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Caring for your Postpartum Body: Part 1

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Navigating your first trip to the bathroom following delivery

You just had a baby and you are not quite sure what is going on down there anymore. Your body has been through a lot and now you get your first urge to go to the bathroom. You may have heard stories from friends, or maybe everything just feels off. You are not alone. As a result, some women may stand up to go to the bathroom for the first time and have complete loss of control of her bladder. In contrast, other women may experience difficulty getting their bladder to empty. Therefore, our goal is to prepare you to be successful with your first void post delivery.

Try these tips to help ease the first time you empty your bladder after having a baby! 

  1. Try some slow, deep breaths while sitting on the toilet- avoid “power peeing” or straining to try empty your bladder
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2. Use a warm washcloth or take a heated shower to help relax the muscles of your pelvic floor

3. Pour a few drops of peppermint oil into the toilet water 

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Immediately postpartum, your pelvic floor muscles and tissues are very vulnerable. Hence, you want to do everything you can to protect them! 

You may also be worried about having your first poop after delivering a baby. Oftentimes we take for granted our ability to easily have a bowel movement- but it doesn’t have to be scary!

Here are a few key steps to have a healthy, pain-free bowel movement.

  1. Stay hydrated! You want to drink ~ ½ your body weight in fluid ounces each day. While laboring at the hospital, birth center or at home, it may be easy to forget to drink water but drinking plenty of fluids will help your stools remain soft and easy to eliminate. 
  2. Prop your feet up on a stool. This will put your pelvic floor in a more relaxed position. Use a squatty potty (or a yoga block, flip a trash can on its side, suitcase, etc you can get creative!)
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3. Give yourself some support- after urinating, take some folded toilet paper tissue and place it on the perineal body to give it to some support.

If you are pregnant and preparing for birth, don’t forget about those early postpartum days. It helps to be prepared. We hope you can give these tips a try to help relieve some of your worries. Furthermore, if you continue to experience bladder, bowel or sexual problems, please reach out to a pelvic floor physical therapist. We’d love to help you at Atlanta PT.

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