Why Do Uterine Contractions Still Occur After Childbirth?

The labor process begins with uterine contractions that come regularly and get louder and louder over time. However, you may still feel contractions for some time after your baby is born. These contractions sometimes make you feel pain after giving birth.

Even though it hurts, you don't need to worry if you experience contractions after giving birth. It is normal to experience uterine contractions a few days after giving birth. The pain from contractions can resemble menstrual cramps, but the pain can sometimes be sharp and heavy.

This pain sensation is most pronounced on the first and second day after delivery, but gradually decreases on the third day. Some women even feel the pain relief due to uterine contractions in the second week after giving birth.

Sensation That Appears Due to Uterine Contractions After Childbirth

The intensity of uterine contractions after giving birth to the first child is usually lighter than the birth of the second child and so on.

This is because women who have just given birth to their first child have uterine muscle conditions that are still tight and in better tension. Thus, the uterine muscles can relax again after some time and the uterine contractions become more stable.

Meanwhile, in women who have given birth to their second or subsequent child, the time between uterine contractions and relaxation is shorter, so the pain is more pronounced.

Causes of Contractions After Childbirth

There are several reasons why you can still feel uterine contractions after giving birth, including:

Changes in the size of the uterus

During labour, the muscles tighten as you push your baby out of the womb. The pain that you feel due to uterine contractions after childbirth occurs because the uterine muscles are trying to shrink back to their original size, just like the condition of the uterus before pregnancy. These changes cause cramping.

The uterus is trying to stop the bleeding

During childbirth, the mother will bleed a lot because the uterus has to remove the baby, the placenta, and the remnants of the tissue in the uterus. To expel the remnants of this tissue, your uterus needs to contract.

In addition, uterine contractions after giving birth also aim to stop the bleeding that occurs due to the release of placental tissue from the uterus. This type of bleeding is called puerperal blood.

Effects of breastfeeding hormones

After giving birth, the mother will enter the period of breastfeeding the little one. When breastfeeding, uterine contractions can be more pronounced because of the production of the hormone oxytocin, the hormone that regulates the release of breast milk. However, over time, this hormone will decrease and no longer cause pain due to uterine contractions.

Tips to Relieve Contraction PainUterus After Childbirth

Pain that appears due to uterine contractions after giving birth will usually go away on its own within a few weeks. However, to relieve the pain, you can do the following:

1. Stuffing the stomach while sleeping

During the recovery period after giving birth, you can sleep on your stomach and propped up with a pillow. This method is considered quite effective for reducing pain due to contractions after childbirth.

2. Compress the stomach

Mothers can also compress the abdominal area with warm compresses to relieve pain that arises due to uterine contractions after childbirth. You can use a bottle filled with warm water or hot packs.

3. Do not delay urination

Try not to delay urination and try to urinate more often even though there is no urge to urinate. This can help speed up emptying of the bladder so it doesn't put pressure on the contracting uterus.

4. Taking painkillers

If the pain due to contractions after giving birth makes you feel very disturbed, try taking pain relievers such as paracetamol. However, you need to consult with your doctor first so that the doctor can prescribe the right pain reliever medication and a safe dose for consumption.

To relieve pain due to contractions after giving birth, you can also try breathing exercises and breastfeed your baby more often. Although uncomfortable, contractions after childbirth are needed for your body's recovery.

If the pain persists or gets worse, immediately consult a gynecologist or midwife to get the right treatment to relieve uterine contractions after giving birth.