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How Bad Will My First Poop After Birth Really Be?

Nervous about that first post-labor trip to the bathroom? Here are a few tips that'll help make it a little less daunting. 
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Updated February 25, 2020
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Just when you thought the pain of childbirth was behind you, you’re faced with the prospect of your first poop after birth. We’re not going to lie—it might hurt. But probably not as much as you fear! And contrary to what anyone tells you, you won’t burst your stitches either. It’s normal to take a day or two (or three) to have a bowel movement, usually due to a combo of weak tummy muscles, soreness and just plain fear. Doing your business might be a little uncomfortable the first time or two, especially if you have hemorrhoids. To help get you going and make things easier, there are a few things you can try:

• Stool softeners. The nurse at the hospital may offer these to you. An OTC one, such as Colace, works just fine too.

• Lots of fluids and fiber. Drink water and load up on fiber-rich foods, such as green leafy veggies and apples with the skin on.

• Moving. Don’t overdo it—a leisurely walk or some gentle yoga stretches are all you need. A couple of sets of Kegels may stimulate your system as well.

• Relaxing. Seriously, try your hardest to relax. Tension (in your head or in your butt) definitely won’t help matters.

If all of that doesn’t produce a poop, ask your practitioner about using a mild laxative. Remember, it’ll get easier with each successive BM. Now go ahead—we know you can do it!

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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