Pooping in Labor: The good, the bad and the truth.
Parents are incredibly passionate people, especially when it comes to pregnancy and parenting. If you’ve taken a look in any online parenting group, you’ll quickly notice just how passionate we are. We want what's best for our babies and want to share what has worked for our family with others, which can turn into fierce debates about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, epidural vs natural, staying at home vs going back to work after baby, but there’s one thing that ties us all together.
We don’t want to shit on the bed in labor.
Pooping is private (well, it was before you became a parent) it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want it to happen at a time when the focus is on you and your vagina. We understand that you have legitimate fears and concerns about losing control of your bowels in labor, and that it can often follow you through pregnancy.
You’re not alone, many moms just like you have this concern. We’re here to help you face this worry head on with the facts!
When you’re pushing a baby out, you use the same muscles and focus your efforts in the same way as when you’re on the toilet pooping, the objective is for baby to come out but it would make sense that stool would exit too. Also, your colon is compressed by your baby’s head as it makes its way through the birth canal. As experienced doulas in Metro Detroit we want you to know that if poop is exiting, your baby is likely to close behind.
Side note: Be prepared, diarrhea is often a sign of early labor. These are due to prostaglandins released to stimulate your uterus to contract, however they don’t just affect the uterus. Prostaglandins can migrate to your bowels (another smooth muscle) stimulating them in the same way and TA DA- poop.
So, how can you prevent pooping in labor? There really isn't a tried and true way to prevent pooping, but here are some things you can try.
- Stay Hydrated!
- Use the bathroom in active labor if you have the ability to move freely.
- Watch your diet and avoid foods that are natural laxatives.
The truth is everyone poops, it’s normal.
Your doulas, nurses, and care providers have seen it throughout their careers and will clean you up quickly, modestly, and often without you or anyone else knowing. Pooping in labor is not unusual and no one will negatively remark about you or your body because of it.
Shit happens, but don’t worry. It’s going to be ok.