Constipation after childbirth

After giving birth, many women experience constipation and discomfort due to hard stools. It can take a few days for the digestive system to get back on track, especially if you've had a Caesarean section (C-section).

Ingela Ågren

Read time: 2 m

Verified by Ingela Ågren

Certified Midwife

Constipation after childbirthPhoto: Preggers

Both childbirth and the significant lifestyle changes that follow can affect your digestive system. You may not be as active as usual, lack access to your own bathroom while in the maternity ward, have a different diet, or be taking pain-relieving medication that can negatively impact bowel movements.

Here are some tips to help alleviate constipation:

  • Stay well-hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of fluids.
  • Consume a diet rich in fiber.
  • Engage in physical activity to stimulate bowel movements.
  • Listen to your body and use the toilet when you feel the need.
  • Over-the-counter constipation remedies are available at pharmacies; feel free to seek advice from the staff.

If you experience significant stool hardness, elevating your legs on a stool while sitting on the toilet can help. Additionally, using a washcloth to apply gentle pressure on the perineum may make it easier to pass stools.

Many women also struggle with gas after childbirth, and controlling gas can be challenging. An incomplete bowel movement is a common cause of increased gas. Fortunately, the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself, and most women find it easier to manage gas within a few weeks. Improvement can continue for up to a year after childbirth.

Ingela Ågren

Verified by Ingela Ågren

Certified Midwife


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