Pain in your muscles and bones after birth

Musculoskeletal pain is felt in your joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Your shoulder may feel sore because you are changing your body posture for feeding. Your lower back or pelvis may also feel tender.

Your womb stretched a lot during your pregnancy as your baby was growing. Now your womb needs to shrink back to the size it was before you became pregnant.

You may feel some painful, period-like cramps low down in your tummy as your womb reduces in size. These cramps should go away after a few days.

Your midwife or doctor will examine you to check that the womb is shrinking. You may feel these pains are more severe when you breastfeed. This is because breastfeeding makes your womb contract which helps it to return to a normal size.

Ask your midwife or doctor about what painkillers you can take to help with these cramps.


Contact your GP, midwife or public health nurse immediately if you have pain in your tummy, especially if it is severe. This could be a sign of infection.

Page last reviewed: 20 November 2018
Next review due: 20 November 2021