Postpartum Pooping (And Other Things Nobody Talks About)
*Yup, I went there. Actually, I’m about to go there, so consider this your warning. If you haven’t had a baby yet, or if you get squeamish, this poop post probably isn’t for you.*
So there I was…approximately 10 months pregnant with my first baby, and I was petrified about pretty much everything. But there was one thing I was really afraid of, and I had no idea who to even ask about it…because how in the world do you ask such a thing.
What was I scared of and desperately want the answer to? How do I poop, or pee for that matter, after I push out a baby from there?
I remember nervously typing out that question to a trusted friend a few days before I gave birth (because there was no way I could look someone in the eye and ask them), and the response was pretty much what I expected: that it will probably be painful and scary at first.
And you know what? Three babies later and she was definitely right: it’s a pretty shitty experience (pun definitely intended).
Every time I’ve had a baby, that first (second, and third) visits to the toilet are a little scary and a sometimes painful.
Why? Because you just pushed a baby out of your vajayjay, and you may have stitches all up in there from when that precious baby of yours literally tore its way out of you (more on that in a minute)! And even if you don’t have stitches, you just worked that area in over time when YOU PUSHED OUT A BABY! Thankfully pooping after those first few times will get easier (and then it may get a little bit worse again, truth be told).
The Postpartum Pooping
The biggest advice I can give in the bathroom department is the following:
- Take the poop pills and pain pills you get (especially the stool softeners; do not skip those)
- DRINK WATER. Lots and lots and lots and lots of water. This water bottle was pretty much attached to me wherever I went.
- Don’t hold it. Just relax and go.
- Use the peri bottle they give you
- Skip your precious panties and pull up the giant mesh undies or use Depends
- Slap on a giant pad…the biggest one you can find (usually the ones intended for “over night”)
- Pile on the witch hazel pads (ask your nurse to take extra home!!!)
- Wine. Lots and lots of wine. Or maybe beer…to help with your milk and all. (To relax you)
Along the lines of pooping…when you push out a baby you may think you’re about to poop, and ya know what? It’s okay. Some women will literally poop before the baby comes out…and trust me, that won’t be the grossest thing coming out of you that day.
More poop talk: seriously hydrate yourself well during the day, even when you think you’re out of the woods and it doesn’t necessarily hurt or feel awkward anymore. If you’re breastfeeding you need water to make milk, but you also need it to help with the flow of things in the number 2 department. Once that poop starts getting hard and you have to work at going to the bathroom, things get hard…literally. Some women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy, and some get it after. Water won’t cure everything, but it will help the situation.
Other Hush-Hush Things You Should Know…
Pooping isn’t the only thing people don’t talk about enough. Here are a few more things that I had no idea about before I had a baby the first time.
Don’t get me started on the bleeding. It will happen for awhile—longer than you think it will. And the more active you are, after birth, the longer it will continue. You’ll get so excited one day when you think it’s finished, so you consider ditching the maxi-pad you’ve been waddling around in, but then you stand up, feel it, and realize you’re still healing. So moms, take some advice from me and relax, slow down (even if you’re feeling good), and let your body heal.
I haven’t had a c-section, so this isn’t first-hand experience, but I’ve heard the bleeding continues just as much regardless of how you gave birth…because all of that extra stuff has to come out somehow.
Also, pay attention to what the nurses tell you about passing clots. It can be pretty gnarly after, and its best to know what’s normal and what warrants a call to your doctor.
Getting Stitched Up.
So you’ve had your baby and everything is delightful. The painful contractions are immediately gone, you have a brand new baby on your chest, you’re shocked that it’s over, you’re in a state of unbelievable euphoric bliss, and holy cow: you even did it without an epidural! Way to go, Mama!
But wait. While you’re snuggling up with your fresh new baby and soaking in all of those lovely endorphins, you hear mention of a tear, and your mind flashes for a hot second to how, exactly, a tear is fixed up: with a needle and thread.
Friends, I know people say that labor is hard, and there’s that whole “ring of fire” situation there at the end that’s a real giant pain in the ass (almost quite literally), but all that pain truly goes away in an instant once the little baby is out. For me, at least, it’s the stitching up the tear that hurts the most. Sure, they “numb” you (by poking you with a needle that “may sting for just a bit), but, OH-EM-GEE….OUCH! There’s poking, prodding, and pulling down there, and there’s nothing you can do but hold onto your little newborn and go between bouts of happiness and moments of swearing at your doctor.
Truly, I would give birth 10 more times (with giant babies and all), if it meant I could skip the stitches afterwards. Nobody ever warned me how bad and painful that could be.
I realize these are only two things that typically go hush-hush regarding pregnancy, and after for that matter, but they’re two things I always forget about and always wish someone warned me about the first time.
Are there other things you first-time pregnant moms have questions about that you’re too afraid to ask? Email me or put them in the comments! I’ve you’ve “been there, and done that,” share some things you think may help new moms!
I had been in the hospital for a month when I had an emergency c-section (triplets) a few hours after gobbling down a huge breakfast.
It took me 5 days to poop. Five days of pure hell. I had cramping on top of the pain from my vertical c-section.
The post a bay poop is not fun.
Duuuude. That stitching up is REAL. Lance posted a picture of me right after Ben’s birth where it kind of looks like I might be crying from joy but I’m actually cringing from the stiching pain and one of my (childless) friends was all “Fran! You look so happy!” NOPE just in a lot of pain lol ?
You brought back so many memories!! My first poop after having a csection was actually in my mesh undies. I was on so many stool softeners and was releasing all the gases they filled me with. It wasn’t pretty! Haha. I’ve never told anyone that.
As a mama who had 2 c-sections, one after hours of labor and one of them scheduled, you are sadly not immune to whole pooping/peeing situation. I had hoped that maybe just maybe I would be, but I was sadly mistaken. As for the post partum bleeding I have found that it all depends on the doctor. With my first he cleaned me out almost entirely and I was done bleeding within 2 days and could wear thin maxi pads for the last little drops. For my second, the doctor felt the body should shed the blood on its own and that I will say was a huge shock to me! I would also mention that nurses cleaning down there several times before you are allowed to walk again can be a bit awkward to say the least.
The first night sleeping with my first was so uncomfortable until I went poop. Suddenly the bed was comfy ? That post epidural constipation is real.
Don’t you just feel like yelling at everyone about lying about what it is like after?
I love these posts because they are so real and no one tells you this information when you are pregnant for some reason!! I know that I was scared out of my mind to go after birth!!
after I gave birth I had no idea that you had to poop to leave the hospital and I was freaking out. Legit I was scared to poop and all my organs were going to fall out! Lol I’m so glad someone is writing about this!
This is the scary truth! I had a c-section and it was much of the same scariness postpartum.
Omg, yes!!! Take the stool softeners. The first poop after birth is not joke. And the pain pills are life. I have had two unmediated childbirths, but I always accept the ibuprofen afterwards. Lolol love this post!
Oh goodness gracious! This was intense!
OMG! Where were you when I had my son. No one told me about the pooping. Now I tell all the soon-to-be moms about it. Better yet, I’m going to tell them to read this post. Thanks for sharing.
I had an epidural with my first but am seriously contemplating having nothing this time. But for some reason, the stitching at the end is what freaks me out so much!!!
I had a c section, and there’s a lot post procedure that no one tells you about! Honestly, the poop was the least of my worries!
Oh man, you went there! It has been 11 years since I had a baby – I almost forgot this one!
The scariest thing for me postpartum after my first was that first pee–and seeing ALL the blood that came out with it.
I tore with both my kids, but I had an epidural both times and really only felt the tugging as they sewed me back up. But, with the postpartum poop, I was so scared I was going to tear out my stitches!!
I’m really curious to see how Crohn’s Disease affects this. My idea of being constipated is going more than 8 waking hours without a poop. Medical professionals always ask me about diarrhea and I tell them that I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for over 20 years, which means that I haven’t gone a week without having diarrhea at least once in over 20 years. It’s been hard to gleam information from other women with Crohn’s who have children, but I’ve read a few forums comparing Crohn’s pain to labor pain.
I had a c-section, and it took almost a week before the first one came. The painful part was the cramping! As for the bleeding, I went for at least six weeks… then got my period. All told, about 10 weeks of having a bestie named Maxi.
I was so nervous about the first poop after giving birth! I took the stool softeners they gave me in the hospital but I didn’t go until after I went home and had a cup of coffee (always moves things around for me). I really think that combo was a winner for me. I told a friend and she said it helped her too!