5 Tips For Surviving That First Post Labor Poo

August 30, 2012

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We’ve talked about a lot of things here on the blog. We’ve talked about marriage and sex, breastfeeding and hemorrhoids, mornings and morning sickness. What’s funny is that out of all of it, the thing you bring up most is the first post labor poo. Sometimes in the middle of the grocery store. Women come up to me and say, “Wasn’t it just terrible? I can’t believe how terrible it was.” Then they thank me for talking about it.

Of course no thanks is needed. Honestly I don’t know how you don’t talk about it. I wish so desperately that someone would have warned me of this atrocity. I wish even more that someone would have told me what to do to make it less painful.

Some of you will mention you have never had to deal with a difficult first post labor poo. For some reason or another, you were blessed with amazing bowels or a body that takes labor and delivery like a Dugger. My sincerest congratulations. You dodged a bullet. You are dismissed.

Here’s my story:

Two days after I came home from the birthing center with my new baby boy, I knew I couldn’t avoid it any longer. It had been 6 days since anything had passed through my system and it was time. I waited until the baby fell asleep and then quietly slipped into the bathroom. Austin wasn’t home so I gave myself a little mirror pep talk and took a few deep breaths. It was go time. Literally.

Ten seconds into the endeavour, I was crying and bracing myself against the wall. Two minutes later I was on the phone with my OBGYN asking if it was possible for my vagina to fall out while trying to have a BM.  The nurse was very kind and assured me I just needed to relax and maybe take a stool softener. A stool softener? Honey, I’ve taken 7.

I hung up.

After a few more minutes of quiet screams and pledges to never, ever do this again–the baby started to cry from the other room. Panic washed over me as I realized I was really in no position to get up. I was in the middle of Anal Armageddon for Pete’s sake. I waited a few minutes hoping he would fall back asleep, but his cries only escalated. I tried calling Austin who was painting a house a few miles away, but he didn’t answer. I cursed him. I cursed him for not having to do any of the hard parts; labor, a third degree tear, and now a situation I can only describe as “ass glass.”

Finally I just faced the fact that this was happening, picked myself up, waddled out to the baby, returned with him attached to my breast, and the experienced the worst 15 minutes of my life. Really. It was the worst.

A year later and this memory is the single largest barrier between me and baby number two. In retrospect, I should have done things a little differently but I didn’t know any better.

Save yourself.

Five tips for surviving that first post labor poo:

1) Get medicated. IB profin, tucks pads, cooling creams, stool softeners, wine. Do it. Do it all.

2) Apply counter pressure. It was only after my first post labor poo that a friend told me to apply counter pressure. It was in a facebook message and I immediately started crying. Yes! Of course! Applying counter pressure in the front with a frozen pad makes it much easier to go in the back without worrying about anything ripping or falling out. (Tip: Soak a pamper and then put it in the freezer. Take out when you’re ready to use the bathroom).

3) Don’t do it alone. Wait until someone else is around before attempting the first labor poo. Moral support plus you won’t have to risk bringing the baby into a war zone.

4) Avoid cheese and anything else that will make your stool hard enough to cut glass. Fruit and veggies are your friend. Prune juice too if you can stomach it, though I’m pretty sure prune juice contains no prunes. Just dirty feet and garbage.

5) Go to the doctor if it doesn’t get better. Not to freak you out, but my post labor poos didn’t get any easier. In fact, I shit glass for 6 weeks straight before I finally went to the doctor. As it turns out, I had nasty anal fissures as a result of a difficult delivery. Swallow your pride. If it still hurts after a week or so, you might need a prescription to poo in peace.

Now that you have all the secrets, I should probably tell you that no matter what–it’s still going to be uncomfortable. That whole situation in general is uncomfortable. Be gentle, be safe, and avoid anything that is going to put stress on your body. Two weeks after I had Waylon, we moved and I regretted it for days afterward. My body suffered, especially that part of my body.

What about you? Do you have any tips on post labor pooing? I know it’s awkward for some of us to talk about it. If you ever need to feel less awkward, think about Paris Hilton pooping because she totally does it too! Everybody poops! And almost every mom has survived a gritty post labor poo. It’s a rite of passage. One that still leaves shivers up my spine.

Good luck.

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151 thoughts on “5 Tips For Surviving That First Post Labor Poo

  1. Katie

    I know you told me to sit in the corner and be quiet…I almost listened, but I couldn’t help it. I’m pretty sure you were talking about me as your friend “with amazing bowels”-thank you. I was thankful for the warning (one I’d never heard from anyone besides you), but you had me absolutely terrified of pooping after baby. And I just have to say that after 20+ hours of labor, almost 3 hours of pushing, a tear, and some stitches…pooping certainly wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t that bad either (for me). I remember proudly announcing to my mom “I just pooped and it didn’t hurt!! Kate said it would hurt!”. I was SO excited. I promise I’m not gloating, it’s not like you or I had any control over the level of pooping pain. I am just sharing to give your non-mom readers a tiny glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, it won’t hurt that bad.

    Reply
      1. Isabel

        Im going through it right now!! It hurts like HELL!!! I sob and whine while going to the bathroom its been like that with my first child and this one too however I had a C-section with my first but I had hemoroids with my first it hurt worse actually! My daughter is almost 2 months and it still hurts I get so scare when ever I have that feeling of going number 2 I start to freak out and brace myself I have to think of happy thoughts while I go. I know I should be happy when I get the feeling of going since I only go every 3 days, but I just can’t I panic and prepare myself for WW2! It hurts like stones are coming out of my butt I even told myself I will never have kids ever again and just for that I think I might get my tubes tide or tell my husband to get a surgery!!! Why does the woman have to go through all the pain!

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Oh it’s so horrible I am now 7 days post surgery and nothing have taken fybogel but nothings happening. When I sit on the toilet I feel like I will be pushing out crushed glass and am terrified of opening up my c section wound! This is horrible I can’t wait for my first poo I’m struggling to sit and lie down and stomach is bloated like hell!! I hope we all get to go soon and it’s not an extremely traumatic experience

          Reply
        2. Momof3

          I’m chuckling because we just had a baby, I just spent 7hrs in the bathroom, crying, screaming and more. My husband walked in to make sure that I was okay. Like you I said “based on this experience I think I’m done having kids”

          Reply
        3. Kryn

          We have to go through it because God said so, and because of Eve. When God sent Adam and Eve away from the Garden of Eden He said that the man will earn his existence through the sweat of his hands, that is hard labour; and the woman will bring children in the world through much pain. Just think it’s worth knowing this. ☺️ hope all of you get better soon. Oh I just had my 4th child 2d c section.

          Reply
    1. Holywell

      there is a lot that you can do to make this whole experience much, much easier. I am a man, but having suffered bad constipation and haemorriods at various points, I have learned how to take care of my lower colon in a way that would ( and will ) benefit post partum mothers. It’s combined factors. The body’s natural peristalsis ( the muscular movements that propel your bowel contents through the bowel ) have been very disturbed by the birth and all of the pushing- in addition, you probably haven’t slept much, drunk enough, eaten decent food ( if UK hospitals are anything to go by )

      The Indian system of Ayurveda has a wealrh of information on how and why the time directly after birth is so challenging- I had a child 10 years ago, which went OK but mum was knocked flat with exhaustion after the birth- comparing it with my latest baby boy, born 6 weeks ago, where we followed some guidelines to heal and build strength in all the body areas that were so knocked around by the birth.

      It’s really important to have someone around, if your partner can’t be, to cook wonderful, warming, nourishing foods, supply you with a constant flow of delicious teas and fluids, and boil up preparations which will rebalance the body and bring your strength back as swiftly as possible, so that you can bond with your baby and enjoy feeding.

      The breast milk alone requires that the body be well nourished, well hydrated and as unstressed as possible- the breast milk is cleverly drawn from the body’s “Rasa” level- in laymans terms this means that even before your body gets new blood cells for itself , it is prioritising making milk. This is great for your baby but you need to make sure that your system has a surplus of nutrients so that YOU can be deeply nourished with whatever is left over! Fresh vegetable juices are wonderful, broths, soups, the Thai dish “Thom Kha Hed” was high on our list of servings and is incredibly easy to cook once you have a few basic ingredients in the freezer.

      It’s easy to slip into toast and stuff straight from the fridge out of convenience, and forget that we need to keep our strained bowels flowing and happy. A Local Indian mother made us 2 kilos of amazing indian sweets called Katlu Ladhu, with more than 40 different compounds in, which are specifically concocted to dispel the post-partum problems and nourish mother and baby deeply.

      Check out this page at Maharishi Ayurveda- I didn’t buy anything other than food related stuff, plus a bit of massage oil, so I’m sharing this for non commercial reasons and have no stake in it:

      http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/pregnancy-motherhood-and-fertility/pregnancy-the-ayurvedic-way.html

      But I have followed this system for years, and my 10 year old has almost never been to the doctor, and has never had antibiotics.

      Reply
  2. Candis Jones

    I was pooping razorblades and waddling with my pants between my legs to the open window with my screaming colic baby to yell down at my husband who was chatting with the neighbors to please for the love of God HELP ME I’M DYING. It is funny to talk about now, sure. But I’m still haunted too. I literally literally thought something was very very wrong. I too called my midwives and forced them to let me come in so they could check me out.

    If we could all only be so blessed as Katie.

    Next baby I’m eating fruit & veggies, stool softener and water and that is it until go time.

    Reply
  3. J

    I pooped while I was still in the hospital and I told everyone who walked in my room that I! JUST! POOPED! It is something to be celebrated if it happens relatively easily. Here’s to your next post-child poo being something to celebrate (whenever that happens)!

    Reply
  4. Suz

    i think i’ve suppressed this memory. thanks for helping me dig up and re-live the pain. (when i read the word “waddling” it all came back to me. ohhh the painful waddle.) it is just so so horrible. you are a champ for spreading the word to all moms to be.

    Reply
  5. Hannah

    I just have to say… I adore you because you are willing to talk about this… I am totally forwarding it to my baby sister who is about to have her first baby. I agree with you… it so helps to be informed because otherwise you are confident you are dying and omg! No one on earth must have this problem. I think too that women don’t help themselves with the celebratory eating after the labor and delivery… bring me a milkshake and a burger and ice cream… and I’m starved and eating all the junk food in sight!!! :) I mean, we do deserve to celebrate but I think fruit and veggies until after the horrible first time would be a huge help…
    Also, if you do too much too fast, it just will go badly… in many different areas. One last tip, I don’t care what you have to sit on in order to be comfortable in that area, but do it!! Who cares if people visiting you think its odd… if they have every had a baby, they will understand!

    Reply
  6. Kim

    I don’t remember my first poops after my vaginal births, so I suppose they were uneventful. However, the first poop after my c-section was the scariest thing ever. I mean, they won’t discharge you from the hospital until you fart. Just fart. That’s it. If farting is a big deal to the nurses, imagine the poop.

    Reply
    1. Amy

      Hi Kim – I don’t know you but I have to say I LOVE your comment. I had c-section #2 about 5 weeks ago and you are soo right! When the nurse came in one morning I proudly said “I had a bowel movement last night.” (and yes, it was scary – thought I was going to rip my incision open!) My husband who was sleeping on the “couch bed” rolled over after she left & said “Who knew taking a crap would be so exciting.” For a few days after that he asked me if I had any bowel movement updates whenever he returned. But a note about the farting – I had to be on the light/bland diet for 3 days because I didn’t fart! I didn’t feel like I had to!! There was no gas to pass! It was rather annoying – I was very tempted to lie, but I didn’t!

      Reply
      1. Susie

        When I had my first baby 4 months ago I had to have a c section. For the pain all I was allowed was co codamol. Whaaaat. They didnt give me morphine as I have severe asthma. The pain in my back and shoulders was undescribable I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. When they gave me the co codamol I told them or rather screamed they might as well just give me a strepsil. The next day after c section I was up trying to walk about, just could not lie there dealing wih this pain. And when I took the first poo. I was holding onto the toilet seat for dear life. Oh. My. God. It was terrible, worst pain ever it was like the space shuttle taking off but when all was said and done the relief I felt in my back was worth it I could walk again. Also I was told I was not allowed to leave unless I went so that was even more relief.

        Reply
    2. Anonymous

      When I had a csection they sent me home before I had a bowel movement. When I did I felt like i was dying it was very painful

      Reply
  7. Claire

    This is timely for me, since I’m due any day now. This is one of the things I’m hoping goes better second time around. My plan is to drink more water than seems humanly possible and also some prune juice. Here’s to hoping!

    Reply
  8. Megan

    Perfect timing- I’m due in 2 weeks! My first poo after baby #1 wasn’t fun, but not quite as traumatic as yours (it took me 6 days too). What got me through? Not prune juice, but dried prunes. They helped a lot! I’m going to start eating some as soon as the baby is out!

    Reply
  9. Meagan {Green Motherhood}

    Wow, just……wow. Sharing (as you say) is caring. And it took a lot of care to share that. I know others will be happy to know the truth.
    I fall under the “not as bad as I thought it would be” category (sorry). I had worked myself up into such a tizzy that I thought it was going to be awful, but then it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t great, but after reading your story it sounds like I pooped a bless-ed fairy in comparison.
    If I could add some tips (maybe they helped me???)
    Apple juice works similarly to prune juice but tastes better (atleast, that’s what I’ve found)
    Probiotics. In large doses will assist cleaning you out and hopefully soften you up.
    Natural Calms is a magnesium supplement and helps as well.

    You’ve saved lives, Kate.

    Reply
    1. Tabetha

      I have been having baby fever and this has made me rethink! You guys are scaring the crap out of me (pun intended ;) )

      Reply
  10. Lindsey

    I was always really sad that I had to go through TWO full days of labor only to have an emergency c-secton….now I am grateful! This may be one of the only positive aspects of having a c-section, when I had to poop- I was still on morphine :)

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Ok I’m not the only one reading this while TRYING TO POOP. Any suggestions on which laxative is the best? I’ve tried stool softeners for the last 3 days (9days post labor) and I NEED TO GO. A little came out it was so hard…..
      So I’m wanting the movie scene so much laxative it’s diarrhea thing going on right now. Or at least somewhat soft. Any tips on which is the best and fastest ?

      Reply
  11. Melissa

    My first post-partum poop “wasn’t that bad”, but like you, we moved two weeks after our son was born and well, that was stressful. And it also took its toll on my body, down there. Everywhere down there. As a result, I couldn’t poop for one week.
    But there’s more.
    In the house we moved into, the toilet didn’t work for number 2’s. Eventually we figured that our landlord wasn’t going to fix it, so before my husband fixed it himself there was 4 days that we had to find other places to go number 2. I was getting more and more desperate as the days passed.
    My mother even gave me two enemas. Still, nothing.
    Finally, the day my husband fixed the toilet, I took a powerful laxative.
    It was everything you described your first poo to be. I felt that it was worse than giving birth. (and I had no epidural)
    Then I got a vaginal infection from who knows what and was sore for 3 months. I kid you not.
    My son is one year old, and I’m thinking he might be an only lonely. At least until I can forget that pain.

    Reply
  12. Kimberly

    First poop after baby, its what I warn everyone about. I was so glad my mom was at the store so I wasn’t embarrased to scream. My poor husband thought I was dying. I wasn’t even trying to push, its like my body took over and I had no choice. My husband still talks about how horrified he was when he had to plunge the toilet. I thought I had ripped out all of my stitches.

    Reply
  13. Amber

    Baby number one was absolutely terrible resulting in a fissure, second baby went much better. My advice to those anticipating this, do NOT put off “going”. I mean, the longer you wait (because you are scared) the worse it is.

    Reply
    1. Betsy

      I have to second this one. I waited much too long after #1. I made sure to go IN THE HOSPITAL with #2 and had no problems. The longer you wait the worse it’s gonna be.

      Reply
  14. Esther

    First poo after baby #1: I don’t know how many days it took, but long enough for me to have fecal impaction. This is when your poop turns to stone and has to be…erm…manually chipped away…like with a jackhammer or something. (Kidding…about the jackhammer.) With baby #2, I chugged the stool softeners and laxatives the second they put them on my bedside table and never had any issues. Also, I had no tearing the second time, so maybe that helped more than the stool softeners.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      This was my experience too. It came out as far as just the opening but wouldn’t come out. I sat there for hours pushing. Finally, I gloved up and manually dig it out. It was the most animalistic experience of my life. Nobody warned me about the first poo and I’m quite upset with my family and friends for letting me find out the hard way.

      Reply
  15. Debbie

    My nom the nurse has prescribed me Magnesium for times in the past to help with poop issues. Just FYI for you guys. I mean because I obviously will not be birthing anything. Ever.

    Reply
  16. Krista

    Just found your blog, and wow. Love the honesty! My son is 9 months old and I have been waiting and waiting AND WAITING for someone who has experienced the same thing I did. I’m terrified of Baby #2.

    Reply
  17. Meggie

    It took me a while to comment because I had to work up the bravery to remember the night my husband came home and I had an ice pack wedged in my butt and I was crying from the hemmroid pain. This is the first memory that pops into my mind when I think of baby number 2. I mean, how many butt icing moments can a marriage survive?

    Reply
    1. Kate {motleymama} Post author

      I AM LAUGHING. But really, wow.

      Marriage can only take so many butt icing moments, you’re right. I think it’s directly proportionate to how many times you push a baby out of your body.

      Reply
  18. jolie

    So – I read this post at some point, I can’t remember when, and it was ringing in my ears last week while I laid in the hospital bed post delivery prairie doggin’ it (lol) and feeling so afraid that I knew I had to go SO SOON. BUT KATE SAID THIS WAS THE WORST PART. It’s going to be WWIII. I had myself braced – medicine, had taken a few stool softeners, ice packs, etc. But I was so horrified. I looked at Sean ominously and said, “I have to do it. I can’t hold it in anymore. It’s time.”

    Lo and behold, while it was definitely different than regular poos and more stressful, it wasn’t all that bad. I came out and was like, “I DID IT! IT WASN’T SO BAD!” I’m only telling you this to thank you for sharing your experience and bracing me for what I didn’t even think about. I think it prepared me for the worst and then made the real thing not so bad for me.

    Reply
  19. jtothaizzle

    I totally just stumbled across your blog today and I am SO GLAD I did. No one every talks about this stuff, and you put it into words perfectly – two to be exact – “anal armageddon”. I am still LOL’ing at this and the fact that I can makes me want to kiss you, as this memory is still scorched at the back of my mind and my reasons for nightmares at night. All that being said, as much I want to press that FB like button at the bottom of this post, I am not quite ready to share my story with the world or open the topic up for conversation like you were – so thanks for being so brave! :) DEFINITELY found a new reader in me!

    Reply
  20. Angel

    So I am sitting here in the toilet dealing with this right now. I have been terrified of this moment and it is bloody awful. Literally. F$&@ I want to die.

    Reply
  21. Mariel

    Was by far the worst part of my c-section recovery in 2009. Abdominal surgery, eh. But goodness sakes the pooping. Just had #2 a week and a half ago, vaginally, and i pooped the first day in the hospital! And it didn’t hurt! And was soft! I told every nurse that came near my room. My husband was mortified. But now. After 1.5 weeks….. The poop, It. Won’t. Come. Out. And i’m home alone with the kids. Don’t have time to sit for an hour clutching the tub and trying not to screech. Stool softeners, what the heck, so not doing your job. Today i will eat nothing but fruit, go buy some prunes, and drink water until i throw up. This ends today!

    Not meant to scare.. But warning, don’t get too cocky if the first one goes well.

    Reply
    1. Mummy1

      Amen on getting cocky if first one goes well. I had a c section 2 weeks ago. Perfect poo the day after, I mean perfect. Bragged to everyone. I’m lying here almost 2 weeks later prepping for my 2nd one. Ladies, if you have any type of fiber/ constipation issues before baby, don’t mess with stool softeners, water, prunes, etc. start taking a laxative daily after baby comes. Sheer hell trying to pass 2 weeks of poop with a butt full of hemmoroids. Ay caramba. Thanks for this post, I read it pre-birth but wish I had taken it a little more seriosuly!! Sigh….

      Reply
  22. Susan

    I did a mixture of half prune juice half cran-grape. Yummy! Plus stool softeners and lots of ibuprofen. Post labor poops improved quickly but then I must of gotten hemmrhoids or something awful about 4 months post partum. Yuck.

    Reply
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  24. misty

    Just had my first after baby poop and this was my third baby…. definantly not getting easier! Im in tears and wishing i would have remembered the wine. Im pretty sure ny vagina is going to fall out or something

    Reply
  25. amy

    I pooped when I was still in the hospital, probably because I was in the hospital for a 1960s-length recovery period since my son’s birth was just such a delight. I was so proud and excited I didn’t flush. I had read somewhere that you had to show the nurses/doctors ‘proof’ that things were operational. When the nurse came, I was like, “I pooped!” She just stared at me. “I kept it…in case you want to see…” I guess it wasn’t necessary…oops.

    My mom brought me 48 bran muffins as a post-baby gift. Best gift ever.

    Post-labour poo = worst.

    Reply
  26. Kaly

    Damn it all. I am new to your site and had commented on the 4th trimester thing since I am almost 37 weeks. I was lurking around and came across this post. I had forgotten about this. Or better yet, my PTSD had blocked it out of my mind. Though I still have a twinge of rage every time I cross over the railroad tracks my husband bounced us across at 40 mph on our way home from the hospital after my first.

    How did I forget this? Fuuuuuddddgge. I have a hard time pooping as it is, so I think I was 10 days out before my first event. A tip to the ladies: the pain killers also constipate you, so proceed sparingly if you have issues in this department. It’s a bit of a Sophie’s Choice situation to decide if you want pain relief or ease in moving bowels, but one I will soon be faced with.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  27. Lauren

    Um, yes. My first post-baby poo, I was screaming in the bathroom knowing my stitches were ripping out. I think I pooped the second day I was home, so it’d been about 5 days since my last poop.

    The second and third poop were scream worthy too. I’ve been taking Colace religiously since we returned home, and now I have the opposite problem… I’ve pooped my pants twice. Baby is now 6 days old, and I’ve seen a wide range in my bowl movements.

    Do things ever get back to normal??

    Reply
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  29. Lisa

    The first bm was fine no pain or bleeding i was so pleased as after my first baby i was terrified of pooping razor blades again. I was lulled into a false sense of security as after 2 weeks all of a sudden it was like going for the first time all over again. thanks for all of the advice! Im using baby oil mixed with lavender oil which is very soothing and helps with bruising .

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    It wasn’t only the first one that killed. The second also did and the third was huge as well. I told the nurse in the hospital that I was scared and she said well it isn’t as bad as pushing out a 7 pound baby. Well, it felt like pushing out a baby all over again. Except that now I was sore and had stitches so not only was I pushing such a big thing out, but I had a lot of pain. Screaming, crying, trying not to push, giving in to push and get it over with, gripping onto something… there are no words. The toilet broke and had to be plunged. And yes, I took tons of stool softener and tried to drink tons as well. Giving birth again but this time without a precious present of a baby – pain with no reward.

    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    I just wanted to say big thank you for this post. My first postpartum pooping attempt ended in a giant gush of blood from my uterus – the bathroom looked like a crime scene. So then tryng to poop was terrifying in addition to being painful. Your suggestion of counterpressure is what finally allowed me to prevail a day later. Thank you!! This post alone should earn you tons of his karma for your next labor and delivery :).

    Reply
  32. Wrabbit

    Found this post today while looking for an answer to my pain. I’ve been able to go twice now after baby #1 but after I hop into the shower and cry for about 20 minutes. Now I’m on poop #3 and it’s like my body is saying, “No way lady, it hurts too much!” I have about ten ginormous hemmerhoids blocking the way as well as multiple stitches. At least this post and all the great comments could make me smile through the pain!

    Reply
  33. Danielle

    Yes! Thank you for talking about this and sharing tips.

    I had an unexpected scheduled c-section due to breech position and low fluid, so I didn’t labor with my son, BUT I did give birth…once in the hospital, and again at home. Nobody warned me! Why in the name of gods and goddesses did nobody warn me!? I craved bacon cheese burgers constantly with him, and I payed dearly. I seriously thought I was going to die, burst my stiches, rip my anus, or have a freaking stroke/heart attack. After 45 mins of clutching rails, hunching over, standing up, squatting and hovering, I survived the craziest endorphin rushes and my own body involuntarily pushing out what I could not believe fit in my bowels.

    I am now pregnant again, and seriously it’s my biggest dread having to go through that again. I plan to be eating whole foods and little to no red meat….veggie in the last part of the pregnancy. Also, I ordered a squatty potty to help me be in proper position.

    Bookmarking this page and will be taking notes!

    Reply
  34. Chrisstine

    At the hospital where I gave birth by c-section their protocol was: after delivery only liquids (water, juice, ice blocks, clear jelly or soups etc) were to be consumed until you passed flatus from the bowel. Then solid normal food could be eaten. Worked like an absolute charm: gentle, easy bowel movement. World work following normal labour too. Passing flatus first allows bowels to regain normal peristalsis before introducing solid food to gut.

    Reply
  35. Rochelle

    Woo boo! I just did it! This was my 5 th or 6th poo post birth and it’s not getting any easier. but I was reading this post and comments on the toilet and just knowing I’m not the only one helped! The first poo after my c section was scary but they got easier. The first after this vaginal birth was scary and I think it’s getting worse! Probably because it reminds me of that first pushing contraction which happened on this very toilet!!

    Reply
  36. Charlie

    This is hilarious. (In a purely “me too!” type way) I was so terrified I packed a large bottle of prune juice in my hospital bag and after delivery stuck a straw in and downed the whole thing. I also drank a half cup of olive oil imagining and hoping for a slippery escape. Awful. Vagina totally felt like it was falling out. A year later, second on its way…I’ll be packing 2 bottles of prune juice aaaaand maybe a bottle of olive oil. Why oh why must we have secondary trauma? Giving birth was traumatic enough.
    Me upon arrival to hospital bed (after being wheeled thru the hospital swearing like a sailor ‘faaaaaaaackin hell’): “um, can I maybe have pain meds? ”
    Nurse after looking at my vagina: “hahaha oh honey it’s too late for that, you’re fully dilated you can start pushin!”
    Honestly stop saying “bear down”!!!

    Reply
  37. Dipsey

    omfg – they didnt warn us about this in antenatal classes. I am SO packing prune juice in the hospital bag. this pregnancy has been hard enough, if i too end up with an iced butt, there is no way in hell that junior is getting a sibling!!

    Reply
  38. LikeADeerInTheWoods

    Oh my gosh thank you for writing this! My first poo after labor didn’t come for a week! By day 4 and 5, I was crying because I was so backed up and really really needed to go but couldn’t! Someone told me counter pressure so I tried it and it did make things feel better, but I couldn’t poo still. And then when I let go, a could feel blood rush to the area. That, standing up quickly, and not having eaten enough for a few days (because I was so backed up!) cause me to immediately faint as soon as I was on my feet. Thankfully my husband was there to catch me, but my bladder (which I thought was empty) let go and I gushed all over his feet. Poor man couldn’t see anything down there and was scared it was blood! We recovered from that situation and then I was even MORE terrified to poop! When it finally did come, I literally put a giant pad on top of a towel on the bathroom floor and knelt down on it, sat on my haunches with my feet far enough apart to let something through, and I leaned forward and told myself it was now or never. And it finally came. I felt like a deer in the woods, just pooping on the ground. It was the hardest most solid turd and yeah it hurt! It didn’t even make a mark on the pad, it was so hard. I pooped on the ground like that twice before I got to the soft stuff and could go on the toilet like a normal human being. That was 18 months ago with my first, and now I am 8 months pregnant with my second and I am really dreading the poo again this time! At least I can be a little more proactive this time. I love the tips you gave, I’m definitely going to do everything I can to make it easier!

    Reply
  39. jen

    thank goodness for you and my stumbling upon this blog entry!!! I’m sitting here w my newborn asleep on my chest, crying and laughing because I’m so relieved that 1) I survived anal armageddon and 2) that I wasnt alone in my experience. thank you, thank you, a million times thank you for calming this mama down.

    Reply
    1. momtologan

      Reading post as sitting on toilet and on extreme pain..pls help me..i cant take this pain anymore..why does it have to be so difficult

      .god help me..will i ev.e.r recover?

      Reply
  40. Jenn

    If you didn’t have anal trauma and are sure to stay very hydrated as soon as you deliver, it shouldn’t really be that bad. Don’t scare people so much that they end up holding it out of fear :) Fissures are very horrible but not very common. Plan for your digestive system as much as you can and be diligent. I had a complete labial tear, like now I have an extra one, and CRAZY swelling and was still able to have an uncomfortable, but not terribly painful bm by the third day using the following bathroom helpers:

    Medjool dates – eat them when your pregnant to help with labor and constipation, keep eating them after you deliver to stay regular. 6/day does the trick

    Tons of water – at least a gallon a day tea, juice, wahtever, lots

    Fiber and vitamin c – fruit and oat bran is what I did. Plus hummus and pitas.

    Use a potty stool – if you don’t have a squatty potty research it and find something comparable to use. In the squatting position you should not have to push at all, just relax (lolz, easier said than done) and it will happen on its own

    Bottom sprays and wipes – i liked the earth mama one but regular witch hazel and organic aloe felt nice too. Experiment with a few things as soon as you can

    Padsicles :) – Google recipes to find one you like. use them before and after your bm attempts to help bring the swelling down and use one for counter pressure to help you relax and get things started while on the pot.

    Drugs of choice :) – I used rescue remedy and arnica Montana, plus some aromatherapy

    Now, it takes some planning and assistance to make sure you have everything you need and I may not have needed all those things, but why not give your bum every possible advantage. You just delivered a human being. If you can do that, you can absolutely poo with confidence.

    Reply
    1. Erica

      I just had my newborn son 6 days ago and for some (now very stupid) reason I held in my first poo out of fesr of pain. First off let me say, the fear was well deserved! I wasn’t even trying to push when the party got started and let me say it only led to the worst 6 minutes of my entire life. Between worrying about the baby coming out of my back end, possibly taunt stitches, and slowly dying, I must say that was an experience to never be forgotten. Like some I quickly grabbed some ibuprofen, took a hot shower, put some witch hazel in these oh so sexy hospital panties and pads and waited for the pain of my (now grape size) hemorrhoids to subside….

      Ps… still waiting

      Reply
  41. Cherlynne

    Kate- you are amazing! Thank you for the honest sharing. I laughed, I cried, I shuddered as I totally related to it all too well. We are starting to talk about baby #2, and I (as well as my husband, I’m sure!) fear the post-delivery poo more than the delivery itself. The first one took almost an hour. I prayed for another epideral. I pooed an anaconda. It was so scary, so unexpected and so exhausting. Lack of sleep, hormones raging, stressed out with a newborn who won’t latch and has borderline jaundice, and now I have to deal with this?? No one talked about it. Prenatal class, you failed me. All I can say, is thank god I was still in the hospital for that one…those toilets have the power of jet engine. Awful. Just awful.
    So happy to have found your website! You have a new stalker (..too creepy??)

    Reply
    1. Gingermamma

      I know this is a slightly older post, but very true none the less. My experience has been no problem pooing after my first two all natural unmedicated births. The gas was bad after baby #2 though. I had to have a c section for baby #3, had a normal poo in the hospital and gas- went home and a day later thought another child was about come out of my butt! Like a brick! Three weeks later and tons of stool softeners every day and I just about cry and die every time i have to poo. Who knew it would be so much worse then with a natural birth? I even weaned off the narcotics the very first week to clear up this problem. O and probaby the fourth day home, I went to get up in the middle of the night to pee, and sudden shooting pain up the middle of me had me sitting on the edge of the bed gasping in pain! Dh woke up and wanted to know what was wrong- i was all shakey and sweating. I said Im dying! Serious pain! Must have torn stitches- although had not been out of bed much. He aske me if I needed to go to the hospital, and I said yesss something is way wrong , but I couldnt move to get up. So I had him help me lay down on my side. A few min later I passed gas, and he died laughing. Yup, it was only gas. Scarry stuff!

      Reply
  42. anonymous

    Oh my god, the PAIN!!! I was about 4 days pp and I knew it was going to hurt, but I had no idea how bad! I tried and tried forever with no luck, finally I grabbed some tp (to cover my hand) and reached back there and felt what was about 5 times larger that the hole it needed to come out of. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to pass it, but my stomach hurt so bad I had to do something. So being stubborn and embarrassed, I grabbed a pair of disposable gloves and literally took it out. Still the most embarrassing thing that I have ever done, and I have never told anyone this, not even my doctor.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for this post! I share exactly the same sentiments! I was thinking at that time: “Why didn’t anyone warn me about this???” Anyway, mine was also unforgettable as it was more painful and excruciating than my birthing experience. I really thought I was going to die! Thankfully my mom from the Philippines sent me this herbal drink called Shake Off that can automatically make you wanna poop eight hours after you drink it. It’s an all natural detoxifier that really made it easy and fast for me. No more pain after that! So I also share this knowledge to my friends who are moms-to-be. It really is about time to care enough to share this. Sharing is caring! Bless your heart Kate!

      Reply
  43. Beth

    I had a really terrible time going the first time after my first c-section. Before my second one, I read and thought some about what may help, and that time I took as little pain medication as I could (since some of those can cause constipation), ate omelets with veggies instead of chicken fingers and fries, and drank a lot more water. I had almost no problems going, and I also felt a lot healthier over those first few days. Maybe I just got lucky the second time, but some of the changes may have helped! And thank you for writing about this!

    Reply
  44. Amy

    This is very similar to what happens when you take opiate painkillers or maintenance therapies for addiction like methadone/suboxone. If you receive morphine or dilaudid or another opiate during labor then it will very much contribute to this. The drug shuts down your intestines and nothing moves for a very long time, rarely less than a week and often longer, and by the time you’re finally ready to go it’s a very large, rock solid mass that is nearly impossible to physically pass without help from suppositories, enemas etc. You can get MIRALAX without a prescription now and SERIOUSLY IT IS AMAZING. The caps are because I’m so adamant about this because I know how horrible the pain in your bum itself is, I can’t even imagine having that complicated by having just given birth. Miralax helped me go from crying and bleeding every single time I went, to having it be extremely easy and comfortable. Seriously Miralax is your best friend for this. Stool softeners will not help once your stool is already formed and in your rectum, it’s absolutely too late at that point, but Miralax can still help by pulling water into your intestines and basically being an enema from the inside out. It’s amazing and I can see where the name comes from because its effects are miraculous. I had to write this post because I’ve suffered a lot from this and I hope I can help somebody else with what I’ve learned.

    Reply
  45. Melat

    Thank you for sharing. .. wish I had known this beforehand. I was experiencing the same thing a couple of days after my C-section.
    Four days later, my sister (a GE doc) came to visit and when I told her I was having a hard time giing, she went to the store and bought me Miralax.
    Normally you take one cup full but in this case I took two and Boy, did it do the trick.
    I cannot describe the relief I felt that day!

    Long Live Miralax! :-)

    Reply
  46. Anonymous

    I am having a pedi while reading this and I couldn’t stop the outbursts of laughter…not because I’m laughing at you but as I am oreggers with my 4th all c sections this is the one thing I am terrified of. Last time I didn’t even want to take my pain meds because I thought they would make me worse. Still til this day I haven’t spoken to anyone about it. I can’t…I don’t know if it’s because I’m mortified of the events that took place to make it happen or I just can’t believe image pain and and pain. Anyway, in two months i have my fourth and I will be drinking water, eating prunes drinking prune juice, taking over the recommended dosage of stool softeners and all fiber whatever.

    Reply
  47. kristi

    I was in labor (induced) for 3 full days then had to have a c-section. My boss is actually the one that warned me about the first poop. My doctor prescribed a mild laxative and strong stool softeners. I was mad that she used a laxative cause I thought it’d be really painful, but I was thankful later. Everything is moved around and rearranged during a c-section so it makes pooping very difficult. It hurt like heck trying to go, but once the laxative kicked in, I didn’t even have to push too hard. It was the next 2 weeks that’d be the worst. I couldn’t go for 3-4 days and had such awful hemorrhoids that I avoided it. I waited so long that I couldn’t go once I did try out of desperation! I took another laxative and although it hurt a lot, my body just took over and I couldn’t stop it! Lol once that was done, it started to get better.

    So my advice is a VERY MILD laxative and stool softeners. Keep hydrated (I didn’t!) And eats things with lots of fiber. Don’t try to hold it…it’ll get worse cause it dries out and can get stuck….not fun! Apple juice can help and lots of veggies :-)

    Reply
  48. Pingback: 5 Tips For Surviving That First Post-Labor Poop | Homediy Pro

  49. Anonymous

    I was just emailed your post and it was funny because it is so TRUE! I had a similar experience but was told to start taking vitamin E capsules and it really helped!

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I just saw this posted. Luckily I am 4 years past my last baby but the memory is still vivid (because of long labor with both babies and an episiotomy starting with the first.). My post poo advice is definitely counter pressure, a stool to put your feet on (straightens the colon and greatly helps things along–if this is the first baby go ahead and get the stool you’ll need when they potty train–it is the perfect height for your feet) and Dermaplast spray. I too remember crying at work 6 plus weeks post partum with the first. The second was much better after figuring out the tricks no one tells you.

      Reply
  50. jenny

    So, I was extremely fortunate that, after drinking cup after cup of apple juice and an otherwise balanced diet, my first bm was passed while I was still in the hospital. It was not bad at all to my utmost disbelief and relief; however, 6 weeks later when I resumed work I began then to pass extremely painful and eventually sometimes bloody bm’s. I’ve been taking stool softeners but they are not doing the trick. Any advice as to the cause or how to deal with this pain that has come later on?

    Reply
  51. Alli

    I didn’t experience a really terrible FIRST poop…my absolutely horrific experience was when my sweet boy was almost a month old and then something happened. I had read a bunch of terrifying articles about that first post birth moment and was shocked that everything was going so smoothly, and then it got about as bad as it can get…I got impacted. It seemed like it was out of nowhere, and if anyone had been in earshot they would’ve thought I was in labor again…or dying.
    With any future child I will make sure I start taking stool softeners day 1 and get LOTS of high fiber in after the baby to keep things regular. And the most disgusting thing I will do differently? Keep disposable gloves under the bathroom sink. You never know when you’re going to need…ahem…”assistance.” If you don’t need them, you can always use them to clean with! Good luck!

    Reply
  52. Cara

    Ok, here’s my tip…poop in the bath! Disgusting, yes. But so much less painful. It was my nurse’s suggestion and worked like a charm.

    Reply
  53. Brooksie

    I’m going through the same thing. I just had my 4th and am having a really hard(get it?) time. Helps to know I’m not alone.
    I was also thinking…High-school sex ed should teach this to the kids! Forget how to put on condoms and “safe sex”..just tell them how horrible it is with the post-labor poo and I highly doubt they would bother even having it at all!

    Reply
  54. emily

    so I was googling and found this while laying in the hospital bed, the day after giving birth, alternating between laughing and trembling in fear. my sweet little girl took over 3 hours of pushing followed by vacuum and then forceps. needless to say, there was a lot of tearing and a lot of hemorrhoids. I ate as many dried fruits as I could stomach, bran muffins, yogurt, oatmeal, some coffee, the max amount of colace, the whole thing. five days out and still nothing. the pain meds and iron did not help. I frantically ordered a squatty potty and downed a tall glass of prune juice. it’s sweet, not as bad as expected. within the hour, it worked its magic. within four hours, it started working on my baby… every time she wiggled/ate/sneezed/blinked, a prune-splosion ensued. this lasted almost two days (it was a big glass). lesson learned: wait for the squatty potty because it works and Amazon is only a day away and prune juice should be a last resort – and start small : )

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      This is soooo true!!! As a Mom of three (All Csections) I definitely can relate to this. I have a similar story with baby number 2(Plum juice worked for me) lol. However what I did differently with baby number three is I loaded up on fiber prior to delivery. It worked like a charm. I would advise Mom’s to try to consume as much water and fiber as possible to get things moving especially after a Csection.

      Reply
  55. Anonymous

    This is hysterical!! Unfortunately I can relate to #5 but I wasn’t as smart to see the doctor so quickly until I was 9 months postpartum (I was passing glass for 9mths!) a surgery later and I’m good to go. Don’t wait ladies!!!!

    Reply
  56. Elizabeth

    Make an aspic of Kanten (agar agar, a clear seaweed) crushed tofu and shiitake mushrooms, no seasoning. Works like magic.

    Reply
  57. Elle

    No one warned me about this the first time. I was literally more terrified of pooping after baby then giving birth (and yes, drug free) the second time around. I made sure when I got close to due date that I was eating sooooo much fibre and staying hydrated and going to the bathroom everyday. Helped so much! Almost pain free…still scary though.

    Reply
  58. Bianca

    Your honesty gave me the courage to share the only thing about pregnancy and post I’m embarrassed about, my GIANT anaconda delivery. I have yet to find any information about how and why my first bowel movement after both kiddos were Guinness World Record contenders, seriously almost coming out of the bowl and as thick as my wrist! Where are the emojis when I need them. I suspect none of my friends have shared this because they are just as embarrassed but I’m REALLY hoping someone here has experienced this and knows why.

    Reply
    1. JenSky

      Been there, done that…shocking, so so so shocking. Especially since the hospital toilets are larger than the ones we have at home…to see what just went in there and to understand the pain, omg…worst memory ever! I have heard lots of explanations for why, but none of them made any sense. It just IS.

      Reply
  59. Pingback: What No One Told Me about Labour | Take A Walk with Me

  60. Babypower

    I feel your pain ladies when I was 19 I had my first and only gorgeous giant boy and was torn all up inside before it was even time to push then had and episiotomy then hospital went code blue and nearly died from blood loss so after waking up from nearly dying I woke up to them stitching me up and feeling it then second day in hospital a doctor came in to give me a tablet and it was huge and I said I can’t swallow that and she said it’s not to swallow then proceeded to put on a glove and said bend over , you can guess where it went felt like she was trying to ram through skin and scab awful but it stopped the pain in hospital anyway. When I left hospital the nurse gave me an oil to drink and said drink it until you feel comfortable enough to poo normally after a week I said today is the day I had never been so scared in all my life I was sweating holding then relaxing freaking out but I had to do it I got so hot and sweaty I ended up stripping down in the toilet I think I was in there 45 mins lets just say I remember that pain and it has been 10 years so true that know one ever talks about the poo the thought never crossed my mind until it happened to me

    Reply
  61. JenSky

    I realize this is a crazy old post, but I just came across it when looking for info to give my friend on this same topic! She pacing her halls right now, I’m sitting with her very cute 3 day old newborn and feeling so bad for her!

    Mine was so absurdly traumatic that my 5 year old is an only child, and will always be an only child.

    After finding out there wasn’t any amniotic fluid left inside, they immediately induced. Because I had a medical history that indicated a c-section would be likely, I was not allowed any water or food the entire day (they induced at 9am and he was born at 9:30 pm via c-section). Even though he was born c-section, he was partially in the canal, so I had the double joy of surgery recovery and that painful swelling from the descent in the birth canal. I felt beat up.

    3 days later, the next baby came…the poop baby. The cramps were horrible, nurses tried to help (they had been giving me stool softeners) by bringing strong black coffee from the best coffee cart in the hospital (so sweet) which definitely moved it along, and then the experience. Oh. My. God. I was crying so loud in the bathroom, that my family took my newborn son and went to pace the halls. The pain was absurd! I actually did pop a staple in my incision (this impressed my obgyn)…wasn’t sure what hurt more, my ass, my vagina, or my incision that hit a nerve!? Either way, when it was over, I came out of the bathroom, feeling almost high…lightweight…FREE from that horrific experience. I went to the bed and slept until my little one needed to be fed.

    Woke up to find hemorrhoids…as if that wasn’t bad enough! Lol, it is OVER now. OVER!
    Now back to helping here…this baby is really cute ;)

    Reply
  62. brittany

    I am 1 week post c-section, and luckily, as far as poo is concerned, my only problem is diarrhea… once it’s time to go, my incision KILLS! But once it’s out, I’m fine. Peeing, on the other hand, made me feel like everything on the inside was gonna end up on the outside.

    Reply
  63. Melissa

    Literally one of the best blogs I’ve read…while on the toilet post-baby (three weeks ago). & while I don’t have as severe of an experience this seems to be the last part of my & my “living” that still doesn’t seem quite right or really as it was before; sadly it’s a necessary occurrence several times a week.

    Reply
  64. Charity

    Oh my goodness!! Back in 2010 I had my first baby and the poop I had was HORRIBLE I was NOT prepared..no one prepared me. To me it was worse than the 16hrs of backlabor with no meds..only to be rushed in for a csection. After my first poop I dealt with anal issues for almost three years. I must have forgotten about all of this because here I am 13 weeks along with baby #2. I am already dealing with the hemmorhiods and my sister-inlaw mentioned to me to try carmex. I laughed at her but went home and used it!!! Freaking life saver! 30mins later the pain had subsided and the swelling was almost gone. Now that I have read through this blog and several comments I will be more aware of my poops after this one…and I will pray a thousand prayers that #2 won’t be hell on earth again.

    Reply
  65. Glass Passer

    Thank god I’m not alone. It. Was. Awful. I don’t know how I could forget this time around (baby number 4!).. But good lord its been 2 weeks of dreading the hell of using the bathroom. I’m eating cans of applesauce and drinking more water than any one person should be capable.. Making peace with the torture that awaits every time its time to go.

    Reply
  66. Pingback: Friday Five: 5 Funny Blog Posts Everyone Should Read

  67. Jessie

    I didn’t go for about 4 days after having my son.. I was assured by the midwives that it would be a completely normal BM and there was nothing to worry about…. Turns out it was bigger than my sons HEAD and I had the same pushing urge as in labour. I’d had 2nd degree tears, luckily not 3rd.. but I was terrified and it was very painful! My son was 10 months old when I finally had a pain free poo and it was one of the best days of my life… It was the sweet chilli noodles I had a wetherspoons that did it. Next baby I’m going to eat spicy veg and give myself the shits for a week, Im not going through that again!

    Reply
  68. E

    I just read this 4 days postpartum as I sat on the toilet praying for God to have mercy on my soul.

    Happy to report a lovely medium-sized BM that nevertheless took me 45 minutes. I laughed out loud a few times and the rest is history. Thank you.

    Reply
  69. Heather

    You are a God send for letting me know this is even a thing. I’m five months tomorrow, and I thought I had heard it all – but not THIS.

    SERIOUS thank you’s are in order.

    Reply
  70. Megan

    Thanks for sharing! Wish I would have seen this years ago. I ended up shitting glass for 18 months……yes, you read that right, before seeing a Dr. The third doctor finally discovered the anal fissure that no one else could. The 1st post-delivery poop is nothing compared to the 1st post-anal fissure repair poop. The only way to make it less painful is to stand up as straight as possible, legs spread and poop over the toilet. These are the moments of life you never see in movies, but it is real life.

    Reply
  71. Rachel

    TMI warning, though that’s hardly needed for this post. Lol. Don’t sit! Stand over the toilet and squat. Counter pressure is a must it’s true, and it helps to be standing as much as possible. Our bodies natural position to poo is not sitting upright but squating forward. Have you heard of the “squatty potty?” I wish I’d had that the first time! Instead, I was too short to squat over the pot. Here’s the embarrassing part, after seven days of crying at the thought, I stood in my bath tub and was able to make it move. I had put plastic down and tried to tell myself it wasn’t horrible and I pick up dog poo daily, but even with just myself to witness it was humiliating. Now I’m expecting my third. And still dreading that first number two.

    And please continue to write about the crazy bits of motherhood, we have so many things to share that no one told me. Don’t scratch your itchy baby bumb, that makes stretch marks. By super powerful deodorant, you will smell like a teenage boy. Just buy your own wax warmer, you are going to grow a beard and have a hairy butt to rival your husband’s. These are the things the new moms of the world need to know.

    Reply
  72. Pingback: Birth, motherhood and me | Rowan January

  73. Sarah

    I’m pretty late to this post, but stumbled upon it while looking for some help regarding the post-partum poop… I gave birth to my first 6 days ago, and had a 4th degree episiotomy (cut fully from the v to the a), and the healing this past week with the stitches has been HORRIBLE to say the least. My doctor gave me oxycodine (percosets) to help with pain, but didn’t warn me about the constipation. So, naturally I took them as often as I could to relieve the pain and rest. I didn’t take enough stool softeners to balance it out, and I definitely did not digest enough fiber, because nobody warns us about these things!! After 3 days of recovery in the hospital, I went home and still nothing came out for two more days. Yesterday the pressure in my butt was INSANE and I couldn’t take it anymore. I took 3 stool softeners and 2 laxatives and within an hour found myself on the toilet, waging a war with my bottom half that I was never even remotely prepared for! Needless to say, after screaming in pain for twenty minutes, an anaconda-sized brick started coming out, and I couldn’t stop it. I barely even pushed, it just started pushing itself out. As if this isn’t graphic enough already, the bottom two stitches popped open during this encounter, and I could’ve sworn my insides were about to fall out of me. I immediately called my doctor in a teary/cursing panic and was rushed to the hospital to get restitched. Thanks to more percosets, I was able to sleep last night. However, today I took 5 stool softeners and NO percosets for fear of being constipated again. Suddenly feeling the pressure of a 2nd poo on the way, I got myself into the shower and applied counter pressure to the bottom stitches (for fear of them reopening again) while gently pushing and holding the shower nozzle down there. EXTREMELY painful experience. Worse than laboring (I went from 2 to 10cm dilated in 2 hours of extremely strong contractions). Now I’m laying in bed dreading needing to go to the bathroom again. I’ve been wearing the adult diapers (mesh underwear from hospital with max-strength maxi pads) around the clock, with nipple pad-sickles and lots of Dermoplast spray applied. I’m terrified of diarrheaing in my sleep, for fear that poo will get in my stitches and cause an infection considering they are still fresh. Any suggestions??? I feel like I will never survive this.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      That’s terrible! I work in labor and delivery and if someone gets a 4th degree tear we put them son a bowel regimen right away! You should at least be taking stool softeners twice daily and I would add in miralax. Also get the Tucks witch hazel pads! You can put the numbing spray on the witch hazel pads and tuck them up where it hurts. Keep taking the stool softeners until you are back on your normal pattern. With the narcotic meds it could be awhile!

      Reply
  74. Kristina

    So I was trying my first one and desperate for any advice and your blog helped! Not that I had a chance to do any of it….I laughed at your word choice and it came out! So thank you! My ass is so thankful!!!

    Reply
  75. Sarah Chavis

    I just had my first section 2 days ago and was looking for advise. Now I’m laughing so hard I’m crying and my incision hurts like hell. Thank you though!

    Reply
  76. Anonymous

    Hi my first baby and she is 8 months had 10 stitches and it still really Hurts now and again to go to toilet does anyone else suffer?

    Reply
  77. Caitlin

    Worst. Part. Of all. I have taken prescription stool softeners, followed the recommended diet list, and drank a ton of water to prepare for poop day. I was so proud that I didn’t have any hemmoroids, just recovery pain from c-section and 2 hours of unsuccessful pushing. After my first giant poop (initiated 6 days post partum with milk of magnesia) I had 5 hemorrhoids come up immediately. Day 2 of pooping with 1 more round of laxative resulted in 2 giant constipated BMs followed by explosive diarrhea. I feel a lot better so the extended effort is so worth it!!

    Reply
  78. Anonymous

    Hello,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for the advice I am 6 days postpartum and this helped alot. I did the pad in the freezer with counter pressure worked wonders.

    Reply
  79. Christina

    I loved this. NO ONE PREPARES YOU FOR THE NASTY DETAILS. “Thanks doc”… keep my stool loose? … ok… loose enough to handle my MANY stitches and hemorrhoids the size of golf balls? Thanks doc. I got to the point of having night shivers at 4/5 days post labor because of stomach pains. Thank god I saw some message boards and did the counter pressure thing! I got to the point of trying to figure out a way to suck the poop out of my bum with a vacuum!! And for anyone who hasnt tried the miracle of Milk of Magnesia… I say buy it, try it (and I mean guzzle it!) and thank me. Shower away the gross unpleasantness and get ready to do it the next time!

    Reply
  80. Morganfire

    I’m so glad this is being shared. Everyone always jumps to the stool softeners…
    Yeah, cause I didn’t think of that….

    Anyway. I am on day four post birth and third degree tear.
    I have been on lactulose and fybogel since day one. And right now I’m pretty damn pleased that I did a poo during labour.

    It’s not fear or embarrassment keeping me from going right now. Hell, after my first baby I know the pain and will happily do it in the bath if it helps.
    My worry is that the longer it takes the more painful it will be…. And for some reason I CANNOT go. I just don’t need to. I’ve been eating nothing but fruit and high fibre cereals, taking my stool softeners and laxatives and fibogel and drinking tonnes of water.

    Where the hell is my poo?!

    Everytime I think it’s there I do the biggest fart and nearly cry in despair.

    Anyway. For those who DO need to go and are terrified of the pain and the straining, relax, there’s a short term immediate fix. If you’re not squeamish.

    Glycerol Suppositories!!

    Seriously. If you’re at that panicked and compacted colon stage, this is your miracle. OTC too. Just pop one up and go have a nap. You’ll be woken up by the need to go and it’ll be the most painless and easy poo you’ve ever done…

    Move quickly though.
    You don’t have long.

    Reply
  81. AnonSandy

    I’ve never had a baby. I couldn’t. But I go through this every month so I feel your pain. I have suffered from severe constipation due to IBS since I was 16, I only go every 1-3 WEEKS. I would guess at 3 weeks, when it’s the size of a small football, it’s similar (though not the same) as labor. It’s god awful at 2 weeks, too but a week is manageable.

    I’m writing this to give advice…OIL ENEMA. Ladies, even with hemmoroids anal fissures (which I’ve had many JUST from constipation & pooping) an oil enema will be a MIRACLE for you. It will make the going time under 2 min it literally falls right out of you with one quick push. And because it’s quick the pain is minimal.

    No prep is needed, just get the ORANGE enema box NOT the green or any other color. The regular enema with cause excruciating pain because it’s a laxative that uses saline which causes the bowels to contract. This doesn’t, once the poop is out you go about your day. You may have to go once or twice in the first 24 hours after using it but nothing like a regular enema where you need to sit near a bathrroom all day.

    I hope this helps someone, because talking about this isn’t easy or fun lol! Congrats to all the new moms!

    Reply
  82. Michaela

    Ugh. Im on week 5 of post birth and holy shit. I thought it was normal for it to hurt like this since no one warned me about it. I dread going to the bathroom because it feels like glass every.single.time. thank you for making this post. Definitely going to seek doctors help

    Reply
  83. Tara

    Just a tip… I went a week and a half after my first born. I knew I had to go but was horrified of the pain. It got to the point where my stomach was cramping so bad and I would think I could go, sit on the toilet and nothing would happen. this was after taking stool softeners and laxatives! I still couldn’t go. I called my doctor and he told me to go buy a home enima. So I tried it… this will force your body to go… it was insanely horrible and painful, worse than labor for me actually and I swore because of it I would never have a baby again. Here’s my tip – get a home enima kit from a drug store and use it as soon as you think you need to go. Don’t wait. Waiting makes it much, much worse!

    Reply

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