BookmarkBookmarkTick

Should I Use a Stool Softener After Delivery?

I heard I should use a stool softener after the birth. Is that safe?
ByLara Simondi
Nurse-Midwife
Updated
March 2, 2017
Hero Image

Ugh. We feel your pain. But we have good news for you: A stool softener, like Colace, is totally safe to use after delivery — even if you’re breastfeeding. In fact, the staff at your hospital might even bring you a dose.

There are a few different reasons why new moms take stool softeners. One, of course, is because you’re constipated, something that can be made worse by iron supplements that your doc may have given you if you had significant postpartum blood loss. Constipation can also happen if you’re dehydrated or haven’t been eating well. Another reason is, well, to make pooping more comfortable. Some moms get hemorrhoids during late pregnancy or from pushing during delivery — others have tears or incisions (down there) that are sensitive — and a stool softener can make for less straining and less discomfort when you go.

The recommended dose of Colace is 100 mg twice a day, and you can take it three times a day. And it’s available over the counter at drugstores. In the meantime, hang in there. Hemorrhoids should heal in about two weeks or so. If you’re taking iron supplements, you can keep taking the stool softener for as long as you’re on them.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video

Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant?

profile picture of Anna Davies
Anna Davies
Contributing Writer
pregnant woman in pajamas sitting on her bed

Taking Tylenol While Pregnant May Increase Risk of ADHD, Study Says

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/01/2019
folic acid supplement pregnant women should take

Do You Need Folic Acid or Folate? It Depends on Your Genes, Study Says

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
05/02/2018
Illustration of a prescription bottle full of pills

Study Takes a Closer Look at What Antibiotics During Pregnancy Mean for Baby

profile picture of Ashley Edwards Walker
Ashley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer
Published
02/08/2018
Pregnant woman holding cigarette

Could Drugs and Alcohol During Pregnancy Become a Crime?

profile picture of Ashley Edwards Walker
Ashley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer
Published
01/24/2018

How to Relieve Headaches Without Medication

profile picture of Maria Kammerer
Maria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife

Is It Safe to Take Ketoprofen?

profile picture of Christian Hoffman, MD
Christian Hoffman, MD
OB-GYN
Article removed.