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What to Know About Postpartum Cramping

The Bump

The postpartum period can come with some uncomfortable symptoms, including cramping. According to Ellen Smead, CNM, a certified nurse-midwife at Northside Women’s Specialists, part of Pediatrix® Medical Group, postpartum cramps are typically caused by uterine involution—contractions that help the uterus shrink back to its original size and reduce postpartum bleeding. “The uterus is capable of doing this amazing thing during pregnancy—growing in size and cell number to accommodate an entirely new organ, the placenta, and a new human,” said Smead. “Following the birth, it must squeeze back on itself to prevent bleeding too much and facilitate the process of involution. Although it’s uncomfortable, it serves a purpose for the health and well-being of the birthing person.”


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