first two days after childbirth, cramping is most intense which reduces by the third day. At times, it can take as long as six weeks for the uterus to come back to its normal size.
Breastfeeding can make the after-pains more uncomfortable as sucking the breasts trigger the release of the type of hormone called oxytocin which facilitates contractions. This is useful for the body as it helps in shrinking it back to its normal size. This, in turn, reduces the risk of experiencing postpartum anaemia as a result of blood loss.
Relieving Postpartum Cramps
Postpartum cramps can be really uncomfortable and painful. To get rid of the discomfort, you can try out some of these tips.
- Try to urinate often, even when you do not feel like doing so. A full bladder does not allow the uterus to contract completely.
- Lying face down while sleeping will help tremendously. You can also keep a pillow under the lower belly will also be of use in relieving postpartum cramps.
- Try lying facedown along with a heating pad kept under the lower belly.
- Gently massaging the lower belly will facilitate the process and relieve the pain.
- Taking medications like ibuprofen will also be useful. If the pain does not reduce, you can also go with an alternative medication.
You should call the provider in case the cramping does not reduce in time. You can also contact a gynaecologist in Chandigarh for more help with this issue.