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Why am I having vaginal spasms postpartum?

Whoa! What is that weird muscle twitch I just got down there?

Re:

Whoa! What is that weird muscle twitch I just got down there?

The Bump Expert

You’ve just given birth -- your body has just been through a lot, and there are plenty of weird things that are probably going on. There isn’t a clear explanation why new moms get spasms in their vagina and perineum, but it happens and isn’t normally a cause for concern. Usually, the spasms go away with no intervention other than patience and rest. If you’re in pain, call your OB, but otherwise, you’ll probably just have to wait it out. Take good care of yourself by eating right and getting some sleep (or at least trying!), so your body can heal efficiently. If you’re still having the twitches at your postpartum checkup, tell your doctor so she can check things out.

Other postpartum nasties you may be dealing with right now (that you may not have been mentally prepared for!) include:

Extreme fatigue -- Your body is bound to be sore all over that first day after delivery. You might also have a strange numbness in your outer thighs, which is probably a result of all that pushing. It should go away soon.

Swelling in your, um, private area -- Pushing baby’s head through can cause your perineum to swell a surprising amount. Be sure to request plenty of ice packs to apply to the area, which will help bring the swelling down. It will go away within a couple of days.

Swollen legs -- Some new moms’ legs are so swollen after the delivery they can’t even see their ankles! This is a result of all the fluids you were given during labor and delivery, and it may take a week or so for it to go down. It will happen on its own; there’s no need to take water pills or anything like that.

Cramps and pelvic pressure -- Your belly might hurt quite a bit for the next week or so. Click here to read about why.

Plus, more from The Bump:

How long will I have pain in my abdomen postdelivery?

Bleeding after birth?

Will breastfeeding make my belly smaller?

Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy