Abdominal / tummy pain after you've had your baby

Abdominal or tummy pains may have a number of causes after the birth of your baby. The most common causes are after pains, UTIs (urinary tract infection - an infection of your bladder or kidneys resulting in pain when you pee), an infection in your womb (uterus), or pain following a caesarean section.

If you have any of the following:


  • Difficulty breathing or severe breathlessness
  • Difficulty waking up / unable to rouse - cannot be woken up at all
  • Vaginal bleeding that is getting much worse or heavy bleeding (bright red and flowing constantly, soaking your sanitary towel and clothes)
  • Any change to your speech including slurred speech
  • Any change to your thinking including confusion

You need urgent help.

Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999

If you have any of the following:

  • Your blood loss is not normal according to this guide.
  • Your abdominal pain does not improve within 4 hours of taking oral pain killers (paracetamol and ibuprofen as directed)
  • Your blood loss has developed an unpleasant smell, despite having recently had a bath or shower and changed your sanitary towel.
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain; passing no urine (in a day); Skin mottled or discoloured
  • Unpleasant discharge from your caesarean section wound.

Please ring your maternity unit within the next hour.


  • Frequency and pain / discomfort on passing urine which does not improve when well hydrated (drinking to thirst).
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Passing diarrhoea or watery stools more than three times a day

You need to contact a Doctor today.


You need to contact a doctor or nurse today.

Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111

Self care at home if:

  • You are experiencing after pains (see below) and your blood loss normal
  • You have mild constipation (see below)
  • Your pain is relieved within 4 hours of taking pain killers (paracetamol and ibuprofen as directed).

Self care

Continue providing care at home. If you are still concerned, call NHS 111 – dial 111

Self care

Continue providing care at home. If you are still concerned call your GP or NHS 111 – dial 111


After pains

After pains following birth are normal and not a cause for concern. You may notice these are worse when you have had more than one child and during a breastfeed. You should expect after pains to improve day by day as your uterus returns to its normal size. Taking regular paracetamol (1g every 4-6 hours- not exceeding 4g in 24hrs) and ibuprofen (300–400 mg 3–4 times a day) will help with the discomfort.


If you become constipated you may experience pain/cramp in your pelvis; you may also notice that your blood loss (lochia) is slightly heavier or redder in colour when you attempt to open your bowels. You might also pass small blood clots (the size of your little fingernail). Increasing your water and dietary fibre intake should provide relief or an over the counter gentle laxative. Contact your GP if this does not resolve.

Post Caesarean Section

It is normal to experience post caesarean section abdominal discomfort which should improve when taking regular pain killers. This should improve day by day but mild discomfort may be experienced for up to 6 weeks. Please click here for more information about post caesarean recovery.

Self Care

For wear and tear, minor trips and everything in between.


You can treat your child's very minor illnesses and injuries at home.

Some illnesses can be treated in your own home with support and advice from the services listed when required, using the recommended medicines and getting plenty of rest.

Sound advice

Children can recover from illness quickly but also can become more poorly quickly; it is important to seek further advice if a child's condition gets worse.

For information on common childhood illnesses go to What is wrong with my child?

Local Pharmacist

Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.

Sound advice

  1. Visit a pharmacy if your child is ill, but does not need to see a GP.
  2. Remember that if your child's condition gets worse, you should seek further medical advice immediately.
  3. Help your child to understand - watch this video with them about going to the pharmacy.

For information on common childhood illnesses go to What is wrong with my child?

Health Visitors

Health visitors are nurses or midwives who are passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness through the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme. They work with you through your pregnancy up until your child is ready to start school.

Health Visitors can also make referrals for you to other health professionals for example hearing or vision concerns or to the Community Paediatricians or to the child and adolescent mental health services.

Contact them by phoning your Health Visitor Team or local Children’s Centre.

Sound advice

Health visitors also provide advice, support and guidance in caring for your child, including:

  • Breastfeeding, weaning and healthy eating
  • Exercise, hygiene and safety
  • Your child’s growth and development
  • Emotional health and wellbeing, including postnatal depression
  • Safety in the home
  • Stopping smoking
  • Contraception and sexual health
  • Sleep and behaviour management (including temper tantrums!)
  • Toilet training
  • Minor illnesses

For more information watch the video: What does a health visitor do?

School Nurses

School nurses care for children and young people, aged 5-19, and their families, to ensure their health needs are supported within their school and community. They work closely with education staff and other agencies to support parents, carers and the children and young people, with physical and/or emotional health needs.

Contacting the School Nurse

Primary and secondary schools have an allocated school nurse – telephone your child’s school to ask for the contact details of your named school nurse.

There is also a specialist nurse who works with families who choose to educate their children at home.

Sound Advice

Before your child starts school your health visitor will meet with the school nursing team to transfer their care to the school nursing service. The school nursing team consists of a school nursing lead, specialist public health practitioners and school health staff nurses.

They all have a role in preventing disease and promoting health and wellbeing, by:-

  • encouraging healthier lifestyles
  • offering immunisations
  • giving information, advice and support to children, young people and their families
  • supporting children with complex health needs

Each member of the team has links with many other professionals who also work with children including community paediatricians, child and adolescent mental health teams, health visitors and speech and language therapists. The school health nursing service also forms part of the multi-agency services for children, young people and families where there are child protection or safeguarding issues.

GP (General Practitioner)

GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures. Your GP will arrange a referral to a hospital specialist should you need it.

Sound advice

You have a choice of service:

  1. Doctors/GPs can treat many illnesses that do not warrant a visit to A&E.
  2. Help your child to understand – watch this video with them about visiting the GP or going to a walk in centre

For information on common childhood illnesses go to What is wrong with my child?

NHS 111

If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.

Sound advice

Use NHS 111 if you are unsure what to do next, have any questions about a condition or treatment or require information about local health services.

For information on common childhood illnesses go to What is wrong with my child?

Accident and Emergency

A&E departments provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.

Sound advice

  1. Many visits to A&E and calls to 999 could be resolved by any other NHS services.
  2. If your child's condition is not critical, choose another service to get them the best possible treatment.
  3. Help your child to understand – watch this video with them about going to A&E or riding in an ambulance
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