Pooing during labour

As my friend prepares for her imminent labour one of the silliest questions she felt she had to ask her midwife was will I poo during labour and if I do what happens? This is actually a very common questions that midwives are often asked. The answer is simple most women you do have bowel movement during childbirth don’t really know unless their partner or midwife tells them so. Midwifes have seen it all, and when a women does a poo during labour they just take it away without even mentioning it.

Pooing during water birth
Some women also have the fear of opening their bowels during a water birth, if the baby is born is soiled water it could have serious implications. Luckily when you have a water birth the midwife will be present so she will simply remove it with a net, similar to what you use to remove fish from a fish tank. If you decide to have a home water birth you will also receive a net as part of the package in case you do accidently do a poo.

How to prevent opening bowel during labour?

Some women claim that the body cleanses itself before going into labour and you will open your bowels a lot before the actual birth. As all women are different many women have stated that this is just not true and they were so embarrassed to have done a poo whilst in labour. Many women have claimed that taking iron supplements have made the problem worst, so if you suffer from anaemia you will have no choice than to take iron supplements. Avoid taking iron if you can as too much can make you open your bowels too often. Doctors advise you to eat plenty of fibre and drink a lot of fluids the week before you’re due as your body will cleanse itself that way. Once you are in labour avoid eating solid foods and drink plenty of water and soups instead. This should help preventing you from accidently pooing during labour.

Having an enema before childbirth?
Women who have had bad experiences of pooing during labour may be offered an enema before going into labour. It has been said that sometimes this is not offered and you may need to speak to your midwife beforehand. An enema will clean out your body prior to labour; it’s just like diarrhoea but a lot worse. When you are in labour you don’t even want to get up and use the toilet so it’s best to use the natural methods rather than have an enema as they are not really needed.