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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 13, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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