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After Birth Pains - Here's What You Need To Know

After Birth Pains - Here's What You Need To Know

Becoming a mama for the first time or expanding your family is a transformative experience, filled with all sorts of wild physical and emotional changes and challenges. Afterbirth pains or postpartum contractions are one of these challenges, and are often overlooked in discussions about childbirth or in your antenatal classes. Think of this as a little heads up from us, so you’re not caught off guard! These contractions are an important, yet misunderstood aspect of the healing process. They're not just a source of discomfort, but also a sign of your body's incredible ability to recover and return to its pre-pregnancy state. Think of it like your uterus's way of getting back into shape, which is a necessary step towards recovery, even if it's not the most comfortable. Whether you're a newbie mama or an experienced one, understanding these natural contractions can make a world of difference in your postpartum experience. 


What are they? 

You could think of them like a gentle reminder from your womb. Postpartum contractions, also known charmingly as after pains, are your body's built-in mechanism for recovery. They signify the beginning of your uterus's grand Houdini act—scaling down from a basketball back to a grapefruit. It's a show of resilience. Expect them to kick in like clockwork in the first few days after delivery, and do note, they can be more pronounced during breastfeeding sessions when oxytocin flows, nudging the uterus to contract.


How intense are they?

The intensity of afterpains varies (as with anything from pregnancy and postpartum!). For some, they're just mild discomfort even a -can’t-feel-a-thing, and for others, especially in subsequent pregnancies, they can be more intense. Try to remember mama, it's a sign your body is healing!


The Red Flags to Watch For

While after pains are a normal part of the process, here are some red flags to keep an eye out for:

  • Excessive Pain: If what you're experiencing feels like the Labour & Delivery sequel, it's time to call for backup. Don’t tough it out; reach out to your healthcare provider.
  • Heavy Bleeding: It’s a red flag when the red is overwhelming. Postpartum bleeding, or lochia, is normal, but if it becomes heavy and accompanied by clots, breathing patterns, and size of lemon, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
  • Fever: Your temperature is climbing, and the only burning you should feel post-delivery is the passion for your new bundle. Fever can be an indication of an infection, and it’s worth getting checked out.


What can help?

You don't have to handle these pains in stoic silence. Luckily there are a few tools you can have up your sleeve support you through these post-birth zingers:

  • Warm Baths: Honestly, I don’t know something a warm bath can’t help with! For some extra healing powers add in our Postpartum Healing Bath Soak
  • Heat Packs: A heated companion that delivers warmth exactly where you need it, You can pop you Perineal Power Ice Packs into the microwave and put them straight to work!
  • The Mother-Sip Raspberry Leaf Tea: An elixir that boasts uterine-toning properties. Plus, sipping a hot tea has its own calming effect.
  • Pain Relief: It’s okay to accept help in the form of medication. Paracetamol or ibuprofen might just be your token to a smoother recovery. (Always check with your healthcare provider)
  • Frequent Breastfeeding (If you are BF): Each latch can be seen as another healing nudge for your uterus.
  • REST


Rest, Self Care, and Emotional Well-being

Mama, we can’t stress rest enough. Postpartum rest is the fuel your body craves to heal, and self-care is the compass for navigating through this new phase of life. Emotional self-preservation is just as vital, so don't wave off the post-pregnancy mood swings. They are as intrinsic to the process as the after pains, and acknowledging your feelings is the first step to weathering them.


Celebrate Your Strength

These contractions tell a story—a tale of the miraculous reversion of your womb after the grand life production that is childbirth. It’s a chapter that ultimately embodies the silent strength and miraculous adaptability of the female body. You’ve done something extraordinary, and as the pains ebb, you inch closer to the new equilibrium of motherhood.


Empowering Yourself with the Right Information

Knowing what to expect is the first rule in this playbook of postpartum wisdom. Arm yourself with information, prepare your toolkit of resilience and remember, postpartum is not just about childbirth but also about self-care, recovery, and discovery. It’s a rollercoaster, yes, but you’re not alone on this ride. The more you understand, the more you can prepare, adapt, and even embrace the experience.

Postpartum is indeed a rollercoaster—a ride of breathtaking highs and challenging lows. But in this unity of experiences, remember, you’re not alone. You are part of an incredible community of mamas. Together, we are unbreakable. Together, we celebrate not just the joy of what’s been created but the remarkable journey that got us here. For every wave of after pains comes a tide of immeasurable love and strength. Yes, great things indeed come from great challenges. And, oh, how incredible the rewards are.


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