I think the best way to show another mama you care is to share information about how to make their first postpartum poop easier!
The only thing scarier than giving birth is the first postpartum poop. If you’ve ever given birth before, either via c-section or vaginally, then you know that going poop for the first time after is a scary experience! But it doesn’t need to be!
How can you make this experience go as well as can be? Follow along! But, be warned, I’m saying the word POOP. A lot!
What Can Go Wrong
Many women experience constipation during their pregnancy, especially in the third trimester when there isn’t much room for their intestines to easily process the foods they’re eating. After the woman has given birth there is often a backlog (haha!) of poop stuck inside that needs to come out. If she hasn’t been managing her constipation proactively ahead of time this task can be tricky.
Being constipated will mean that the woman will struggle to properly evacuate that backlog without some straining. Straining is strongly advised against in the postpartum period because it can cause damage to the ligaments and muscles in the pelvis and may even lead to prolapse.
How To Make It Easier
There are many things you can do to make that first postpartum poop easier even if you’re in a bind. (See what I did there? 🙂 ) Proper diet is key, but if you’re past that and reading this the day you’ve had your baby here are some tips that will help you immediately.
Normally magnesium citrate is a bad form of magnesium to take because it can cause loose stools, among other things. But if you are experiencing difficulty pooping postpartum then you can take 250mg of magnesium citrate before bed with a full glass of water. This alone could produce results.
Follow up in the morning with 1 tsp of psyllium in a full glass of water on an empty stomach. Wait 30 mins before eating. Do this every morning for 7 days.
If you’re currently pregnant and already fearing the first postpartum poop then your first line of defense is to remedy any constipation that you currently have through proper diet. Eating a diet of whole plant foods first, and then adding in any meat will go a long way to preventing constipation.
Make sure to eat one big salad every day filled with a mix of fresh vegetables and lettuce. The fiber will help to keep you regular.
Many people find dairy to be constipating. If this sounds like something you can relate to, then it would be worth setting down the cheese for a while so that your body has an easier time keeping things moving.
Smoothies are a great way to start your day during pregnancy because they are so packed full of nutrients. A morning smoothie is a great way to start of the say with fresh, whole foods!
People in Western culture have it all wrong when it comes to the position they poop in. Most people in the rest of the world poop in a squatting position because it is easier for the body to eliminate waste that way.
Try using a stool to elevate your feet so that you are in a squatting position above your toilet to see if this helps. You can purchase special stools that sit right under your toilet for this purpose or just steal your kid’s step stool from the sink!
Some women find that gently supporting their perineum can help to take some of the pressure and pain off of their downstairs for that first scary poop. After you’ve gone pee, wipe, and then place a cloth wipe on your hand and gently hold it over your vulva applying slight pressure upward.
This will help you to be able to relax your anal muscles and releasing your poop will be much easier.
Your Friend, The Peri Bottle
You know that little bottle either your midwife or nurse gave you to help you go pee? Well, it’s actually very useful for helping to clean up after you poop, too! After having a bowel movement get your money’s worth out of that peri bottle and squirt some water on yourself afterward to help clean and soothe the area.
Using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper can be much gentler on your lady bits and bum after giving birth. You can easily go to the store and purchase some plain or patterned flannel fabric and cut it into 8” squares. If you use Pinking Sheers, the kind that makes the edges of the fabric zig-zag, then you don’t even need to sew the edges to keep them from fraying.
Wash wipes with your cloth diapers, nursing pads, spit-up rags, or towels. Then they can be used over and over!