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Readers Respond: Are you worried about a bowel movement in labor?

Responses: 15


Updated December 19, 2009

Sometimes when you're pushing your baby out you might pass some stool. It just happens naturally if stool is present. Are you prepared? Have you thought ahead? Have you talked to your partner or doula about did? What did your midwife or doctor say? Some advise an enema to avoid it, but that can lead to painful cramping and dehydration in some cases. Some just simply hope it doesn't happen. What is your coping strategy?

I pooped and I didn't care!!!

I was in so much pain all. I wanted was to push baby out I didn't care I pooped before he was born and I can't say I enjoyed the contractions but I loved holding my baby boy.
—Guest irihi


With my first 2 I did have a bowel movement, guess what didn't care at all it happens!:-)
—Guest morena

Bowel Movement in Labour

During the birth of my second born I experienced this and the Doctor told me to push the stool and in the process my baby came out and I think this really helped me. I thought I was pushing the stool instead the baby came out.

Poop is good!

Clearing the bowels makes more room to allow you baby clear passage. If you are nervous start to leave the bathroom door open while you use the toilet. This will help you and your partner be more comfortable with natural bodily functions. There are noises, smells, and substances that might not be appealing but they are an important and healthy human function. It should feel good as you push your baby to push whatever else you need to. The people around you should want you to feel good and uninhibited. If they are uncomfortable find a Doula to be at your side during birth.
—Guest Doula

TALK to your partner

My best advice to anyone worried about this is to talk to their husband/partner about it and let them know it can happen. My fiancee and I want a child, and I had a frank discussion with him one day about everything it might entail - weight gain, loss of sex life, and even pooping during delivery. His reaction to the pooping issue was simply, "Well, yeah, the baby puts pressure on your bowels. It happens." I think when guys have unfavorable reactions to this in the delivery room, it isn't out of disgust really but shock. Your husband/partner loves you, and seeing you poop isn't going to change it. He knows you're human and you poop - seeing it isn't going to be some revelation to him that makes him not want to have sex with you anymore.
—Guest LeeAnn

Yes I Am

I hope I don't so I am going to try to go before it happens if at all possible. :)

Don't worry about it!!

I gave birth to our daughter in the pool and during the last surges, felt as if i needed to do the most enormous poo ever! And I did do a little one...but the wonderful midwife whisked it away without a murmur and I barely knew about it. I had loose stools prior to labour as warned. Labour sees your body expelling all manner of things and your Doc/Midwives will have seen it all before. Don't worry about poo - concentrate instead on breathing and delivering your baby safely. Good Luck!
—Guest Lisa Phillips

Worried, a little too much!

My husband has not even see me pee yet! I am too worried about throwing up or pooping but I want him in the room with me at the same time, we talked about it and he is expecting it but I am so not ready for that.

Body knows best

When I went into the first mild cramping of labour and as the contractions pain increased...my body seemed to know it had to flush itself out and I had loose stool for half hour well before we even got to the hospital. If this does happen the nursing staff are prepared and wipe it away quickly often without anyone even knowing. Your body will know best. Trust it.
—Guest heather

It Happened!

I had semi-loose stools during the beginning of my labor, and I thought that it had all come out. Unfortunately, when I finally got to the pushing stage, (and I didn't really care about anything else BUT pushing at that point) I realized I had passed some when I smelled it. Fortunately, the nurse took care of it quickly - as I'm sure she had seen it happen numerous times - and I kept on going. Now I'm the proud mommy of a beautiful 8lb 12oz baby girl, born all natural, no interventions or repairs needed. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
—Guest Purjewl

Who Cares?

It happend to me with both of my kids, and I wasn't horrified or embarrassed, poop happens, and you can't help it so don't worry. . .the same with doc's seeing your vagina (a lot of women I know didn't want them to see). How many vagina's and BM's have they seen? Yours is not going to be different from the hundreds of other ones s/he has seen and plus once you are pushing a human out of your body, you don't care about anything except getting that baby out of you.
—Guest Gretchen

It Happens

I wasn't worried at all. I gave birth to our 1st baby-no problem. I didn't realize that I had 'lost it' until I heard a nurse telling my doctor, "This is a lady that should have had an enema!" A great statement to hear as I held my minutes old daughter! I felt wonderful! Poop be damned!
—Guest noir27

I was so worried.

I really worried about this a lot. I was so embarrassed about the thought of it. I told my boyfriend I was sorry up front. But as it turns out it never happened. I'm pregnant with my second and I hadn't even thought about it again until reading this note. So I wanted to reassure you that if you're worried about it - don't be.
—Guest Shanti

Bowel Movements

I didn't have one with either of my births but both were naturally occurring. I find that women who are induced have them more often (as the last poster said) and sometimes women who are encouraged to do forced pushing before their body is telling them to or if they have had an epidural and can't feel the natural urge to push.
—Guest DJ

So worried...

I was so worried about it, but my doctor told me that it doesn't usually happen except when you've been induced because if your body is ready, you have loose stools before labor. He also said that they used to give enemas to induce labor and clean out your bowels.
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