Assessment of bowel function in the peripartum period Journal Article


Authors: Graziano, S; Murphy, D; Braginsky, L.; Horwitz, J.; Kennedy, V.; Burkett, D; Kenton, K.
Article Title: Assessment of bowel function in the peripartum period
Abstract: PURPOSE: Obstetric patients frequently experience changes in bowel function, throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period. Little is known regarding the timing and consistency of bowel movements immediately postpartum. The primary aim of this study was to characterize the timing and consistency of the first bowel movement after obstetric delivery in a racially diverse population at an academic medical center. METHODS: Patients were approached on the day of delivery. Patients received a data collection survey to record the date and consistency of their first bowel movement. Consistency was assessed using the Bristol Stool Form Scale. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-nine patients were enrolled and 101 completed surveys were returned, for a response rate of 59%. The average number of days to first bowel movement was 1.55 versus 3.38 (p 0.01), for vaginal delivery and cesarean section, respectively. Univariate analysis revealed cesarean delivery (+1.79 days, p 0.01) and breastfeeding (-0.64 days, p = 0.01) as independent factors affecting the timing of the first bowel movement. CONCLUSIONS: Both route of delivery and breastfeeding status may affect timing and consistency of the first bowel movement after obstetric delivery.
Keywords: Adult; Female; Humans; Pregnancy; Breast Feeding; Cesarean Section; Defecation/physiology; Lactation/physiology; Parturition/physiology; Peripartum Period/physiology
Journal Title: Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume: 289
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1432-0711; 0932-0067
Publisher: Unknown  
Journal Place: Germany
Date Published: 2014
Start Page: 23
End Page: 27
Language: eng
DOI/URL:
Notes: JID: 8710213; 2013/03/17 [received]; 2013/05/31 [accepted]; 2013/06/14 [aheadofprint]; ppublish