Patients often come into our rooms during pregnancy consumed with how the delivery is going to be. There are questions like "how will I know if I'm in labour?" or "is the incision going to hurt?". What takes many new moms by surprise is that first time you need to make a poo. Regardless of delivery method, it can hurt either due to the baby that has passed through the vagina or those pain killers which slow down the stool's movement in the bowel.
It is so healthy and important to poo regularly and it doesn't have to be painful or scary.
Tips for a Smooth First PP Poop:
1. Expect that you're going to poop often and easily.
It's not uncommon for pregnancy to have changed how you've been pooing but after delivery, it's time to make those poops easy to pass and regular. Listening to your body as to when you feel the urge to go is so important. Try your best to not delay a poop.
2. Hydration, hydration, hydration.
Your body LOVES water. When you combine that love plus breastfeeding, water is something that you need to concentrate on. This will also help the sluggish gut that can occur after taking pain medication.
Stool softeners and magnesium supplementation can also help with improving your stool consistency. Try and ask your healthcare provider about these while you're still in hospital.
3. Sit like you're squatting.
Good posture while you're pooping is important. By using a footstool, you can position your knees higher than your hips which is great for getting complete emptying of your poops.
When you're a mom, you have to do things as efficiently as possible so that you can get
back to spending time doing the things that you love with the people that you
love - use a footstool.
4. Proper breathing for pooping.
After delivery, our bodies can feel like they are in fight or flight. This is because your stress response has been activated with the intensity of the delivery, the sleep deprivation and the wacky hormones. When your fight or flight nervous system has been activated, there is a shift in priority of the blood circulation towards your essential organs (heart, lungs and brain) and away from your limbs and gut. This leads to a sluggish gut as your body thinks that it's in survival mode.
We need to move from fight and flight mode to rest and digest mode and this can be done through diaphragmatic breathing. Here's how to do it:
Lie down comfortably.
Put your hands on your belly.
Breath in and allow your belly to rise.
Breath out and allow your belly to fall.
Repeat for 2-5 minutes.