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):
- 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.
- Stay hydrated.
- Consider a stool softener. Talk with your care provider about your options- over the counter meds, supplements, etc.
- 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!