We spend so much time preparing for our births, we may choose to hypnobirth so that we remain calm and in control thought the experience, we may read books from cover to cover, we may hit up YouTube a few thousand times a day *guilty*, but we only really prepare up to the point of birth and the trophy that is skin to skin with our precious tiny new people.
So we sit, skin to skin, inhaling the new baby smell, gazing at what we created, euphoric that our birth was perfect for us (however the birth played out) and then comes another surge……
We tend to forget that our bodies are still working hard at this point, your body needs to surge in order for the uterus to birth your placenta, and so you birth begins again, and you birth your placenta, using the same techniques you used when birthing your baby, and then you’re done?!
Or so you thought!! A day or so later, you may begin to feel sensations similar to your surges. And so the after pains are kicking in, your uterus is still working hard to get itself back to it’s pre-pregnancy state, it’s called involution and is an important part of recovery but usually unwelcome and often not talked about. Our amazing uterus’s have to grow so much to accommodate our newbies, it makes sense that it would need to reduce back to where it was in a short space of time to risk problems occurring so surely we can forget the ‘pains’ that accompany the fantastic work it’s doing.
It tends to be less obvious to first time mums as their uterus has more tone, breastfeeding mothers may experience more discomfort as when they feed they release oxytocin which stimulates uterine contraction. It normally would only last a day or so.
So, if/when this happens, know that it’s positive as your fantastic body is preventing any problem in the future, try to relax and allow the process to happen. You can treat the cramps as you would period cramps, hot baths….heat pads……paracetamol…..chocolate cake.
Our bodies are amazing and continue to work so hard long after the birth, there’s some great info about physical changes and healing after birth on the internet, it’s a good idea to make this part of your birthing preparation.
And know that it does all get back to normal and you will forget all about the after pains…..until the next time!!