After having had your baby, you may experience pain in your womb, called 'after pains'. These feel like period pains or slightly less strong contractions and are from your womb starting to shrink. This is a process known as ‘involution’ and an important phase after the birth as your womb returns to its non-pregnant size. Breastfeeding speeds up this process, so can bring on after pains.
Many women find that these after pains are stronger if they’ve had a baby before. Painkillers, e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen, should help you to feel a little better, as well as drinking plenty of water. Emptying your bladder more often can also help, as a fuller bladder can make after pains worse. Heat can also help, so a hot water bottle on your lower body should provide some relief. Whilst it can take up to six weeks for your womb to return to its usual size, after pains usually subside by the third day.
If the pain seems to be increasing or is very hard to control with the above tips, call your midwife as it could be a symptom of infection.