The things no one tells you no.32:
The fear of pooping in labour
Mumofsix` featured blog about things no one tells you.
`I thought I would, every now and then,
add a little bit of info that
took me by surprise with my first baby.`
My mood while writing this blog: Ok
Here is a very real concern for many of us. This is a total dignity issue. I personally hate the thought of pooping in front of people but it is a reality that this can happen and it has happened to me. The funny thing is that I never knew I had until I asked my husband a little while ago. He said it happened a couple of times. I felt so embarrassed but it was nice he had never made a big deal out of it. He just smiled and said "Well things are under a lot of strain down there." It's amazing that I have gone through 5 births and never thought I had. I have also been at a few births myself as a support person and nearly all have pooped and I never really thought much of it as it is part and parcel of birth for a lot of us and I definitely did not think it was gross at the time.
I know for sure I did not with my last 2 births as I had taken castor oil and it cleaned me out completely before the birth. They used to always give enemas to ladies once they had gone into labour but generally do not do this now. Often the body does a natural clean out anyway so if you are having loose bowels before you go into labour, give thanks.
It's one of those things that I guess we just need to get over and realise that it may or may not happen and we just need to get over ourselves and remain focused on the fact that as long as baby arrives safely into the world, a little poop is the least of our worries.
57 Comments on The fear of pooping in labour
mantodea23(blue) - Saturday, 28 Jan I just got done reading a really good article how the vast majority of women poop while pushing. Some women who are afraid of pooping sometimes dont push properly and thus cause themselves problems. When i had my daughter 10 years ago i didnt think i pooped because i thought my bowels were empty. After all, i had just gone 2 days without eating anything and i had pooped just before i got my epidural. I just texted my sister and asked her and she said she thinks i might have but she didnt remember for sure because she wasnt paying attention to that area, she was busy watching my daughter be born :) Nobody else mentioned to me if i pooped or not either so i dont think people really care too much about that. Its all about the baby. I will be having my son in 6 days roughly and after reading this article, i am not really worried too much if i poop. :)http://nursingbirth.com/2009/03/15/top-10-dos-don%E2%80%99ts-of-pooping-during-labor-birth/
katen56 - Saturday, 12 Mar This is funny!! I think everyone worries about this because who wants to do this in front of people!! In my case, my body cleared itself out during labor, so by the time it came to push, there was nothing left. But if I did poop while pushing, I don't think I would have cared at all. You just want that baby out!
shellt - Wednesday, 12 Jan OMG i'm laughing so hard at all your comments. I'm 26 weeks and am fretting about pooing on the table! LOL after reading your comments i'm not that afraid of it anymore, so thank you. I'm going to try the caster oil thing... just so that I know I tried all I could to prevent pooing on the table. Thanks ladies.
shareebmommy2b - Tuesday, 11 Jan HAHAHAHA!!! Reading all these comments made me laugh so hard! This is my first preg and ive been REALLY worried about this but after reading thsi I say its something thats 'pry gonna happen so laugh bout it and go on!! You guys are great!!
kathleen112 - Friday, 7 Jan I pooped twice while pushing and knew it at the time (I felt the nurse cleaning my butt) but trust me I couldn't have cared less. No one made a big deal about it (including my husband which I was really grateful for) and frankly I don't know how people DON'T poop! I had awful diarrhea as soon as my first contraction hit so even that didn't prevent it. It's not pleasant ladies but it's a reality. Don't spend time worrying about it 'cause there's nothing you can do to prevent it and it's NOT a big deal.
lorraine1990 - Friday, 20 Aug This is my first pregnancy so all this is very new to me and something that is petrifying me..i see people have mentioned about taking castor oil, do you just drink it or add it to something i no i sound silly but i havent got a clue . i couldnt think of anything worse drinking oil. :( x
mommy-of-elias - Saturday, 14 Aug My midwife said that everybody poos. I was super nervous about it for my first, and had 2 enemas ready for the taking, but never got to do it, and in the end I didn't care. So I pood, and now I'm that much more comfortable with things I was once all shooken up about. My hubby never let on though, I couldn't tell you when i t happened that's how much no one seemed to care about it.
vanessa1010 - Thursday, 29 Jul Lol wow I never thought to ask anyone if I had or not. I just assumed I didn't but now I am gonna ask my hubby when he gets home! I do know that I peed all over the bed at the hospital. But I had just gotten the epidural and they couldn't get the catheter in in time! That was kinda embarassing. Then another time I was getting checked and I thought I peed all over the doctor's hand so I was like "I am so sorry!" and she just smiled and said "Honey, your water just broke!" I think I'll be sure to poo before I leave for the hospital!
livnatural - Thursday, 15 Jul I have made my hubby promise not to laugh or tell me if I do... What I don't know won't embarass me! I don't know if I did with my daughter, I THINK I did, because my mom won't give me a straight answer, but I guess it's par for the course.
sarahjk - Friday, 18 Jun i recently had my 5th baby all previous birth vaginal and i was not aware of any poop, i never pooped when i had my 5th but and hour after giving birth i had a bath and pooped in the bath without knowing, it took me totally by suprise
KyMMie MuMMy - Thursday, 3 Jun Lol This cracked my up. I'm just about to have my thrid baby and am going to try not to poop this time around :-P With my Daughter I didn't realise I had pooped until my partner (at the time) asked the midwife if he should run and get toilet paper. They said no need and discreetly wiped it up. With my second baby as I was crowning I felt a very stong urge to poop but I just thought to myself "I'm crowning, it feels like a poop, I might poop, who cares". It doesn't really matter. It's natural and more often than not it cant be helped. If you are really anxious about it though it might be a good idea to "clean out" before you go into labour.
krissy87 - Sunday, 21 Mar With my son i did, my fiancé didn’t care, although i know it stunk REALLY bad, don’t know what i had to eat the night before. We joke about it. The nurses were really good, they just wiped away. i was induced so my body didn’t get the chance to empty them for me. Im now 28 weeks pregnant again, and it will most likely happen again but im not fussed by it one bit.
holli sparkes - Sunday, 21 Mar My sister once pooped during labour she thought it was really embarassing but once she reads this she'll be okay.
loopylou81 - Monday, 12 Oct Lol i loved reading all the blogs, I personally have never asked if i have pooped and noone has ever told me. Ignorance is bliss.
KaraleeM - Thursday, 17 Sep I was sooo hoping it wouldn't happen, but it did. I was embarrassed until the back labor set in, but you're right that the pain makes you forget about being embarrassed! My son was 9 lbs 9 oz so he needed all the space he could find.
MercyMe - Tuesday, 1 Sep It happend to me 2 out of 3 times...but that means you are pushing correctly. And it was stinky the one time, but I had oxygen on, so no bother to me! HA!!! Will I do it for a 3rd time? I hope not, but oh well.
micheleac2 - Wednesday, 5 Aug when you go into labor you have to push like your having to take a poo so thats why u do i did with my first didnt even really care. i knew i done it. i was like did i just poo lol.
pregosunshine - Tuesday, 21 Jul I diddnt even think about this even being an issue, untill i went into labor and was pushing. his head was almost out and right then i felt like i had to poo....let me tell ya somethin, when a baby is commin outa you, and you have to push, gettin the baby out is way more important then a little poo on the table.....it happens, and docs and nurses are used to it.....i mean geeze your pushin with everything you got!!
trinity-powell - Wednesday, 8 Jul During labour, you dont really care if you do a number 2, it's a little embarrassing if you are aware, but hell, what can we do!! trying to push out a baby is no easy task lol,, i laugh my head of about it.
ink-a-belle - Sunday, 17 May I had my first son 20 years ago, and was given an enema when I was induced, no poop on the table. I had my second son 11 years ago and was again given an enema when I was induced, no poop on the table. Last year when I was induced with Boy 3, I wasnt given an enema and pooped, sigh. I am pregnant again and WILL be asking for an enema.
-x-charlee-x- - Wednesday, 1 Apr When i went into labour and emptied my bowls so i didnt poop when i was giving birth. The body naturally makes you poo so theres more room for baby to come out. Dont be embaressed, trust me when your in that much pain you really dont care!! x
chelles - Wednesday, 25 Mar I have had 4 babies and all natural no pooing for me.......I learned from my mom who's had 12 children that when you get close to delivery date dont eat heavy foods eat lightly.........this helped me all 4 times.....I also continued to eat lightly after birth for about 2 weeks no heavy meats or foods, this also helped me since I did get stitches all four times........ :( Try not to worry about if it does happens you have a great reason not to be embarassed!!!!
sweetie2320 - Tuesday, 17 Mar OMG I am so scared this is going to happen. I thinki am more scared of this then of the pain. That is just not something i want my husband to see!!! I want some some!! dignity
musicmom - Thursday, 12 Feb someone told me that this would happen during the pushing and i SO didnt believe it!! Now im nervous about it...I know that "in the moment" i wont care, but that is something that my husband would point out...he wouldnt be mean about it or anything, but he has been joking around about it with me....and im not finding it funny...
misz-cashis-april09 - Sunday, 18 Jan ive deff been thinking about this!! i donttt want to go #2 while pushing! im so nervous it will happen to me. and i want to video my baby coming out but not with a bunch of poop all over the place!! thats not a memory i want !! lol
shocked-over-3 - Wednesday, 14 Jan I Used castor oil to induce my labor and it cleaned me out entirely.. I wouldn't suggest it though just to clean you out since it's pretty uncomfortable.
shocked-over-3 - Wednesday, 14 Jan I Used castor oil to induce my labor and it cleaned me out entirely.. I wouldn't suggest it though just to clean you out since it's pretty uncomfortable.
krystasappleseed - Thursday, 8 Jan this was the one thing i was totally scaredof.. not even the birth was as scarey to me as this. but in an effort to be done with being pregnant ( at 37 weeks and belive me she was over 8 lbs) I had my husband give me an enema. so when labor came several hours later i didnt have much to come out. i think this will be something i do for every pregnancy. the nurses were real great though a smallest bit that did come out they were real descrete about and i mean really at the time you really aren't worried about it. although if u tape it you worry about it later lol
adnorel - Saturday, 27 Dec They had the option of getting an enema when I had my son 8 years ago and that is what I chose to do. I'm one of those that only goes every 2-3 days anyway and I didn't want to be dealing with the pain of trying to have a BM after the baby was born so I opted for an enema. I'm hoping to do the same again this time.
megandelgado - Wednesday, 24 Dec so i totally did go number 2 while pushing my lil one out like it just wouldnt stop coming out...ewww...and i ended up having a csection and b4 i could leave the hospital i had 2 go poop but of course i was all cleaned out and i was on a liquid diet so no poop 4 me and then they gave supposatories sorry 4 the spelling and then still nothing they were a lil frustrated with me
debbie82 - Sunday, 14 Dec is there anything i can do to stop myself pooing during labour apart from the obvious coz this is really worryin me ? i can cope if i pee but not poo HELP :-/
CJwaiting4no3 - Sunday, 30 Nov I had a water birth and remember seeing little bits of poop floating around while I was pushing, It was so embarrassing but what can you do!!? I want another waterbirth this time but may think again unless i've had a good clear out first!! lol!
summerMom2B - Wednesday, 5 Nov I had a really quick and intense labor (3 hrs start to finish) I was laying in the hosp bed and I wanted to be in the shower so bad. As soon as the warm water hit my back I just started pushing and ended up pooping in the shower, at the time I really didn't even give it much thought I was only focused on the pain, then I felt him coming and got out of the shower but I really couldn't make it to the bed so the midwives layed blankets down and I got down on all 4's on the bathroom floor and after only a few pushes out he came! After the fact I was embarressed about pooping but now that I look back on his birth I honestly don't even think about it, I almost have to remind myself that I did poop! lol so just remember in the whole grand scheme of things when you look back on your labor there will be so many more memories than just the bodily functions :)
isabell21 - Sunday, 2 Nov I pooped while pushing. I was induced due to preclampsia and was on bed rest. Things never had a chance to get moving if you know what I mean. I felt bad and a little embarassed at the time but I knew there was nothing I could do about it.
sweetnsmokin - Monday, 27 Oct During the birth of my 2nd child, it seemed no matter how hard i pushed, she wasnt moving. When the Dr finally arrived, he got the status of my delivery from the nurse, took a look at what was going on, and then gave me a big ol grin. I was so constipated from her head sitting so low, that the Dr. actually had to physically remove the poo. After i went it took 3 pushes and she was out! I was mortified and yet so relieved at the same time.... Unless its your Drs first delivery, its really nothing they havent seen before! I remember telling the nurse that I had to go before my water broke, and she just kept arguing with me that it was the babys head, and i didnt really have to go at all..... so my comment- if you feel like youre gonna go, you probably will.
eliza24 - Friday, 24 Oct I pooped while I was pushing..... all they did was picked it up and threw it away... no big deal....I was in way to much pain to see anyone's reaction but as far as I know it is completley normal..... it happens there are way worse things in life to be worried about..... if anything laugh about it that always helps :)
sweetbabyboy - Wednesday, 15 Oct LOL!! been there done that!!! it happens don't be embaressed at the time of pushing you don't really care anyway, you just want the baby out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
carcaran - Thursday, 9 Oct I know ppl say that you won't be concerned about pooping when you're pushing the baby and 'in the moment', but I can asure you that I WILL be that person that won't push properly because I won't want to make a mess everywhere and feel embarrassed ! I know it sounds vain, but I'd prefer to take something to 'clean out' my system so that I won't be worrying about it!
babymama88 - Thursday, 28 Aug yes i was really concern with this too. Before i had my baby i heard a lot of stories about women pooping in Labor. i was like OMG thats so embarrassing i hope i don't but if i do i guess i never said that i wouldn't. lol. But i actually did while giving birth to my little girl. She's my first child. I remembered after i gave birth to my baby i had asked my husband if i pooped while giving birh to my baby and he said yes but at that time no one really cared about the poop. its the baby that everyone was worried about. So now i guess its normal to poop. i don't really think about it anymore. As long as my baby was safe and sound. :P
LuvinBrayden - Monday, 18 Aug oh my lord i have been so worried about this!!! but ya know i keep telling myself, hey its normal, if it happens it happens, and im sure im not the only one, and now i KNOW im not! haha ill be having my 1st baby so ive really been thinking about everything embarrassing that could happen to me, but i guess ill poop if i have to just so i can get that baby out!! im so ready to see my little one :) poo or no poo! LOL
mum2mia2008 - Tuesday, 12 Aug i didnt poop! was induced so just made sure i went that morning!!!!!!
-newnaam - Tuesday, 5 Aug I didnt poop with either of my babies....However, prior to begining pushing I made an announcement (more s ofor myself than others, Im sure) saying,"If I poop, its ok and no big deal." Everyone just sort of looked at me and my mom said, well ok! =)Hopefully its the same for this baby but if not, itll be ok!
ChristinasMama - Tuesday, 5 Aug lol! I was so nervouse about that happenning. I had to push for about 2 hours with no luck and get a c-section. I thought i was fine and didn't poop since I couldednt feel anything fromt the epidurel, but later when I was talking to mom she said that i did poop a little a bit lol. you know what tho who cares its natural and expected.
firsttimemom528 - Thursday, 31 Jul HAHA I was SO nervous of doing this during labor, it was all I could think of those final weeks beforehand. What I didn't know was that you could poop on the operating room table as well!! I was induced, and it took 52 hours of only getting to 4cms to then be rushed into an emergency c-section. The 2.5 days of being induced I knew I had to go but it wouldn't come out and I was trying so hard to get it out so I wouldn't poop in the stages of pushing. Well apparently, I was so numb on the OR table I pooped all over the place. And one of the interns told me 3 TIMES!! that "I made a mess" with this funny look on her face. Well jeez, at that point I didn't care if it was the president telling me lol! Clean me the heck up and get me to my baby boy!! I was telling my best friend about it and we were laughing, she commented that it must have been a good one after those days of not going and me not feeling it come out. I must of let it all out. HA!
erican - Saturday, 26 Jul When i went in to labor My doc gave me something to clean me out to make sure i didnt have a bowel movement. Just ask your doc before hand and see what they have!
JustinandBre - Thursday, 24 Jul Where can you go to get the products to do a home enema? And is it safe to use while pregnant or is it better to use castor oil? Or neither?
Sarah M - Sunday, 20 Jul Haha, I was so worried about this I wouldn't push properly - I know I was letting some out and was so embarrassed. Then when the Dr came and said if the baby didn't come in 5mins I would need forceps I decided pride could no longer be an issue so I whispered to my husband 'I'll just get this pooh out then and then I'll push the baby' I pushed hard and then cried in shame 'god that was a massive pooh' to which the midwife replied - 'no that was the baby's head!' ---- haha at 10lb 1 he was the biggest pooh I ever had!!!!!!
krystasappleseed - Friday, 18 Jul Okay I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that worries about this one. This has been my number one concrn since getting pregnant. I'm not even as concerned with the pain as the pooping in front of people i don't know plus I want to video tape the birth and who wants to see poop come out? I wish People's replies to questions on here showed up. I have even said that I'm not going to eat anything a couple days before just so i don't poop.so which is better caster oil or enema and when should u do it?
mummy-of-a-angel- - Thursday, 17 Jul urm i dnt think i did!! with my 1st that i went into labout with at 20 wks i no i was shouting omg i ned a poo n tryin tu gt up bt nt bein abl tu lolll nd with my 2nd i emtyed my bowles tat much b4 hand...i spont bwt half hour in the bathroom1 lol that thy wernt ote lft lol
dnt think i cuz of had ny mre embarrismnt tho thy ws mr ppl there wit th 2nd thn in the rst of hosp!! cuz i wnt into labour at 32 wks with a stich still in they ws ppl frm neonatal nd ppl frm surgury incase he ripped m up to much ndi needed a blood transfusion!
mum2mia2008 - Thursday, 17 Jul i asked my partner he said i didnt! Although i know i pushed a little wee out!hehe! i dont think its a big thing anyway!
*dcsfantasticfour - Wednesday, 16 Jul When I had my 1st daughter I was induced so they gave me what my mom likes to refer to as "the works" lol I had a pitocin drip and an enema, even tho I hadn't eaten for 3 hours like they told me to. oh well. As far as baby 2 I have no Idea if I did. I was to in the moment to know or care
krissiehoran - Tuesday, 15 Jul Hi there, Just wondering about the castor oil if you have time to answer, at what point do you take it and how?
mommy1baby - Tuesday, 15 Jul how long before labor can I take the enema and it work???
-newnaam - Monday, 14 Jul I have decided that I am going to attempt a water birth. Besides the obvious question of should I be doing a natural birth with my first... I had never thought about pooing while in labor. I guess I should be asking my midwife this but how does a water birth factor into pooing while in labor? The thought kind of grosses me out!
GoonieMomma - Monday, 14 Jul My doula had a mom ask for an enema during labor; was constipated and the babe was pushing up against the obstructed bowel. They refused her the enema saying that's something she should've done at home. They've so over-reacted to some stuff and not reacted enough to others. Another reason they don't like giving them once you're out of early labor is that it can make the contractions more intense and doesn't actually increase their effectiveness. SO, if you want one and you live in the US, you may want to do it at home before you hit your 5-1-1 guidelines!
shirls - Monday, 14 Jul I had such bad back labour with my son, that the nurse suggested an enema, to help relieve the pain and pressure (make as much room as possible). It seemed to help a little bit, for a short time. Then I ended up needing a c-section so it wasn't a worry for me anyway. I'm hoping for a VBAC this time, and I think I'd rather have the enema, than poo on the table. We'll see if I get the choice. :)
carolynjh - Monday, 14 Jul So my question is, are you going to do an enema or castor oil before delivery? I did the deed with my first and would like to avoid it this time if possible, I am considering asking for the enema in the hospital....