When: The first few days after delivery
Why: The narcotics used in some epidurals and those that are given during a c-section slow digestion, Dr. Sole says. And don't forget that your rectum is swollen from the pressure exerted on it during delivery; this swelling needs to subside before you can have a bowel movement. To help get things moving, stay hydrated, eat high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables, and take the stool softener they give you in the hospital. And even though you fear it may hurt, try to go to the bathroom or you'll get further backed up, Dr. Karjane says.