Will I Poop During Labour?
For many pregnant women, the fear of intense pain during childbirth is top of the chart on the worry list, but once you’ve come to terms with the idea and know what pain management is available to you, there’s another big fear weighing on a preggie Mama’s mind…
Losing your sh*t on the delivery bed – quite literally!
One of the most common pieces of advice given to first time Mamas is “push like you’re trying to do a poop.”
In other words, pushing down as if you’re having a bowel movement is going to help you get your baby out. But, of course, it may also have its intended effect, causing you to actually do a poop while giving birth.
The shear thought for many expecting Mums causes very real anxiety throughout the pregnancy. Let’s face it, no one wants to poop in front of your partner or a team of doctors or nurses. But, it’s those fears (of both embarrassment and pain) that make a difference to your birthing experience and duration.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education, fear of birth is associated with longer labours, increased anxiety and stress, increased likelihood of having an epidural, and more women opting for elective caesareans.
SO, IS THE FEAR OF POOPING REALLY NECESSARY AND IS IT POSSIBLE TO GIVE BIRTH WITHOUT POOPING?
The first thing to remember is that it is a normal physiological process, and your doctors and nurses do not pay much attention to it as care providers. If it happens, it’s often a sign that a patient is pushing effectively.
A naturally occurring bowel movement during labour is dealt with very quickly and without you even noticing. At this point you are often in the midst of intense contractions and trying to focus on breathing and pushing.
Nurses simply wipe the stool away and minimize anyone else noticing it as much as possible. Remember… There’s a lot going on down there, no one is standing back watching and waiting as you push out a poo.
Prior to the pushing stage, you can get up and use the toilet privately if you’re able to do so. It is also common in normal labour to have loose stools, so you may find your very clever body often will take care of passing a stool naturally before you even get to the pushing stage. A bit like a nervous poo.
If you do poop during labour, they take it as a positive sign that you are using all the right muscles – Go Mama!
I STILL DON’T WANT TO DO IT – IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO PREVENT IT HAPPENING?
However, as common and as normal as the whole thing may be, many women still are horrified by the thought and go into google overdrive trying to find a poop prevention method, despite doctors and midwives recommending against it.
There is no real magic formula that can guarantee you will or won’t poop during labour, but there are a few things you could try safely to help “move things along” before you go into labour.
Hydrate: It’s so important to help keep your bowls functioning properly and clearing your body from excess waste. No one wants to be constipated going into a delivery room. So, staying adequately hydrated in the lead up will help a lot.
Fibre: It’s recommended to eat plenty of clean fibre throughout pregnancy anyway, but, in the lead up to delivery a fibre packed diet can help your body to naturally clean out before the pushing stage.
THE FACT REMAINS…
After all is said and done, the fact remains that chances are, you will never even know if you did poop or not (trust us, no-one comes to tell you afterwards) and once you’re through the chaos of labour and holding your precious baby in your arms – you won’t even give it a second thought.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN THE LAST TRIMESTER…
To help prepare your body for the marathon of childbirth and to help stay sufficiently hydrated – essential for effective poop management. Start drinking MaterniTea’s birth preparation blend – CAPACITEA from 27 weeks. It’s a raspberry leaf tea blend that’s designed to help strengthen and tone the uterus to help you achieve more effective and efficient contractions, which can lead to a shorter labour during and faster post birth recovery.
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