Giving birth is a labor of love. It takes time, effort and support. It’s also messy. Blood, sweat, tears, amniotic fluid, urine, feces. It’s just the nature of the beast!
You will poop, and it’s okay.
Search pinterest and you’ll find tons of articles on how to avoid pooping during labor. This puzzles me. There aren’t any articles on how to avoid crying during labor, or how to avoid leaking amniotic fluid (your bag of waters) during labor. Why is pooping any different?
During labor, your baby makes its way down the birth canal into your pelvis, putting pressure on your rectum. This is what’s responsible for giving mamas the urge to push. And how do you differentiate pushing from your vagina vs pushing from your rectum? Pooping during labor can actually be a sign that you’re pushing effectively and giving it your all – you don’t want to hold anything back.
Labor and delivery doctors are used to seeing this. A nurse will most likely wipe it away without saying anything. A lot of moms find the feelings of giving birth give way to any modesty that they might have had anyways.
Worried about your partner, friend or relative seeing you? Don’t be. If they’ve never seen a woman give birth before, let them know in advance that this might happen. Ask them not to tell you if it does. Knowledge is power; people are less likely to react if they know what to expect. You also have the option of asking them to stand near your head and support you rather than watch the baby crown. Still embarrassed by the idea of them being in the room if you poop? Maybe you should reconsider them being in the room at all. After all, this will be one of the times that you are at your most vulnerable – you don’t need any additional stressors. Any extra fear and anxiety can make your labor longer!
Don’t limit your food intake before and during labor. If you are allowed to eat, eat! You will need the extra strength to give birth. You’re running a marathon, you need the proper fuel! If you have the urge to go during early labor, by all means go (but don’t strain). But if you’re in late labor/transition, it’s probably baby trying to make it’s way into world.
Remember that life goes on. Labor is dirty work. Pooping should be the least of your worries though. It’s absolutely normal. Poop happens – and it’s okay!