What are after-pains?

Qu'est-ce que sont les tranchées ?

after-pains refer to the uterine contractions that occur after childbirth, and the pain that often accompanies them.

These uterine contractions generally occur a few hours to a few days, or even a few weeks, after delivery, whether by vaginal delivery or Caesarean section.

What are they caused by?

Although they can be unpleasant, after-pains play an essential role in the post-partum period.

With pregnancyThe uterus, which measures 5 to 10 cm on average, takes up much more space in the pregnant woman's body after 9 months.

After childbirth, the uterus must gradually return to its original shape, and to do this it contracts. This is known as trenching, and can cause pain. This is known as "involution" of the uterus.

After-pains also serve to reduce the risk of haemorrhage, as they close the blood vessels that used to irrigate the placenta. They also "clean" the uterus, facilitating the elimination of clots and small residues in the form of bleeding, known as lochia.

Trenches usually appear on the day following childbirth, and can last for several weeks.

What's more, breastfeeding mothers often experience more pain. This is because the baby's suckling provokes the mother's secretion of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the very hormone that promotes the milk productionIt also accelerates uterine contractions, and is the hormone of childbirth and attachment.

What's more, a woman who has had several pregnancies (multiparous woman) will often experience more painful after-pains than a woman for whom this is the first pregnancy (primiparous woman). This is because the muscle fibers are harder to retract, having already been used several times before. Even so, some women never feel any pain at all.

How to relieve pain?

If you experience severe pain, we recommend that you consult your doctor, who can prescribe antispasmodics or painkillers.

It's also advisable to urinate often to prevent the bladder from exerting additional pressure on the uterus. In addition, you can try placing a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen, or lying on your stomach with a pillow over the same part of your body. You can also try the breathing exercises taught during childbirth preparation sessions, or consume linden sapwood in herbal tea or ampoule form, as this plant is made up of active ingredients, some of which are antispasmodic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Some midwives also prescribe homeopathy. In alternative medicine, acupuncture may also be considered.

Finally, if you experience other discomforts such as heavy bleeding, persistent abdominal pain, foul-smelling discharge or fever, we advise you to consult a doctor as soon as possible. If this isn't the case, don't worry, after-pains are completely normal, and we hope to accompany you as best we can in pretty menstrual panties!

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.