24 November 2003

Painful urination/bowel movements

You may find going to the toilet painful. Here is what helps.

The colon, rectum and anus undergo trauma during a natural delivery, causing pain while urinating or straining to have a bowel movement. Hence, bowel movements are often delayed, causing constipation.

Pouring warm water over the affected area as you urinate will alleviate any burning. Increasing your water intake also tends to make your urine less acid.

The bladder also can be traumatised by the baby's head passing through the birth canal or by a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery.

A lack of sensation may be experienced but all will return to normal within four to six weeks after delivery.

Be aware of urinary incontinence. You may urinate frequently in the first few days after delivery as you body gets rid of extra fluids that have accumulated in your blood and tissues during pregnancy.

NB: Remember to do your Kegels exercises!

Tips to avoid constipation:

  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruit and foods with high fibre
  • Drink lots of water
  • Bowel movements should return within three days after delivery
  • A mild laxative may be given if needed

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