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.
profile picture of Laura Riley, MD
ByLaura Riley, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
May 2017
Hero Image

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.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video

Q&A: Safe to Jog After Birth?

Paula Prezioso, MD
Pediatrician

This New Brand Offers 5 Different Recovery Kits for Postpartum Moms

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/08/2019

This Photo of a Plate Shows Why Women Need Time to Recover After Giving Birth

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
10/03/2018

Let’s Get Real About Post-Baby Bodies

Micky Marie Morrison, PT, ICPFE
Contributing Writer

New Mom’s Post-Delivery Diaper Photo Shows Childbirth, Uncensored

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
07/07/2016

Miracle Baby Survives Heart and Lung Transplant, Finally Gets to Go Home

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
09/13/2018

Khloe Kardashian to Eat Her Placenta, Follows in Her Sister’s Footsteps

Sarah Hooper
Associate Social Editor
Published
03/01/2018

Would You Hire a Bed Rest Concierge?

Rachel Sylvester
Assistant Editor, The Knot
Published
07/27/2012
Advertisement