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If you had never experienced any issues with your bowel movements before you got pregnant, there are chances that you may experience some changes during your pregnancy! But if you think that your woes may come to an end as soon as you deliver your baby, well, you may be disappointed to know that it may not be so. Many women experience challenges as far as passing their first stool after delivery (postpartum poop) is concerned. This article discusses the first poop woes that most women may face after delivering their baby.
Why the First Poop After Giving Birth Hurts More Than Labour?
So, what is this hoopla behind the first postpartum poop? Well, there are many reasons why it may hurt while passing the first stool after giving birth. Here are some common ones:
1. Vaginal Tearing
Most women may be given a cut or incision (also known as episiotomy) between their vaginal and anal area, to assist the vaginal delivery for widening the birth canal. During a normal delivery, sometimes, women may also experience tearing of the perineum and vulva. All this tearing around the vaginal region may cause pain when a woman tries to pass the first stool after having a baby.
The fortunate ones may not experience any kind of tearing down there. However, there may be swelling after giving birth. This swelling may also cause a lot of pain and discomfort while passing stool.
3. Pain in the Stitches
The first stool after C-section can become a task in itself because the mother may experience tenderness and pain at the site of the stitches. She may fear to put pressure to release the bowel because the pressure may cause pain in the stitches, too. Also, if she’s had an episiotomy, she may be given stitches for faster healing. These stitches may cause pain, too.
Water is essential all through your pregnancy and even after birth! Your body will lose fluids during labour and delivery. You should drink ample fluids to replenish your lost fluids. However, if dehydration occurs due to lack of fluids in the body, it can make it difficult for you to pass your first stool or it may become one herculean task.
5. Lack of Movement
We understand that your body needs to rest and recoup its lost energy after the delivery. Make sure you move around. For this very reason, even women who have had caesarean deliveries are made to move within 24 hours after the surgery. This helps the body to get its normal functions going. If you are one lazy bum or too tired to move, you may have to face the brunt of experiencing the pain while pooping after delivery.
6. Lack of Fibre
A healthy diet is of prime importance for the mommy-to-be because it is beneficial for her baby and also for her own well-being. And to have smooth bowel movements after the delivery, it is important that you have a good, fibre-rich diet during your last month of pregnancy. A high-fibre diet not only prevents constipation, but it may also help in ensuring smooth bowels after your delivery.
7. Taking Strong Pain-Killers
As ironical as it may sound, but pain-killer medicines may cause pain, too. If you have had a C-section or episiotomy, your doctor would have prescribed pain-killer medicines. Sometimes, these pain-killers may cause constipation and difficulty in passing the first poop after a C-section. However, doctors may give you stool softeners to ease your poop woes.
8. Weakened Pelvic Floor Muscles and Abdominal Muscles
Your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles loosen up to accommodate your baby. After your baby comes out, these muscles may take some time to go back to its normal position. However, until then, it may cause a problem for you during bowel movements, especially the first one.
9. Fear Or Mental Blockage
Believe it or not, sometimes the pain associated with passing stools after delivery is more mental than physical. This is because the mother, who has just delivered a baby, may still be under emotional stress and trauma. Passing the first poop may seem like reliving the same experience, and it may become intimidating for the new mommies. You tense up, and your muscles tense up too making the first poop experience even more painful and uncomfortable.
10. Delaying It
You may feel scared and may not want to go on the first day or may postpone until the next day. However, you should know that eventually, you will have to pass the stool. The more you delay, the more painful it becomes. Therefore, if you have delayed your first poop, the chances are you are going to experience more pain while passing the stool because it tends to get harder.
Tips to Make It Easier
Pregnancy and childbirth may take a toll on your health, but with proper care, you may overcome all the ordeals and, in this case, you can use some of the following tips and make your first poop easier and a less painful experience.
- Make sure you take your stool softener medicines religiously. These are prescribed for a reason, and you must take them on time. Failing to do so may cause difficulty in passing the stools.
- Whenever you try and make your first attempt to poop after delivery, make sure you have somebody around you. You may be low on energy, and your body may be sore from delivery, and thus you may require help to sit down or get up.
- Make sure you drink ample water and eat a good diet. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. All these will help you in easing out your first bowel movement.
- Place your hand on your tummy while putting the pressure. This is because women dread putting pressure, thinking that their insides may pop out if they put pressure, especially after a C-section. However, putting some counter pressure may help to feel better, and it may help you to poop.
- If after a couple of attempts, you are not able to pass your first poop, you should get help. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to ease your bowel.
- Don’t be afraid to move after delivery and make some attempts to do so. It may seem a bit uncomfortable, but it may help you pass your first stool with lesser discomfort.
- Try and try until you succeed! Yes, it even holds true in this case, too. If you fail in your first attempt, you should try after some time and so on, until you finally get over with your first postpartum poop ordeal.
Bowel movements may become tricky for sometime after delivery because of all the reasons that are mentioned above. Keep these tips in mind to ease your bowel movements. If nothing helps, reach out to your doctor!