Before I had kids, I didn't know I needed to worry about my first postpartum poop. I certainly didn't expect it to be painful. No one warned me, you guys. My postpartum nurse told me to use numbing spray on my stitches while I peed, but she didn't say anything about pooping being painful. So I was totally unprepared for the experience. I learned, the hard way, that there are so many reasons your first postpartum poop will be more painful than childbirth and you don't even get a baby to snuggle afterwards.
When I had my first postpartum pooping experience, it didn't occur to me that it would hurt so goddamn much. So, in the midst of my ignorance, I didn't do anything to help move things along or bring any reinforcements with me — like take stool softeners or bring the numbing spray they gave me for my stitches. It hurt so much that I secretly wished I had filled the prescription for pain medication that my midwife prescribed prior to taking that horrifying trip to the bathroom. I didn't need them for my labia or perineum, but pooping? Yeah, that was another story, because it was almost as bad as vaginal childbirth. Worse, if you think about it, because there are no epidurals or support people for postpartum pooping. It's just you and the toilet, my friend.
After the first post-birth bathroom experience, I knew how bad it was going to be, which actually might have made my anxiety about it worse. But I was able to make sure I remembered to take stool softeners to help things along and filled my prescription, just in case, so there is power in knowledge. Just trust me when I say that your first post-birth poop is the worst, possibly even worse than childbirth.
Because You'll Be Constipated
So yeah, between pregnancy constipation, nausea medication, pain medication, and dehydration, I was seriously constipated. That made pushing out a poop hard (pun intended).
Because You'll Forget To Take Stool Softeners
Before I gave birth the first time, I had never in my life taken stool softeners. So when the nurse asked me if I wanted some, I said no thinking they were unnecessary. Big freaking mistake. Literally. So yeah, I highly recommend that you take stool softeners directly after labor and delivery, if you can. Do it. Trust me. Don't be a hero. There is no shame in a little medical intervention to help you get through postpartum pooping.
Because There Aren't Epidurals Or Doulas For Pooping
I honestly found my first poop to be more painful than labor. After all, I didn't have an epidural when I was sitting on the toilet. Like seriously, why aren't postpartum epidurals a thing? I literally cried, so my husband rushed in to see what was wrong. At least he handed me the numbing spray before laughing.
Because You'll Probably Have Hemorrhoids
I wish someone had warned me to slow down and not to strain, because on top of other childbirth aches and pains, I was lucky enough to have hemorrhoids. Ugh.
Because You Probably Tore During Childbirth
It really hurts. If you deliver vaginally, like I did, your vulva and perineum might be a torn up mess, before postpartum pooping. Ouch.
Because You Probably Haven't Pooped In Days
Do you remember a moment during childbirth when you thought, "I can't do this. I just can't. I might die?" Yeah, I totally thought that on the toilet trying to poop afterwards. I hadn't pooped in days and wasn't sure I was going to make it. Thankfully it came out all right in the end.
Because You'll Be Swollen
Even if you don't tear, if you deliver vaginally you are bound to be a little swollen down there. So, yeah, pooping can really hurt. Thank goodness for numbing spray and padsicles.
Because You'll Probably Have Stitches
If you deliver vaginally, like I did, your vulva and perineum might be stitched up. If you deliver via C-section, you will have a new incision and the constipating effects of anesthesia to contend with. Regardless of the mode of delivery, your first poop will hurt and might even put pressure on those oh-so sensitive stitches.
Because Your Pelvis Will Feel Like It Broke In Half
After childbirth, it felt like my pelvis had been broken and put back together, only in the wrong way. When you think about it, that's kind of what actually happens. So, afterwards it hurts to sit, let alone poop out of your broken bottom.
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