Okay, let’s talk about the one thing no one likes to talk about—poop.
More specifically, your first poop after you give birth.
What’s it really like? Will it feel like birth all over again? Will I need to be sedated? Can I be sedated? (and no, we haven’t found a doctor willing to sedate you for your first bowel movement after birth, but we will keep looking.)
Many Calgary moms dread the idea of going number two after birth, and for good reason! It’s not exactly fun picturing being on a toilet, wondering if you’re going to bust a stitch pushing poop out. Your entire body feels a little scrambled.
At least the last thing you that came out of your body was something really cool—a little human! Sadly, there’s no similar reward for all the hard work your first poop will be. This idea scares many new parents so much that some put it off until it’s causing so much discomfort they can’t stand it anymore.
Here are 5 ways to making that first poop after birth a little easier.
Don’t you hate it when someone tells you to relax? Me, too. But honestly, you want to relax your body and those bum muscles as much as possible to make the poop come out easier. If you tense up, it may hurt more.
Use a stool (very punny)
Did you know that when you put your feet flat on the floor to poop, it creates a kink in your rectum? Did you also know that having your feet flat on the floor causes you to strain more? A stool, even with a small elevation, can help correct this. Having your feet up will allow you to poop easier and not strain so much. We recommend you pick up a Squatty Potty, but a regular stool also works just fine.
Let gravity do most of the work
When you’re brave enough to attempt your first poop (or you’re in the bathroom because, ready or not, here it comes), remember to let gravity do most of the work. Use gentle, small pushes and let that poop come down naturally, rather than bearing down and straining.
Foods with fiber will become your new best friend. Things like lentils, raspberries, avocado, oatmeal (which is also great if you’re breastfeeding) and bran cereals are chock-full of fiber to help ease your bathroom woes.
Have a chat with your doctor about taking a stool softener to make things a little easier. Women who’ve had medications during birth may have a harder time going to the bathroom due to constipation. Make sure you ask the doctor about this before you leave the hospital, so you can begin before you’re even discharged if you’re given the go ahead.
We hope you’ve found this blog helpful! Remember that you can reach out to Chinook City Doulas anytime. Our postpartum doulas don’t just tidy up, help with infant feeding, or take care of your baby while you get a good night’s sleep or have a shower—we’re also there to doula you through that first poop with in-the-moment tips and reassurance that you’ve got this.