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How to Massage Your Uterus After Birth

By Heidi Gonzales ; Updated April 18, 2017

How to Massage Your Uterus After Birth. Shortly after you give birth, your birth attendant will massage your abdomen. This will be very uncomfortable, but it is necessary to make sure your uterus is firm. A firm uterus will help control the postpartum bleeding. Your birth attendant will generally massage your abdomen once every hour or so for the first 6 hours. If you want to, you can have her show you how to do it. I will also explain how to do it.

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Make sure your bladder is empty. If your bladder is full, it can push your uterus off to the side, make it stay a bit higher and may contribute to more bleeding.

Lie flat on your back and press on your abdomen right where your belly button is.

Press straight down. If your uterus is firm, it should feel like a grapefruit or a fist. If you are feeling this, you shouldn't have to massage it. If you press down and you don't feel anything like a grapefruit or a fist, you will need to do some massaging.

To massage your uterus, cup your hand slightly and move it in circular motions over your lower abdomen until you feel your uterus contract. When it contracts, it will feel very firm. It may be painful for you to rub, but it is necessary to control the bleeding.

If you cannot find your uterus or you are unsure if it's really firm, call your birth attendant.


To help your uterus get firm, try nursing. When the baby nurses, oxytocin is released which helps stimulate contractions.


If your uterus doesn't get firm pretty quickly, be prepared for a shot of Pitocin. Pitocin will stimulate contractions and help your uterus to become firm.

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About the Author

Heidi Gonzales is a midwife, childbirth educator, doula, American Heart Association BLS instructor, author and editor for the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association e-mag. She left the Navy after 10 years to pursue her passion in birth work. She has attended over 60 births in Louisiana and has helped over 150 families through birth consultations. She volunteers as a childbirth educator at a pregnancy crisis center in Louisiana and also as an online career mentor.

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