Stool softener before c-section — The Bump
May 2014 Moms

Stool softener before c-section

I'm having a c-section on Friday and was told that it is recommended to use stool softners after the surgery to reduce straining. I was wondering if I should start taking these a couple days before the surgery, how long does it take to kick in? Thanks ladies!

Re: Stool softener before c-section

  • XathXath member
    Nope. After will be plenty fine. It's the Percocet that causes the works to "gum up". You don't need the stool softener ahead of time unless you're already terribly constipated. They don't take long at all to work.
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  • I'm a FTM and I had a c section last Tuesday and I didn't take any stool softeners. I had asked for them because everyone recommended them but I didn't want a laxative especially over night. The next morning I ended up having a bm and it just sorta "flowed out" lol. I've had 2 others since and they both have been soft. By far the worst pain is the gas pains and all you can do for those is walk, which also sucks.

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  • FTM but I've taken stool softeners before, and with me they cause some wild cramps while it gets things moving. So I would say after like pp, so your not adding to discomfort before the c-section.

  • I think it depends on how your body works. I know for me I would start taking colace the day before because I typically get constipated with pain killers like Percocet and when I've been under anesthesia. If your body isn't as sensitive to anesthesia/narcotics then you should be fine to start taking them after.
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  • Hell yes, start taking them right effing now. I'd just do one a day before the surgery tho, then increase after. And if the nurses are stingy with them, take your own as backup. Just do plain docusate sodium tho. I'm planning to take the maximum dose this time around. There's no need for the ones that also contain sennosides. They can cause diarrhea or cramps if you take the max dose.


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  • I had a vaginal delivery, but I started taking them the night I delivered (twice a day). My doctor also told me it was ok to take Metamucil in addition to the Colace because I had issues with constipation in the past and it scared me for my first post-delivery bm. So I took the Colace twice a day in the hospital and took one dose of the Metamucil the day after I got home (3 days after delivery) and I had no trouble with my first bm, it was a much better experience than with DD1!
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  • I started miralax the day before my csection. I took stool softeners twice a day every day after the surgery and took mirlax twice a day starting the day after the surgery. I didn't have a BM until 4 days post surgery and it was awful. By far the worst thing I've ever experienced in the bathroom. I tend to get constipated though which is why I started early. Know your body and go from there. Good luck!
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  • ajsweeton said:
    I started miralax the day before my csection. I took stool softeners twice a day every day after the surgery and took mirlax twice a day starting the day after the surgery. I didn't have a BM until 4 days post surgery and it was awful. By far the worst thing I've ever experienced in the bathroom. I tend to get constipated though which is why I started early. Know your body and go from there. Good luck!
    This was me for the most part...I didn't go until 4 or 5 days postop...it was terrible and I was so afraid I was going to make my incision bust open. It took like 40 minutes of pushing to get it out - I felt like I gave birth rectally :/
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  • edited April 2014
    awisern said:
    ajsweeton said:
    I started miralax the day before my csection. I took stool softeners twice a day every day after the surgery and took mirlax twice a day starting the day after the surgery. I didn't have a BM until 4 days post surgery and it was awful. By far the worst thing I've ever experienced in the bathroom. I tend to get constipated though which is why I started early. Know your body and go from there. Good luck!
    This was me for the most part...I didn't go until 4 or 5 days postop...it was terrible and I was so afraid I was going to make my incision bust open. It took like 40 minutes of pushing to get it out - I felt like I gave birth rectally :/

    Pretty much this. After my myomectomy (granted that was a 3 hour surgery under general anesthesia). I didn't have a Bm until 5 days postop and it took 3 hours to get it out. It was the worst thing ever. And that was with stool softeners starting the day before the surgery. So for my csection I started drinking prune juice 2 days before and ate very lightly (avoided the BRAT diet) the day before. I actually overdid it a little on the prune juice and ended up with mild diarrhea the evening before the csection. But the good news is that my first BM postop was a total non-issue. I will do the same this time.
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