Afterpains following childbirth

Afterpains are sharp abdominal pains that occur in the first few days after childbirth. These are normal uterine contractions that slowly shrink the uterus back to normal size. Afterpains are most noticeable during breast-feeding; breast-feeding triggers the release of oxytocin, which in turn causes the uterus to contract. These pains usually begin to subside by the third day after childbirth.

If afterpains are severe, your health professional can prescribe a safe and effective pain medication.

Last Updated: December 4, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.