After I had my first kid (a girl) my contractions weren’t fun but they weren’t that bad, either. But then I had my second (a boy). After the epidural wore off the nurse gave me pain meds in my I.V. and I just assumed it was for my traumatized vagina. Then, a short time later, as I began to nurse my newborn it hit me. Now, I am the first to admit I’m a wimp, but the pains in my abdomen were unbearable and should be a new form of torture. I was literally white knuckling bedrails. What the hell?! The nurse assured me that it was just my uterus contracting. Ok, like I said, I felt these after my first kid, but they were more on par with menstrual cramps. These are scream bloody murder cramps. Then the nurse informs me that post delivery uterine contractions become more painful with each birth. Awesome. Not only did I just go through 14 hours of labor now this.
I’m currently pregnant with number three and I’m not worried about labor or delivery or the stitches. I’m scared of uterine contractions. But this time I will be ready. My OB says for number three we’ll skip the I.V. meds since they were a bust, and go right to Percocet and Ibuprofen the second I exit the delivery room.
So what are these post delivery contractions all about? Keep reading and find out.
Turns out it’s our body’s way of returning our watermelon sized uterus back to its original size. (I only wish I get a flat stomach out of the deal.) The good news is that the contractions are not persistent. They usually only manifest when you breastfeed your newborn or have another type of stimulation, like skin-to-skin contact with the baby. The other good news is that the contractions will only last a few days to a week. Which can only help morale. Because I thought they were never going to stop. Your nurse will probably encourage you to massage the area – something I could not handle – and drink plenty of fluids.
Make sure you talk to your OB pre-delivery to discuss what you are in store for and the best plan of pain management. If it’s your first, lucky you, if it’s your 2nd, you’ll be glad someone warned you.