That First Poop After Baby & 9 Other Bathroom Truths No One Tells Us

Anna Lane | Jun 19, 2017 Being a Mom
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  • Pregnancy: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!

    pregnant woman holding belly

    Expectant mom: If you thought your pregnancy-related bathroom habits were bad -- the near-constant urination, the flatulence, the constipation -- just wait until after your sweet little bundle of joy makes his or her appearance. For a month or two post baby, the bathroom is going to be your least favorite place in the house.  There will be bodily fluids, possibly some screams of agony, and you just may hear the Jaws theme song in your head as you walk down the hall to the porcelain throne. The whole thing will go something like what follows. (Sorry in advance.)

  • Moments After Birth: Stitches

    woman in labor

    Congratulations, you've successfully given birth to a child! While you're busy doing skin-to-skin contact and getting to know your new addition, your doctor is probably stitching you up somewhere delicate. Whether you're high on drugs or just endorphins, you most likely won't feel much, but you're in for a real treat in just a few hours when the excitement and/or the epidural wear off.

  • One Hour After Birth: Painful First Pee


    If you gave birth vaginally, your labia stretched out like taffy and, as a result, you've got some rug burns. You probably won't notice this particular fact until you have your first post-birth pee, which you may be required to do before they move you from the labor and delivery room to the postpartum floor. The nurse will provide you with a peribottle -- a bottle of water to squirt on yourself as you go. You'll probably also get a can of numbing spray to use on your lady parts, and I implore you to use the sh*t out of that miracle aerosol elixir, otherwise when you pee it will feel as though some sadistic individual has set your vagina on fire.

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  • First 24 Hours After Birth: Peeing In a Jug

    woman on toilet

    The first few times that you pee after you give birth, the nurse may make you do it into a plastic jug that measures how much fluid has come out of your body. As you aim, try not to pee on yourself because they may not let you take a shower until 24 hours after you've given birth. On that note, you won't regret throwing a few freshening wipes and some dry shampoo into your hospital bag.

  • First 24 Hours After Birth: First Farts

    woman sitting on whoopee cushion
    Lorelyn Medina/Shutterstock

    If your baby is born via C-section, you'll be expected to pass gas before you're allowed to do much of anything else. Sure, it seems weird for everyone to ask you whether you've farted yet, but it's not because they get a juvenile kick out of gassy people. It's because they want to make sure your bowels are working normally once the anesthesia wears off. Once you emit the required toot, you'll be allowed to eat and drink again.  

  • First 24 Hours After Birth: Stool Softeners


    Two words: stool softeners. Your OB will prescribe a few doses of these poop-softening pills. The reason is because your first postpartum crap will be almost as painful as giving birth, and you can use a little help. If you've had a C-section, you will soon learn just how much you use your abdomen muscles for doing number two (hint: A LOT. Ouch). Allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes in the bathroom for your inaugural motherhood poop, as it takes a really long time and it could hurt so badly that you may actually cry afterwards.

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  • First Two Weeks After Birth: Fear of Wiping


    You won’t want to wipe -- either because your vag is a war zone or because you can’t turn your body due to your c-section -- so you’ll get on very good terms with that little something called a peribottle. The hospital will provide you with one of your very own, and whatever you do DO NOT FORGET TO BRING IT HOME.  It will be about two weeks before you’ll want to do anything with toilet paper down there, and you will need that trusty little bottle to combat a permanent not-so-fresh feeling. Pro tip: slightly warm water is the most comfortable; though if you need a quick pick-me-up, I suggest some first-thing-in-the-morning cold tap water. Sure to temporarily banish any new baby exhaustion!

  • First Two Weeks After Birth: Swelling & Sitz Baths


    Due to all the swelling down there, you may find it difficult to walk for a week or two. Rest assured that everything will return to normal size eventually, but until then spend 10 minutes a day sitting in a sitz bath -- a pan of warm water -- to help speed up your healing process. At the very least you'll be guaranteed 10 minutes of alone time while locked in the bathroom doing this. This may be your last opportunity to be alone for at least a couple of years, so take advantage of it.

  • Two Weeks After Birth: Itchy Stitches

    woman skirt itching

    If you had a vaginal birth, you may have also experienced some tearing, which means you have stitches meant to dissolve on their own. This is all well and good until about two weeks after birth, when the sutures start to itch like crazy. The good news is: You're healing. The bad news is that, unlike your pets, you can't wear a plastic cone around your lady parts to keep you from scratching yourself at inopportune moments.  

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  • Six Weeks After Birth & Beyond: Leaking Pee

    mom grandma granddaughter
    Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

    At six weeks postpartum, you'll most likely be able to poop without crying, and you won't have to spray yourself down every single time you need to pee. You may even be feeling more like your old self, right up until that moment when your spouse says something funny and you pee yourself when you laugh. It's just a tiny bit of leakage, but your underwear gets slightly wet and you find yourself seriously considering purchasing a package of Depends. Here's the big secret nobody bothers to share: Almost every woman who has given birth is walking around peeing herself. Welcome to our club! We suggest you avoid jumping on a trampoline. 

postpartum recovery digestive issues

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