So after hours of contractions and the birthing and the hullabaloo once the baby came and then the placenta finally makes her appearance, you’re all settled into bed with ice cream and life is good. Thank heavens that’s all over!Well surprise! It’s not.

I’d like to introduce you to afterpains- birth’s best kept secret. Afterpains happen because the Uterus has to continue contracting to go back to its previous size (involution). Which is a good thing because it means it compresses the wound where the placenta was and makes it less likely to hemorrhage. Your midwife will come by to check on it by palpitating your abdomen (this can also feel pretty uncomfortable). They may even “massage” it to help speed up the process! It can be worse with each birth (I didn’t even notice with my first baby).

What can you do about it?

  • Paracetamol
  • Make sure to urinate often
  • Hot water bottle
  • Get up and move a little every so often
  • Nurse- nursing stimulates the uterus which can get it over with faster
  • Massage your own abdomen to help it end faster (and physically addressing pain helps-so touch where it hurts) Wild thought- homemade Laboraid can help you get through this process with less pain if it is made with baking soda. Two things- There have been studies done on bicarbonate lowering lactic acid buildup in muscles of athletes, so we know it does help with muscle cramping. And this study that says bicarbonate works on the uterus (although it’s talking about during labor):
    < > The good news is that afterpains are normal and they will stop on their own.