Postpartum Cramping: Connection or Coincidence?

This post may be way too much information for some people, but I wouldn’t be being honest about postpartum recovery if I didn’t talk about things that I have experienced since delivering Luke. Some of what I have been experiencing has ceased, but other aspects of recovery have continued. 

I didn’t realize that after you have a baby, you continue to feel cramps for a few weeks as your uterus shrinks back down to its original size. For me, the cramps felt like low grade contractions or really intense menstral cramps. I was constantly achy and when I put Luke to the breast (or pumped), the ache would turn into severe cramping. Paired with heavy bleeding/clotting and a foul discharge, I went into the Ob to make sure everything was alright at about 5 week postpartum. She said everything seemed fine and that postpartum cramping is normal. A week later the Ob cleared me to resume all activity, despite the continued cramping and smell. 

In the weeks since, the bleeding and foul smell have disappeared. The cramping and achiness has continued. Every time Luke nurses I have to remain sitting down for a good 20-30 minutes because the cramping is so severe I can barely walk. My uterus feels like I am just about to start my period all day long, but when I nurse it gets so much worse.

I have an appointment set up with my pelvic pain doctor to investigate the cause of the cramping. I asked around and a certain level of cramping is normal after delivery, but should subside by 6-8 weeks postpartum. 

I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection between the constant achiness and cramping, and my low milk supply, or if it is coincidence. My milk took a long time to come in…….over a week. When it did come in, I only produced an ounce or less (total) of milk for Luke. I’ve only been engorged once, and that was the other day, and pumped 3 ounces total. I’ve tried herbs, supplements, teas, eating more, drinking more….nothing seems to increase my supply. 

Part of me wonders if there isn’t still a little piece of something in my uterus causing cramping (possible contractions) and has negatively impacted my milk supply. I’ve been doing some research via Dr. Google, and haven’t really located anything similar.

How long did you experience postpartum cramping?

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14 thoughts on “Postpartum Cramping: Connection or Coincidence?

  1. Yeah that isn’t normal per my experience. I had the postpartum cramping for a few weeks but it should be gone for you by now and certainly not so severe. I would ask them to do an ultrasound and some blood work for sure! I hope you feel better asap!!

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  2. I don’t really remember cramping. My biggest problem was night sweats! I was never engorged either and always worried about my milk supply. Bub seemed to grow fine but would take ages to feed and not last that long between feeds. It was tough and time consuming!

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    • I don’t have night sweats really. I am a bit warmer, but I think that’s because little man sleeps right next to me. I know I have low supply already. He can transfer about .75 ounces per feed, and I can pump a collective ounce or two during the day. I’m going to give domperidone a chance and if it doesn’t work then I’m done with breast feeding.

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  3. I have no personal experience with this, but from what I have heard new moms around me talk about, this doesn’t seem normal. (I guess the others who have already commented agree lol!) Definitely get yourself looked at, and I hope they can help you out!

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  4. I cramped horribly for a few weeks, bled for 4 weeks straight, took a 2 week reprieve from heavy bleeding (it was light), started what I thought was my first period at 6 weeks and now 10 weeks out, I’m still bleeding. My Dr. is concerned about the same thing. I don’t know about how it affects milk supply since I’m not breastfeeding, but long term bleeding and cramping isn’t the norm. Hope you get some answers soon!!!

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  5. I had significant cramping while nursing, but I don’t remember it any other time. Granted, it’s been almost 13 years since I had the twins, so my memory might be shady. 🙂 Still, so, so happy for you!!! 🙂

    Ugh…and the bleeding…that was something out of a shark film.

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