Ok people…time to get personal. Like, POOP personal. I know, I know… proper adults don’t discuss these things. Well, it looks like we’re about to get real un..proper!
The dreaded first poop after you’ve delivered a baby (via vaginal delivery or cesarean section) can be tricky. But there are some things you can do to make things flow a little more smoothly. 😉
Your first poop could show up the same day you have your baby and it could also come up to a week later. There’s a wide range of what’s considered normal after such a big event like giving birth. Here’s why:
- Abdominal and pelvic floor muscles may be tired and stretched
- Postpartum iron supplements and narcotics used to relieve pain can temporarily slow things down
- Diarrhea during early labor and/or pooping while pushing or not eating much (or any) solid food during labor can all mean there’s not much in your system right after the baby arrives.
- Milk production can be a bit of a hog when it comes to where all that water you’re staying hydrated with is going. Less water in your gut can typically cause constipation.
- The anxiety that comes with it all. Will it hurt? Will I pop a stitch or aggravate my hemorrhoids?
So when it comes, not to worry! This too shall pass!
- Don’t worry and don’t strain!!
- If you’re dealing with hemorrhoids, remedies like sitz baths, topical anesthetics, witch hazel pads and cold or hot compresses can help take the sting out.
- Drink as much as you can to replenish the fluids you lost during labor and delivery (pro tip: apple/prune juice or hot water with lemon can get things moving, also).
- Fiber will make your stool softer and easier to pass. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes as much as possible, and limit white bread, pasta or rice. Bring along snacks like dried fruit, nuts or low-sugar granola bars if you’re not all that confident in food supplied at the hospital.
- Postpartum exercise (aka, don’t overdo it). As long as your doc gives you the green light, start taking walks with your new babe!
- If you’re still having trouble, stool softeners, laxatives and, in some cases, suppositories can help you get going; no Rx needed.
- Grab that peri bottle, because why wipe when you can squirt!
You should let your doc know if you haven’t had a bowel movement within a week of giving birth. And if you have any poop-related questions or concerns throughout your entire recovery, don’t hold back. You’ll be regular in no time!
Contact your postpartum doula for more tips and tricks like these!