Scared to Poop?

By Paula Kashtan for

After delivery, a lot of women are afraid of that first trip back to the bathroom. Here's the truth about how much it'll hurt -- and whether it will tear your stitches.

That first postbirth poop is a big source of stress for every new mom. Yes, the tummy muscles that help you go are weak and the whole area is pretty sore, but the biggest problem is undoubtedly the fear factor. Take a breath -- you won't split your stitches, and the whole event will probably hurt less than you think. (And definitely less than giving birth!) Try not to make this into a monumental moment of truth. Tension -- in your head and in your butt -- definitely won't help matters.

So what can help? Here are some tips to get things moving:

  • Try stool softeners like Colace, lots of fluids, plenty of fiber, and moving around more.
  • Don't overdo it -- a leisurely walk or some gentle yoga stretches are all you need.
  • Practice a couple of sets of Kegels each day -- this may stimulate your system as well.

If all of that doesn't produce a poop, ask your practitioner about using a mild laxative. Remember, it'll get easier with each successive BM. Now go ahead, Mom. We know you can do it!

Photo: VEER

© 2010 The Knot Inc. All rights reserved.

More from

Crazy labor and delivery stories

Have a newborn? Chat with other new mommies

Chat with other working moms

The ultimate new mom survival guide

Baby name battles