My #1 post-partum regret: Don’t let this happen to you
Let’s get real for a minute. There’s a lot of post-partum details that I’d rather not talk about. But after four babies, there’s one thing that I honestly regret NOT doing after my third baby was born. So, to save all you expecting mothers out there a lot of grief, I’m passing this one piece of advice on to you …
From the extra large granny panties to the bottles of nipple cream, there’s tons of post-partum products that you will gladly use immediately after you deliver your baby. Check out this post-partum care kit for new moms.
I was very grateful to the nurses and doctors who walked me through this turbulent time and made it as much of a pleasant experience as to be expected. However, after I delivered my third baby, I got a little over-confident. I felt like I had done this enough times, that I knew what I was doing.
Word to the wise. If your doctor tells you to do something, do it. Case in point: the stool softener.
After I delivered my baby, I felt fine. I didn’t think that I needed to take the stool softener. After all, I didn’t get constipated after my first two babies. Why would I get constipated now? (Duh, because I took the stool softener on my first two).
When I got home from the hospital, my prescribed bottle of stool softener sat on the counter untouched. A few days later, I needed to go poop. But instead of the normal stools that I was used to, it was a compacted brick inside my body.
No matter how hard I pushed, it wouldn’t budge. Tears filled my eyes. Aside from worrying if my stitches were going to tear, an even greater worry was that I would have to go to the emergency room for a manual disimpaction (a procedure to break up the hardened stool with a gloved and lubricated finger). It was awful.
I pushed so hard that my bum hole was bleeding. Yuck. I finally had success only to dread my next bowel movement with utter terror. Have I given you enough gory details yet?
Constipation: a real bummer
Needless to say, I started drinking tons of water, ate as much fiber as I could and of course started taking my stool softener. Only after several agonizing days, did my constipation ease and I felt a little bit of relief.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, the best thing you can do is to take your stool softener as prescribed by your doctor. If you’re still having trouble post-partum, follow these tips (source):
- Don’t wait to go to the bathroom, that just makes your stool harder and drier
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Go for a walk
If your doctor doesn’t prescribe a stool softener, you can also buy them over-the-counter here.
What causes post-partum constipation?
There’s a lot of contributing factor’s at work, but according to whattoexpect.com, there are three main culprits:
- Medication: The medication you received for postpartum pain may be the culprit. (If you’re no longer taking these drugs, your bowel movements should soon return to normal.)
- Mind games: If it just plain hurts to go (or to try going), you may be holding back to avoid the pain. Your vaginal stitches won’t tear if you have a bowel movement, and neither will your surgical ones if you’ve had a C-section.
- Clogged: You may be truly clogged up — not surprising considering all your digestive system (and the rest of your body) has been through.
Here’s some other links to helpful information about making your post-partum recovery a smooth one:
10 Self Care Tips for New Moms
Post-partum poop: And you thought the hard part was over
Labor nurse’s post-partum checklist
What tips do you have for avoiding post-partum constipation? Leave your comments below.
Related link: Top ten unique mommy-must haves