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After Pains

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Updated January 25, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Postpartum IV Photo © iStockPhoto
Definition: The contractions of the uterus after giving birth. These milder form of labor contractions happen after a vaginal birth or a cesarean section. These contractions help your uterus clamp down to decrease your bleeding from the site of the placenta. You may notice them more after you have had subsequent children or when you are breastfeeding. Most mothers do not require pain medication for these pains, but if you do, your doctor or midwife can help you with over the counter medications of your normal postpartum medications for pain.
Also Known As: After Birth Contractions
Alternate Spellings: afterpains
Examples:
After the baby was born I noticed after pains in my uterus.
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