Oh No, I’ve Got to Go! A Guide to the Bathroom (and More) After Birth
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At some point during pregnancy, it starts to really sink in that the baby will have to come out somehow. And that it's probably going to hurt.
And if you're like many pregnant women, this may spark some concern. Especially since you may already be aching with every movement, feeling like the baby might fall right out every time you stand up, or suffering from the dreaded hemorrhoids so common during gestation. Imagining a baby exiting your body through already painful parts might cause a little stress, but don't worry. You will get through this, but it doesn't hurt to have some tips for easing the pains that come after childbirth.
Ask for a stool softener.
It's likely they'll offer you this after delivery is done, but if not you can always ask for it. Especially if you suffered from hemorrhoids during your pregnancy.
And don't wait to go. Seriously. The sooner you get things moving again, the better.
Wear the disposable undies.
This is another item that your hospital is likely to provide, but I loved the darn things so much that I asked for extra and considered buying more of my own. So if you're so inclined, it wouldn't be a bad investment. Not only do they help save your decent underwear during your postpartum bleeding, if you had a c-section it can really benefit you to find the right undies that don't put any pressure on your incision site.
If you opt-out of the disposable version, you might like to pick up a few dark-colored, inexpensive, cotton panties to use in the first weeks.
Pick up some boat-sized maxi pads.
Not only will these help contain the bleeding, you can use them to relieve swelling and pain. Soak them in a bit of water, pop them in the freezer, and wear them when you're looking for a bit of extra pain relief.
Protect your sheets with chux pads.
These will keep your sheets from total destruction due to locchia, leaking breast milk, and other fluids your body decides to release in the middle of any small amount of sleep you manage.
Embrace the many uses for the peri bottle.
This has several uses. First, you can use it during a pee, if you're having some burning. Fill it up with warm water before you're ready to go, then spray yourself as you release, helping to dilute the urine and reduce irritation.
You can also use it for clean up. Toilet paper can be rough and gets stuck to sensitive bits. Instead of wiping after urination, you can use the bottle to gently rinse the area after you're done.
Keep some Dermoplast spray on hand.
If your baby exits through the vagina, it's safe to say there may be some lingering effects in that area. Tears, episiotomies, or just general soreness can all take their toll, and you're not going to be able to do much to address the pain in an area you still can't even really see. Enter the wonders of the spray. After using the previously mentioned squirt bottle and/or patting dry, a generous spray of this can take you from tears of pain to “I think I can sit down again.” It's a wonderful thing.
Sit in a sitz bath.
In between bathroom visits, it can benefit you to soak yourself in a warm sitz bath. If you don't have one of these, you can always just run a warm, shallow bath in the regular tub.
Tuck in a Tucks pad.
Even if you managed to escape hemorrhoids during your pregnancy, the pressure of pushing may have caused some issues for you. One of these tucked over your maxi-pad can offer a bit of pain relief.
Give yourself a chance for release.
Often after birth your body may hold on to some excess gas. And by some, I mean a lot. And it can be intensely painful.
You can take over-the-counter treatments for gas relief, but you also need to be able to release it when necessary. So go ahead and toot your horn when you need to, without embarrassment.
Do you have any other tips to help ease the post-pregnancy discomforts discussed here? We'd love to hear them in the comments.