First Poop After a C-Section: What to Expect & How to Survive

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Bowel movements weren’t something you thought about often before your pregnancy. During pregnancy, you got used to not going – and then going a lot – and then not going again.

Now that you’ve had a C-section, you may be wondering (or worried) about what’s coming next in the poop department.

Warning: It probably won’t be pretty.

First Poop After a C-Section: What to Expect

Hand drawn bowel inside human large intestine.If you’re like most women, you probably have friends and family (your mom, too) who have warned you about the “downsides” of having kids.

  • You’ll never sleep again.
  • Sex will never be the same.
  • Your boobs will never look right again.

But one thing most women don’t talk about (and we should) is the first after labor poop. Seriously. It can be brutal for many women, and most aren’t even prepared for it. And it’s just as hard if you have a C-section as it is if you have vaginal birth.

Having a baby is a beautiful thing, but you need to be prepared for those after-birth gems (or ngihtmares, as I call them). Here’s what you need to know about your first post-birth poop.

[Read more about Post-birth Poop]

It May Take a Week for You to Poop

It doesn’t matter whether you had an emergency or planned C-section, your body went through some serious trauma to bring your baby into the world. Okay, emergency C-section moms, you probably went through a heck of a lot more.

[Read more about Emergency C-Section]

Between the chaos, medication, first nursing and exhaustion of labor, you never even thought about pooping. And why would you? You have a new baby to take care of.

For most moms, the first post-birth poop comes about a week later. Some women are lucky enough to start going again while they’re still in the hospital.

How quickly you start moving your bowels will really depend on how complicated your labor was and what you were eating in the final days and weeks of your pregnancy.

The First Poops Is Going to Be Hard – Literally

Your bowels have been out of commission for a week. I’m sure you can imagine what your first poop is going to be like.

Many women say it feels like they’re pooping glass.Woman sitting on toilet bowl with upset face.

Glass is an accurate analysis. Your poop is probably hard as a rock after sitting in your intestines for so long.

And if you had an emergency C-section, you may have had a few anal fissures that can make going a major pain (seriously).

It’s Not Over After the First Poop

Sorry to say, ladies – it won’t be over after the first poop.

Many women have trouble going for a few weeks until their bodies return to normal.

If you have anal fissures, hemorrhoids or other issues, going to the bathroom may be very painful for quite some time until you finish healing.

You may be one of the lucky ones who has no serious issues with after-birth pooping. But if you do, know that it won’t last forever. Your body will return to normal.

How to Survive the First Poop After a C-Section

You know it’s going to be hard. You know it’s going to be painful. And you know that the pain will stick around for a while.

Is there anything you can do about it? Yes, thankfully.

1. Take Your Medication

Your doctor gave you post-op medication – use it. Your doctor may also recommend stool softeners and cooling creams. Use everything you can (in a safe way) to make this experience as comfortable as possible.

But of all things, make sure the stool softener is at the top of your list.

2. Don’t Do It Alone

As uncomfortable as it may be, wait until someone else is in the house with you to attempt your first poop.

Many women make the mistake of trying to poop when their spouses are out and their babies are asleep. Theoretically, this would be a good time to go. You’re alone and comfortable.

But it’s going to be a long and hard road. There’s a good chance the baby’s going to wake up. If you’re alone, you’ll have to get up (with pants around your ankles) to tend to your little one.

It’s going to be hard enough to go. The last thing you want is to have to attempt this it with a newborn in your arms.

If you want until your spouse, friend or family member is at the house, he or she can tend to the little one while you take care of business.

3. Eat the Right Foods and Stay Hydrated

Colorful fruits and vegetables background.What you eat has a direct impact on how easy or hard it will be to go. We all love cheese. We all love bread. But you want to avoid these foods and stick to fruits and vegetables.

Getting back on track with a healthy diet will also help you recover more quickly. Your body needs all the vitamins and nutrients it can get right now.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Water can help loosen your stool a little, which will make it easier to go.

4. Counter Pressure Can Help

Applying counter pressure can help move things along without making you feel like your insides are falling out.

Use a cool or frozen compact to put pressure in the front. You’re welcome.

5. See Your Doctor if It Doesn’t Get Better

It’s perfectly normal to have some trouble going the first few bowel movements after a C-section. Your body is still recovering, and we all know the toll pregnancy has on the body.

But if it still feels like you’re pooping glass after a few weeks, it’s time to see your doctor. If you have undiagnosed anal fissures, you’ll need medication for that.

It may feel awkward and you may not like talking about it, but trust me, your doctor has seen and heard it all. A little after-birth poop problem is not going to change her opinion of you.

Every mom has endured that gritty, painful first poop after a C-section. It’s rite of passage. You’re not alone, and you will get through it.

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