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Afterpains only in second and subsequent pg's - true? and if so why?

(46 Posts)
barbamama Tue 31-Jul-07 21:26:36

Have been meaning to ask this for ages - have always wondered and noone has ever given me a satisfactory answer.

By afterpains do they mean contraction like pain after the placenta has been delivered? If so do you only get them in second and subsequent pg's? Why is that if so? Are they bad?

CarGirl Tue 31-Jul-07 21:29:22

Yes contraction like pain after the placenta has been delivered.

My understanding is that with subsequent pregnancies the womb has to work harder to get back into shape.

After dd2 they were excrutiating, I was regularly in agony but with dd3 & dd4 they weren't as bad but also I was better prepared with pain relief (took voltarol!) plus the babies were smaller.

Hopefully some expert will come and correct me.......

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Tue 31-Jul-07 21:30:24

I dont know if you only get them in subsequant pregnancies as my first one was an elective c section so i was dosed up and would not have felt them.

On my second after i delivered they were so bad i thought labour had started again and i aksed for a voltoral?? supository? to kill pain.midwife did tell me they get worse ech time and im pregnant again...

mamazon Tue 31-Jul-07 21:30:38

from my experiance the pains are incredibly painfull....almost if not more painfull than first/second stage labour.

i do not remember having them at all with my first.

if i remember my biology correctly i think the pain is from your cervix and womb contracting back into place....but a medical type person may well know for sure and prove me totaly wrong lol

oh and IME it was teh following day rather than hours after birth

sorkycake Tue 31-Jul-07 21:30:43

I'd rather give birth than go through the afterpains again! It's THE most painful thing for me. I got them with my second every time he was at the breast, lasted about 3 weeks. With my third aby they were excrutiating and I cried every time I fed him for the first week. They get worse with every pg and tbh it's what's putting me off a fourth.
On the plus side my uterus was back to where it should be in 8 days this time around, the contractions were that powerful.

tassisssss Tue 31-Jul-07 21:31:18

no idea why but mine were very very sore (2nd pg)

hadn't known to expect them

thebigSea Tue 31-Jul-07 21:31:42

I got after pains with all of my lo's and they are horrendous, like insult to injury.

mosschops30 Tue 31-Jul-07 21:32:01

Not true I had terrible pains after my first birth but none with 2nd. No idea why??

hatrickjacqueline Tue 31-Jul-07 21:34:17

Message withdrawn

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Tue 31-Jul-07 21:39:26

when i have this baby i am going to have it in my birth plan that voltoral is shoved in asap after birth!!

Tipex Tue 31-Jul-07 21:39:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarGirl Tue 31-Jul-07 21:47:23

I think with dd2 I was screaming, between a bad latch (tongue tie) and the after pains it was horrific!

hunkermunker Tue 31-Jul-07 21:49:12

I had them with both boys.

Especially when breastfeeding them.

BUT I just figured that it was my uterus contracting more quickly than if I hadn't bf, so it was a Good Thing. That helped

popsycal Tue 31-Jul-07 21:50:18

had thm only with ds2
hospital gave me diclofenac - one dise siurted it

popsycal Tue 31-Jul-07 21:51:09

diclofenac=voltorol btew

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 31-Jul-07 21:51:11

I didn't have them at all. And everything 'snapped back' into place pretty quickly for me.

Wilkie Tue 31-Jul-07 21:54:06

Sorry to butt in - just out of interest is the Voltarol a suppository. I had never heard of afterpains until my cousin had them.

I'm a bit scared of getting pg again!!!!

popsycal Tue 31-Jul-07 22:03:11


macmama73 Tue 31-Jul-07 22:08:16

I had them after DD's birth (normal birth) and not after DS's (CS), but I didn't breastfeed DS so maybe that was why. I heard that they are worse while breastfeeding

beautifulgirls Tue 31-Jul-07 22:08:43

None with DD#1, horrendous after DD#2 - made me feel faint and sick they were that bad. Was totally unprepared for them with #2. Wanted my gas and air back!

MegaLegs Tue 31-Jul-07 22:11:40

None with DS1. Excrutiating down my inner thighs evrytime I fed DS2, worse than labour. Actually made a huge point in my birth plan of no intervention during labour but give me everything you've got for the after pains.

funnypeevesculiar Tue 31-Jul-07 22:12:14

Only had them with ds (my first). Bloody AGONY ever time I fed for the first few days. Agree that it was worse than early labour - perhaps because it wasn't 'productive' in the same way?
(Hunker - tired the 'this is good, it will make your stomach flatter' thought therapy, but it didn't work!!)

MegaLegs Tue 31-Jul-07 22:12:28

The birth plans for DS3 and 4 that is, although DS4 was a cs so I the pain relief was covered.

lemonaid Tue 31-Jul-07 22:14:48

Had them with DS (my first). Haven't tried giving birth to #2 yet but several people have told me that they get worse with subsequent pregnancies.

mears Tue 31-Jul-07 22:15:49

Afterpains tend to be worse with each subsequent birth because the uterus is basically a muscle that has to work harder to contract after being repeatedly stretched.

Tend to be worse when breastfeeding but that also helps uterus contract.

I found that mine weren't as bad with 4th birth because I had a physiological third stage - no drugs for placenta.

After C/S it is routine to get voltarol suppository which helps alleviate wound pain, but it also helps afterpains.

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