Figure 6-1. Height of the uterus after delivery.
(2) Afterpains. Afterpains are referred to as uterine contractions which
continue following delivery, but occur less frequently than during labor and have an
irregular pattern. Periodic relaxations add contractions. This is common and causes
the afterpains for multiparas. They may last two to three days. Breast-feeding
intensifies the afterpains. This is due to oxytocin being released by the posterior
pituitary in response to stimulation of the nipple. Nursing measures used to relieve
afterpains are as follows:
(a) Have the mother to assume a prone position.
Have the mother to place a hot water bottle on her abdomen.
Have the mother to void often to keep the bladder empty.
Inform the mother to drink hot liquid, this will help to ease the pain.
Give analgesics per physician's order.
b. Lochia Flow. One of the most unique capabilities of the uterus is its ability to
rid itself of the debris remaining after delivery. This process is known as lochia flow.
This is the vaginal discharge during the puerperium consisting of blood, tissue, and
mucous. It may last up to six weeks after delivery. It is important for the nurse, as well
as the patient, to be concerned with the following facts about lochia flow: