Updated: Oct 15
A guide to good
gastrointestinal health after birth
You've done it! You've given birth to your beautiful baby, whether it be naturally or through intervention, you and your body have done something amazing.
But whatever method of delivery, you are going to be sore and the last thing you will want to do is try and push anything else out of your body. Unfortunately, nature is cruel and you are going to have to go to toilet at some point. Many of the new mums that I treat describe that they fear passing faeces and sometimes hold it in for days. Below is some advice to help you get through it and beyond.
Chew, chew, chew your food
Our teeth and mouth are the very first steps in the digestive process, and the action of chewing signals the digestive organs to begin preparation. Having had a baby squishing your insides for a significant period of time, it's no wonder that it can sometimes be a little sluggish after birth. The excitement of birth will also trigger your sympathetic nervous system, which switches off your digestive processes. Chewing your food is the best way to kickstart the process. It also allows you to optimally digest and absorb the nutrients within your food.
Drink lots of water and eat fruit
Dehydration can be a major contributor to constipation, so the very best thing you can do to
prevent this is drink plenty of water. Clear water is best, but squash, fruit juices and herbal teas can also be taken. Eating fruits and vegetables is another great way of loosening your stools and helping you go to toilet more easily. Fruits such as apples, pears, prunes as well as leafy green vegetables are not only nutritious, but provide good fibre to aid expulsion.
Don't wait to go!
After your birth, try to go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need. DO NOT put it off! It may seem a little scary, as you may very well be in some discomfort. However, I can assure you holding onto it will be worse. Ensure you are relaxed when attempting to relieve yourself and do not strain. It may take longer than usual, but remember everything will be a little delicate for a while and you will feel so much better once you have finished.
Here at Align Osteopathy we are committed to supporting mums throughout their pregnancy and beyond. If you would like to chat to us about how osteopathy can help you or your baby then please book a no obligation 15 minute telephone or video consultation with Gayle.