these cramps are caused by contractions of your uterus as it shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size and location after you have your baby. (The process is called ‘involution.’)
Afterpains are typically mild for first-time moms (if you feel them at all) and don’t last long, but they can be quite uncomfortable after a second delivery and usually get worse with each successive pregnancy. That’s because first-time mothers have better uterine muscle tone, so the uterus tends to contract and stay contracted, rather than intermittently relaxing and then contracting again.
Cramping will be most intense during the first day or two after giving birth and should taper off on the third day or so (though it can take six weeks or longer for your uterus to return to normal size).
Breastfeeding can bring on these cramps or make them more intense because your baby’s sucking triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which in turn causes contractions. (Try to see that as a good thing – these contractions usually help reduce postpartum blood loss, which is why your body produces them.)
You can do the following to help get rid of the pain?
Pee often, even if you don’t feel the urge to go. A full bladder displaces the uterus so it can’t contract as well as it should.
Some women find it helpful to lie face-down with a pillow under their lower belly.
Gentle massage of the lower belly helps some moms.
Ibuprofen generally works well for afterpains. Let your caregiver know if it doesn’t give you enough relief.