9 answers

Uterus Not Contracting After Birth of Baby

Hi all, I'm thinking about having baby #2. My son was born via c-section and I remember them discussing how my uterus didn't contract right away after he was born and then I was knocked out. I was kept an extra day and given lots of iron. I was in the room for my sister's second child's birth. She had him naturally and she had the same problem. So I have a couple of questions... Is this hereditary? Is there anything we can do to avoid it next time around? More exercise? Certain diet? I'll of course talk to my doctor if we are blessed with another pregnancy but I was just wondering if any Moms out there knew anything about it. Thanks!

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Thanks for all the advice! I'll also send it along to my sister. If/when we're blessed again I'll definitely speak with my doctor about it and if I have any "off" feelings about it I'll probably contact a high risk doctor as suggested. Thanks again to everyone!

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I had this problem with my first birth and I bled so much that they wanted to give me a blood transfusion, which I refused. I was very weak and tired for a couple of weeks after. So at the next birth I infomed my doctor of that problme and he just gave me a shot of pitocin right after I delivered the baby, which got my uterus to contract and I recovered much more quickly. I don't know what causes it... I did have "placenta lakes" which are pools of blood between the placenta and the wall of the uterus, so maybe that had something to do with it. Best of luck to you.

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I had 3 c-sections. With my third child, my uterus did not contract right away and I was kept in post-op for 2 hours because of their concern of my uterus. It eventually contracted but I had minimum blood loss and I was not kept any longer than necessary. My sister just gave birth to her first child 4 days ago. It was a natural birth with no complications. I do not believe this is a hereditary situation. Certainly discuss your concerns with your OB/GYN. Good luck.

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C.,

My guess is that if your sis had a 2nd child, the uterus contracted. It would have to for the 2nd child to grow. Do you think your doc meant it did not go down immediately, because I had 2 c-sections too and I know in natural pregnancies too, the uterus contracts to it's normal size over time, so I am not sure what your doc was referring to.

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I would certainly discuss it with your doctor to find out exactly what happened. Typically after a c-section you are given pitocin to cause the uterus to begin contracting back down. You may have experienced complications beyond that and your doctor should be able to explain what happened, why and what steps he/she would take with the next pregnancy.

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Your description sounds like your uterus didn't begin contractions to stem the (normal) bleeding associated with delivery of the baby/placenta. When your body begins to contract the uterus after the baby/placenta are gone, it begins to stop the bleeding. It's the beginning of the post-partum recovery. Think about it... you will bleed for some time after the baby is born.. sometimes the entire 6 week post-partum period. For some people it's longer than that, for others it is more like 3 or 4 weeks. During this time is when your uterus is returning to its original/normal size. That's what the doctors are checking for (mostly) when you go back for the post partum checkup. I suspect your failure to "contract" after meant that you had a lot of bleeding (hence passing out ?). Most deliveries end with the mom being given pitocin (even in a normal natural labor) to speed the mother's uterus contractions to stem the blood flow. Being given iron was probably b/c the excessive bleeding (from your uterus not contracting quickly or strongly enough) caused you to be anemic.

I didn't have a c-section, mine were born naturally, and the nurses were very hesitant to let me stand up right after (without help) b/c they were afraid I would pass out (common issue they watch for, due to blood loss during delivery). I'm sure that with a C section, you also had medications that may have contributed to a drowsy feel, even without blood loss, but couple the two....

Next time you are at the doctor's office, talk to him about what happened and the odds of a recurrence. I don't know that it is hereditary... just something that happens sometimes. But talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the risks of another pregnancy.

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I thought Victoria's response was really informative and along the same lines as I was thinking. As for things you can do, I was thinking about it maybe helping to drink Red Raspberry Leaf tea. It doesn't cause contractions, but it is supposed to tone the uterus to make contractions during labor more effective.

My other suggestion is breastfeeding your baby. Breastfeeding right after birth naturally helps your uterus contract. I don't know if you BF your son, but I remember getting contractions afterward while nursing both my kids right after I had them.

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I am not sure if it is hereditary or not as my mother didn't have the problem, but I did. I switched ob/gyn after my first child. I thought some of the problems I had with the birth were his fault. I told the second ob/gyn that my uterus didn't contract and how I ended up knocked out and in recovery for 6 hours after the birth. He told me not to worry. Well, I am lucky to be alive after the second birth. My uterus did not contract back for some time after the birth of my son. The doctor was not able to control the bleeding and, after an hour, was about to perform a hysterectomy on me. I ended up in recovery for 12 hours. The doctor wanted to do blood transfusions which I refused. I was too scared to go for a third but if I did I would've chosen a high risk ob/gyn. I would make that recommendation to you. It was an extremely frightening experience that I will remember for a lifetime.

1 mom found this helpful

I had this problem with my first birth and I bled so much that they wanted to give me a blood transfusion, which I refused. I was very weak and tired for a couple of weeks after. So at the next birth I infomed my doctor of that problme and he just gave me a shot of pitocin right after I delivered the baby, which got my uterus to contract and I recovered much more quickly. I don't know what causes it... I did have "placenta lakes" which are pools of blood between the placenta and the wall of the uterus, so maybe that had something to do with it. Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd like to know the answer to that myself. I also wonder how common it is with new mothers. It happened to me after the birth of my son 13 years ago. I was having all kinds of problems, so they decided to do a C-section on me. Unfortunately, my uterus never contracted back no matter what the doctors did. I was knocked out the entire time and was in surgery for 5 hours. They ended up having to take my uterus out because I was bleeding to death. I've always wanted to know the answer to what happened to me and why. I was extremely depressed for a long time because I had lost the ability to have any more children. All the doctors could tell me was that it was very rare and they didn't know why it happened. I'm not particularly satisfied with that answer. There must be a reason for what happened.

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