What to Do when Sharp Stabbing Pain on Right Side after C-section

By Last Updated: February 27th, 2023Categories: Pregnancy

Many women around the world get to experience C-section (Cesarean Section) when giving birth. It’s considered the last resort to deliver the infant especially when vaginal delivery is no longer possible due to prolonged labor, health complications, abnormal position of the baby, etc.

Unlike vaginal delivery, a C-section takes a lot of time to heal and there are afterpains that you have to endure. There are even women who experience sharp stabbing pain on the right side after C-section.

If you are also suffering from the same issue, you’ve found the right page. We will talk about the possible causes of the stabbing pain as well as recommend certain treatments to treat it. Read on!

Part 1: Causes of Sharp Stabbing Pain on Right Side After C-section

C-section causes a different kind of pain as compared to vaginal delivery. This is because the whole process is considered highly surgical. The surgeon or doctor in charge makes an incision in the abdomen and the uterus to free the infant from the wound.

C- Section

With that, Cesarean delivery can inflict trauma and complications on the body One of the many things you may feel after a C-section is a sharp stabbing pain. And here are their 3 causes:

1. Afterpains

After giving birth, your uterus will automatically ,b>shrink back to its original size. You see, it is elastic and expandable hundreds of times its size. And as it returns to shape, you may experience sharp or severe cramps. These are called afterpains. It can happen right after the baby has been extracted or one to 18 hours after that.

The sharp cramps and pains you may feel are quite the same when you have your period. The only difference, these sharp afterpains may become more painful when you are breastfeeding. But you need not worry, the discomfort typically lasts for just a week.

2. Infections

As mentioned, a C-section procedure involves incisions. Therefore, you have to deal with a wound later on. This can get infected internally or externally, which can give sharp pain.

Internal infections happen when microbes get into the inside or through the wound. This usually results in a fever. On the other hand, the culprit is external infection when the incision itself is swollen red. This swelling causes pain in the immediate area. In some cases, pus may even be discharged from the infected wound.

Woman Pain

There’s also a more dangerous kind of infection called Septicemia, also known as Sepsis. This is a rare infection that happens after a Cesarean procedure. When this occurs, a fever beyond 38°C can happen. Heart rate and breathing may become abnormal, too. The worst symptom would be blood poisoning, which really needs immediate medical attention as it can be fatal.

Regardless of what type of infection, you shouldn’t ignore it. Have it checked by a physician so they can give you antibiotics or have you treated appropriately.

3. Constipation

Be it vaginal or through C-section, changes in your hormones and weakened pelvic floor can happen. Both of these can cause constipation. That’s why you may feel that your right side or whatever part down there is experiencing sharp pain.

Constipation may happen when your progesterone level is higher than normal and you are stressed. These may impact your diet, too. High fiber intake can help relieve this issue. But you don’t need to worry as this isn’t permanent.

Part 2: Treatments to Sharp Stabbing Pain on Right Side After C-section

A successful recovery is your best chance to get rid of the sharp pain. As mentioned, it’s normal to experience such discomfort (unless it’s caused by an infection). However, there are certain ways for you to alleviate the pain and take care of it as you go through the recovery process. The faster your recovery, the faster you can be free from pain.

Method 1: Relax and Rest Your Body

Giving birth is no easy task, let alone undergoing a C-section. Since pain is expected after the procedure, resting your body is the best way to keep it tolerable. So, don’t force yourself and return to your work. Take your time and heal.

Woman Rest

You may need to stay for a maximum of four days in the hospital for more observation. Once you are out, it’s recommended that you resume tiresome work after eight weeks. That’s when your body is expected to completely heal.

Method 2: Take Extra Care of Your Body

C-sections can inflict trauma on your body. So, be gentle with your body and take care of it like it’s a newborn baby. This includes not lifting any heavy objects, not going up or down stairs, not working out, and many more. Any physical activities that may tire or pose risks to your recovery are forbidden for at least 6 to 8 weeks.

Method 3: Eat Healthy Food

Your nutrition is a key factor toward fast recovery, too. You need to eat food that can effectively bring your strength back. Fruits and vegetables are good to start your diet. Not only are they going to help you eat healthily, but they also have benefits for your breastmilk. Apart from all that, don’t forget to drink water. It can help you prevent constipation.

There are also foods that are good for those who just had an abortion or miscarriage. And for more benefits, you may also check out placenta recipes that are believed to hasten recovery.

Method 4: Take OTC Pain Medications

When the pain becomes a bit disturbing, you may take over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen. It can help ease the pain and make you rest more comfortably. However, in cases where the sharp stabbing pain is beyond an OTC drug, you may consult your physician and have yourself prescribed a more potent alternative.

Woman Medicine

Besides that, heating pads can also be used on the site of the incision. It can physically relieve the pain in the affected area.

However, if the pain is because of an infection, you better call your doctor right away. It must be treated immediately before it gets worse and harms your overall health.

Part 3: Symptoms to Look Out for After C-Section

While it’s normal to feel sharp pains after a C-section for a few weeks, there are warning symptoms you need to know, too. This way, you’d know whether or not medical attention is needed.

  • Fever above 38°C
  • Unpleasant odor from vaginal discharge.
  • Extreme vaginal bleeding
  • Sharp chest or breast pain.
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Swelling or redness in the wound

If you ever experience one or two of these, they are making your daily life difficult. You better call your doctor right away.


It’s important that you know about the sharp stabbing pain on the right side after C-section. That way, you can gauge whether what you are feeling is normal or needs medical attention. More often than not, such discomfort is something you shouldn’t worry about as it’s a natural part of the healing process.


Not necessarily. The C-section is not fatal by today’s medical standards. However, death may occur if infections after such procedures are not treated properly. In rare cases, too much blood loss may be fatal, too.

Yes, you must have postpartum checkups after giving birth. This usually happens 12 weeks after the delivery. Your physician will check on your physical and mental recovery. Talks about your health conditions and the possibility of birth control can happen, too.