How Long Does Cramping Last After Giving Birth?

Yeeowch! Here's what's causing that abdominal pain after delivery and how long it'll likely last.
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profile picture of Laura Riley, MD
Updated May 11, 2017
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Having abominal pain after childbirth? We feel your pain, new mama, but try to hang in there. If you had a vaginal delivery, your aches and pains should resolve themselves within two weeks of baby’s birth.

It’s normal to have intense cramps for those first couple weeks, especially while you’re breastfeeding. That’s because your uterus is shrinking down to its pre-pregnancy size (woo-hoo!). You might also experience so much pelvic pressure that it feels like your uterus is falling out! Don’t worry—it will stay safely inside you. If you have any discomfort by the time you have your postpartum checkup (usually around six weeks after delivery), definitely let your doctor or midwife know so she can check you for issues.

If you had a c-section, the amount of time you’ll have abdominal pain is probably about the same—10 days to two weeks—but some women experience a pulling sensation that lasts a bit longer. The amount of time it hurts can depend on a bunch of factors, including how many prior surgeries you’ve had, if you had a long labor and then a c-section (our sympathies!), and any delivery complications. Plus, everyone’s pain threshold is different, so what one mom calls pain just might be a little soreness to another. Bring any concerns you have to your practitioner.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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