Postpartum constipation is a common part of having a baby that no one talks about. It doesn’t matter how your pregnancy went, or how you gave birth — you’ll likely have a touch of constipation.
Generally, constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements a week and/or less often than your normal bathroom habits. This condition may persist for a week or longer until your body’s elimination system gets back on track.
Postpartum constipation is often a normal, yet annoying, discomfort that can be happen due to several factors related to what’s happening to your body after delivery.
Common causes of constipation after delivery includes –
• C-section: It can take up to 3 to 4 days for your digestive system to start working normally again following major surgery, including a c-section.
• Damage to the anal sphincter or pelvic floor muscles: The stretching that occurs during labor and delivery can make it more difficult for your body to efficiently move your bowels.
• Dehydration or lack of fluids: Lack of water in the body (and the stool), which might happen due to not drinking water during labor and/or if you were vomiting or experienced blood loss, slows down the body’s elimination process.
• Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, which begin while you are pregnant and adjust rapidly right after delivery, can slow bowel function
• Iron supplementation: Taking iron, which might be given if you are anemic, also slows the movement in passage of stool.
• Not eating: In response to not eating (at all or as much) during labor and delivery, the body’s normal rhythms become lazy.
• Perineal pain: If you have pain in your perineal area, for example, after getting an episiotomy or because of postpartum hemorrhoids or from stretching (or tearing) during childbirth, constipation might not be as much a physical problem as a mental one. If you are afraid of tearing your stitches or having more pain, the fear may cause you to retain stool.
• Using pain medication or epidural during labor: Medications, particularly systemic narcotics, are known to slow down the digestive tract.
Home Remedies –
Home remedies for postpartum constipation includes –
• Drink plenty of water, also other liquids and hydrate yourself.
• Eat more fiber in your diet, like whole grains, bran, lentils, beans.
• Have foods that are natural laxatives, like prunes.
• Move around as much as possible and engage in gentle exercise by doing squats if it is not painful.
• Try over-the-counter laxatives and softeners like bisacodyl, senna, or castor oil.
• Try calming exercises and relaxation techniques like meditation or a warm bath to help cope with stress.
• Ask friends and family for help with your baby to give yourself some time for self-care and to sleep!
Ayurvedic Medicines –
Some Ayurvedic medicines that could improve new mother’s digestion and relieves from constipation includes-
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