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Home > Medical Services > Women's and Children's Health > Maternity > Postpartum Discharge Instructions

After Pains

During pregnancy your uterus stretched to 11 times its normal size to accommodate your baby. About six weeks postpartum, your uterus will shrink from the size of a grapefruit, weighing about two pounds, to a mere 2 ounces.

  • As the uterus shrinks you may experience "afterbirth pains" that feel like mild contractions.
  • Afterbirth pains are most noticeable the first three to four days after delivery.
  • Pains may be more pronounced during breastfeeding or if this is not your first child.
  • If you are in pain:
    • Change position
    • Lie on your abdomen
    • Keep bladder empty
    • Take Tylenol or Advil

Last Updated: 12/27/2013