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.
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This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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