While researching the “uncensored, totally honest” pregnancy and birth book I co-authored a few years back, I asked just about every new mom I met if there was anything I should know about that is usually not discussed.
The answers were somewhat diverse, covering emotional and physiological topics, but one thing came up more than a few times: the first postpartum poop.
Some felt going to the bathroom was much more of an ordeal than they’d imagined — the pads, the bleeding, the squirt bottles for cleaning — others said things like, “I never wanted to push anything out of me again.”
Epidurals and other pain medications often include narcotics which are renowned for their constipating side-effects. But even without constipation your pelvic floor muscles can be tired and sore — even a “regular” bowel movement can intimidate. And this goes for after vaginal and c-section births.
These days I make a point to tell moms, in advance, how they might cope with an intimidating bathroom scenario. One of them recently joked, “Maybe my husband can rub my feet and offer me a focal point object while I’m pushing?” But seriously, there really are things you can do! It’s no fun to fear the toilet. Life, and all the crap that comes with it, must go on.
So, on that note, here are 8 tips for getting through those first postpartum poops:
- Smart Women Debate Home Birth
- The Ten Most Important Questions for the First Trimester
- CGI Animation of Face Developing In Utero
Photo credit: The Other Simon/Flickr