Painful Bowel Movements after Childbirth
You gave birth to your first baby. She’s beautiful, and you’re overjoyed. A few days after giving birth, you may have some pain or discomfort when passing a bowel movement. A common cause of painful bowel movements after childbirth is hemorrhoids or tears in the anal area. If you have had stitches, the pain could also be from your incision. Both hemorrhoids and anal tears are more common among women who have given birth vaginally than those who have delivered via a caesarean section (C-section). This is called postpartum hemorrhoids (PPH). It is normal and not a sign of infection.
Painful bowel movement may be due to a number of reasons, including:
Bowel movements become painful if you do not have one often enough. This is particularly true after childbirth as you tend to consume more fluids than usual. The body absorbs these fluids quickly, but the faecal matter is not flushed out as soon as it should be. As a result, bacteria start to grow, causing inflammation of the colon. This increases pressure on your rectum walls and makes bowel movements painful.
After a long period of pregnancy when you have minimal or no movement, your muscles get strained during labour and delivery. The pressure on your abdomen causes spasms in the bowels, which also make it difficult for you to pass stools without pain.
3. Stool impaction
Stool impaction is a condition that is caused when a stool blocks the rectum. During childbirth, the stool may move around your largest intestine and get stuck in it. It can cause bowel obstruction and can be severe.
4. Lack of fibre in food
Fibrous fruits and vegetables are known to help with constipation problems. You should include more of them in your diet if you don’t want to experience pain due to constipation during the postpartum period.
5. Insufficient water intake
Drink plenty of water every day if you want to avoid bowel problems after childbirth. The lack of fluids can lead to pain when you are trying to pass a stool after giving birth to a baby.
6. Improper hygiene
Wash yourself properly after passing stool and wash your hands before handling food or feeding your new-born baby after passing stool because faecal material can contain organisms that cause infections when ingested by others, especially children and infants who have weak immune systems.”
7. Impatience and not taking things slowly
You should take things slowly especially when it comes to bowel movements after childbirth. Take your time, do some leg-raising exercises, get plenty of rest and avoid straining too hard during bowel movements because this can make things worse. If you feel like you absolutely have to have a bowel movement but it’s really hard to push out the stool, try using an enema instead.
As you are not used to this routine, initial days after delivery may be stressful. There is a feeling of tiredness, sleeplessness, and feelings of loss, irritation, anger, frustration, mood swings, or change in appetite. All of this may lead to irregular bowel movements or painful ones. If you do not feel better after a few days, make sure you talk to your doctor about it.
Treating Constipation after Pregnancy
1. Choose foods with fibre
Fibber is one of the most important things that can help you treat constipation. When you consume more fibre, you will have softer stools. Foods with high fibre content include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can also add oats into your diet since they are easy to digest. You should also avoid fat and greasy foods since they only make constipation worse.
2. Drink lots of fluids
The best fluid for relieving constipation is water. Since constipation is caused by dehydration, drinking plenty of water helps soften your stools so that they pass easily through your body. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine because they can cause dehydration, which then leads to constipation.
3. Get up and move around after every bowel movement to help everything move along more easily.
Many women complain about painful bowel movement after childbirth. It can be really painful and might even drive them to tears. Tender abdomen caused by constipation, hemorrhoids or other gynaecological complications are usually the leading causes of painful bowel movement. Tender abdomen is normal after vaginal delivery unless there is a uterine tear or excessive bleeding. It is also normal if you had a caesarean section and it is the first time you have been up and about.
However, if the pain in your abdomen becomes severe, persists for more than a week, or occurs before the third week postpartum or bloody stool, then it could be a sign of infection or other complication that needs to be checked out by your healthcare provider right away.
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