I just read a completely hilarious, brazen-but-sensitive account of one of the most common fears women have about pushing a baby out: Namely, that poop will come out with it. In the years I’ve been teaching childbirth classes I’m not sure there has been ONE single class where this topic hasn’t come up. Some brave women raises her hand when I’m talking about second stage labor (the pushing part) and says, “I’ve heard that…. ”
Yes. Women poop during childbirth. It happens all the time. It’s normal and you’ll likely have no idea and never know about it. The hospital staff will clean that up right away and it’ll all be gone.
I remember asking a midwife once: Do you have anything to say about pooping during childbirth?
Her response was simple.
“Go for it.”Here’s part the account I just read from Tracy Moore at Jezebel:
“The labor and delivery nurses have SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. They will not be remotely fazed by this. I asked my OTHER nurse friend, so you could fart, bark and take a big dump while you were in labor and it’d be no bigs? “That’s routine,” she said. Then I was like, would anything shock these people? And she was like, maybe explosive diarrhea? And even then, no.” Moore really gets into it and in fact, I’d say this might be required reading for the birthing-inclined. It’s very funny and all completely true and medically accurate to boot.
The key points about pooping in childbirth are the following:
– It’s normal, it makes sense, it happens all the time. Often women have no idea that it even happened.
– Pushing a baby out is like taking a very. very huge poop– you’re using the same muscles, hitting the same nerve endings. I’ve heard women in labor say, I need to go… and guess what? That’s because there’s a baby’s head pressing her pelvic floor and pushing against her rectum.
– The last thing you want to do is not push so hard for fear of a poop. You gotta push.
– Sure you could try an enema early in labor but the fact is by the time you’re pushing there will likely be more coming down the pike.
– As per above, seriously, the hospital staff have seen it all and they’ll get rid of it so fast and you’ll likely never know.
– Amazingly, women at this stage of labor are much more interested in giving birth than little things like taking a crap in front a nurse.
But read the Jezebel piece if you want a much more colorful account. Because when it comes to sh*t like this, humor is the best medicine.