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Post Delivery Issues Topics..

You are here : home > Post Delivery Issues > Aches and Pains > Post Delivery Cramps

Post Delivery Cramps

Are you a new mother with nagging post delivery cramps? Learn about the causes of the post delivery cramps and how to reduce them right here.

Pain and feeling of cramps after the birth of your child is pretty natural and common. A new mother can be surprised as to how can the pains persist even after delivery, especially when the pain gets as acute as labour pains. It has been observed that in most women the post delivery pains, or after-pains as it is commonly referred to, stays for around three months after the birth of the baby. These cramps are attributed to the stretch and strain on the tissues around the pelvic area, the back, the vaginal muscles, the lower abdomen, the stomach and the breasts. There is nothing to worry about these cramps and after pains as they are signals that the body is preparing to return to its original state that is, pre-pregnancy one.

Causes of the Post Delivery Cramps

Let us have a look at the causes of post delivery cramps.

The Retraction of The Uterus

The uterus had been holding the baby and following the childbirth, it is going to contract to its original size. As the retraction of the uterus happens, you get to feel the cramps in your abdomen. It is quite relative to how long the uterus takes to get back to its original size and location; for some women it can take a month's time, while for others it can take 6-7 weeks.


If you have had a vaginal or normal delivery, it is possible that the perineum, which is the region covering the vagina and anus gets torn or is surgically torn through episiotomy to aid the delivery. The stitches in this perineum can also result in pain and get intensified while walking, coughing, sneezing, sitting down and even laughing. Internal stitches take a longer time to heal up, and so the pain stays for a longer period too.

The Release of Oxytocin

Oxytocin is a hormone that is released just after delivery which enhances the cramps and pain.


You will notice that the pain and cramps increase when you are breastfeeding the baby. As soon as you begin to lactate, the body immediately triggers the release of this oxytocin hormone that simultaneously results in triggering off the intense cramp like pains.

Engorged Breasts

Just before or after childbirth the breasts get engorged due to the flow of milk. This can cause soreness in the breasts. Besides as your baby suckles at the nipples, it turns further sore. This discomfort in your breasts is pretty natural post delivery.

Aching Muscles Add Up

The cramps are also caused due to the stress borne by your muscles during the labour and delivery. This is especially in the abdominal and the pelvic muscles. The doctors might suggest painkillers if the cramps are too severe.


Post delivery constipation is natural due to the strain in the rectal muscles during labour and delivery. This causes constipation. Besides, the iron supplements suggested by your doctor and the hormones that trigger off the labour may also cause constipation, as can the use of anesthesia administered during delivery. The best way to deal with it is through balanced diets that is rich in fibers, and take in plenty of water and fluids.

How to Reduce Cramps

Since the cramps are mostly caused by the retraction of the uterus, you need to ensure that you urinate at regular intervals so that the bladder is not kept too full. A full bladder prevents the regular contraction of the uterus which triggers off the pain in many cases.

Finally, you must take care that the post delivery cramps are not intensified due to infections. Make it a point to follow all the instructions offered by your doctor and report any abnormal or intense pain immediately so as to avoid any undesirable complications. Remember your body is still at the recuperating stage and you need to take additional care that the healing up process is smooth and fast.

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Post Delivery Cramps
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Lovina.6 years ago
Is it common to have joint pain leg cramps after delivery. My sister is having severe cramps and pain. Should she take calcium supplements?
Disha.6 years ago
most new mothers will find this article very interesting and informative. Keep it up
uma.6 years ago
why do i feel severe cramping in my belly and pain in my breast during nursing? is this normal...
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What are the causes of post delivery cramps? How long do post delivery cramps last? How to reduce post delivery cramps?
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Since my delivery, i have been having severe pains and aches all over my body. instead on enjoying motherhood, i am more concerned about the pains. it seems like nothing is right in my body. all my jo...
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Post delivery cramps are quite common in new mothers. There are different reasons for this. it is a part of healing process. Do not worry. it can be due to contraction of uterus, stitches, breasts eng...
To reduce post delivery cramps, you must follow the directions of your doctor. Your body is recovering from stress of pregnancy so it will take time. Drink lot of water to prevent constipation and inf...
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