Afraid to Poop- Confessions of a New Mom

I. Was. Terrified.

Scene: I was a brand new mom.  A few days before, I had pushed out a nearly 10 pound baby OUT OF MY VAGINA.  I had God knows how many stitches from an episiotomy.  And now, I had to...


I can laugh about it now, and often do with my students in Your Best Birth classes, but let me tell you- I wasn't laughing at the time.  It was more of a white-knuckle, cold sweat sort of thing.

The first postpartum bowel movement will happen (eventually).  And, it can be a major source of anxiety for some women.  Here are a few tips to make it go smoother (pun totally intended):

  1. Be mindful of what you put in your body.  Fiber is your friend, leafy greens are your friend. Whatever usually makes you go is your friend.
  2. Stay hydrated.
  3. Consider a stool softener.  Talk with your care provider about your options- over the counter meds, supplements, etc. 
  4. Relax and work with your body (sound familiar?)- digestion normally slows down during labor and certain medications that you may have received during labor can cause it to slow down even more.  Straining or spending a lot of time on the potty can cause or worsen hemorrhoids or aggravate stitches.

Hope that helps, ladies.  And, be on the lookout for a healthy, fiber rich muffin recipe in the near future.  You can whip them up, freeze them and have them ready for when you need them!

UPDATE: Here is the recipe for Butternut Squash Muffins- make ahead for the perfect postpartum snack!