Have you thought about the first time you will use the toilet after giving birth?

A personal question, I know…but it’s worth serious consideration.

Some postpartum women find going to the toilet isn’t an issue at all. Others report that it is more excruciating than birth.

There’s no way to predict how it will be for you. You won’t know until that moment.

Squirty bottle to the rescue

Here’s one simple thing you can do now. Your future postpartum self will thank you for it. Get a cheapo drink bottle, the squeeze kind where the water just flows out easily. An old crappy one that you have lying around the house is fine. If you don’t have one, go to the Reject Shop or Target and grab one for $2.

Fill it with water and leave it near the toilet. Or put it in your hospital bag if you’re going to a hospital to give birth. Now forget about it.

After you give birth, and you need to use the toilet for the first time, reach over and grab that bottle. Squeeze it so the water flows between your legs and over your entire perineum. The flowing water will provide immense – and immediate – relief.

Now that’s the basic technique, but if you want to turbo-charge the pain relief, here are some upgrades:

  • refill the bottle with warm water just before using it
  • put a little witch hazel in the bottle
  • add some soothing herbs – lavender, rosemary, chamomile are popular choices
  • use a store-bought herbal blend – I love the products from Blissful Herbs

A metaphor for postnatal planning

Imagine if you waited until the moment of your first toilet experience, to consider pain relief.

  • You’d be online desperately googling “pain relief after giving birth.”
  • You’d be hobbling around looking for a squeeze bottle.
  • You’d be anxious.
  • You’d be in pain.
  • In the end you might not even be bothered to find a solution. You’d just endure the pain – “suck it up.”

But if you had planned ahead – then that 2 minutes & $2 of planning totally transformed your experience of that moment. You felt in control, prepared, and calm.

A million potential moments like that exist in the postnatal period. Moments where you think, “If only I’d known about this!” Strategies to relieve pain, ensure you have nutritious meals available, get enough sleep, and get the emotional support you need. Just like the squirty bottle, some of these strategies only take a couple of minutes to set up. Others are more complex, but have a long-term positive effect on your health & wellness.

Planning ahead is crucial to your postnatal experience.

What can you put in place today to help you feel calm and comfortable after your baby is born?