Skip to Content

Childbirth Afterpains

Topic Overview

Afterpains are sharp abdominal (belly) pains that occur in the first few days after childbirth. Although they may cause some discomfort, afterpains help reduce uterine bleeding and help shrink the uterus back to its prepregnancy 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 medicine.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of June 4, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated 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. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Classes & Events

  • Nov
    4
    Tuesday
    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    This open discussion for parents will focus on creating their birth environment, comfort measures, positions for labor and other general questions about labor.
  • Nov
    10
    Monday
    2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    This tour allows siblings to visit The Family Place before the arrival of the baby and ways to increase the siblings' participation.
  • Nov
    13
    Thursday
    5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    Learn how to administer CPR to an adult, child or infant. First aid basics, choking and the use of an AED are reviewed.