woman lying on couch in pain with postpartum contipation
Funny Stories New Mom Postpartum

Postpartum Constipation: Lessons From My Circle of Hell

By Anneliese Lawton

I’m a tell it like it is kind of gal. I don’t really have a filter which comes with its pros and cons. It’s basically how I make my living by saying a whole bunch of stuff people are too afraid to say…or maybe they’re too ashamed. I mean, most people have some dignity. Mine went out the window when I strained out a golf-ball sized hemorrhoid pushing out my first little monster.

Anyway, with that introduction, I bring you:

Stories From My Butt – a Tale of Postpartum Constipation.

In January, I welcomed my second son seventeen months after having my first. It was chaos, friends. Pure chaos. Two boys under two. But that’s an unfiltered story for another day. Back to my butt.

When I had my first son, I had time. I know it doesn’t feel that way but every once and awhile I’d take some sips of water and pop that stool softener the hospital sent home, and maybe even eat a high fiber breakfast

(quick tangent - depending on the kind of birth you had and what meds you're going home on, you might be prescribed a laxative or a stool softener, which do different things. Some hospitals are moving away from stool softeners (often Ducolax) after questions were raised about their effectiveness, but you can chat with your care provider about what is best for you and your situation.).

And then my second son was born and things changed. Within a few months of surviving off of toast and liquid caffeine, I found myself incredibly sick. I was bloated, nauseous and vomiting. I swore on all things holy that if I was pregnant from the one time we had sex that I was officially in the running to be the most fertile human on the planet.

Eventually, I went to the doctor. This resulted in a pregnancy test. Negative.

Praise the holy stuff. And then an x-ray. Which resulted in a phone call from my doctor saying these exact words:

“Your colon is loaded with stool.”


Let that sink in.


My husband made a lame Dad joke and said “I always knew you were full of shit.” Hardy-har har.

Anyway. I got backed up. Like really backed up. And this happened twice. And I got so backed up my butt started bleeding and I had to get a colonoscopy. The prep laxatives cleared that sucker out just like Marie Kondo’s approach to Tidying Up – I sparked joy all over my colon.

And in doing so, I learned I was really neglecting the temple that gave me my babies. And that water and fiber are critical to moving poop along, especially after giving another human life.

So, there you have it, folks.

My not-so-subtle reminder, advisory, warning if you will, to put a damn sticky note on your fridge to remind yourself to stay hydrated and track your poops.

You don’t want to end up like me, loaded with stool.

Our next recos: Happily After Giving Birth – 10 Things They Don’t Tell You

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