Let's get down and dirty: pooping during delivery. The real deal.
Alrighty folks. You know you've thought about it. You know you secretly worry about it. You know the thought of it makes you cringe, and you are positive that you are the only person in the history of mankind to do it, no matter what people tell you.
Let's talk poop.
The myth: pooping during pushing is nasty and disgusting and your nurses, your doctor/midwife, and your spouse will all be horrified and talk about you for weeks. It rarely happens because civilized women have the decency to get an enema before labor to save themselves the embarassment. It is unsanitary and gross and horrifying.
THE REAL DEAL: most women do, at one point or another, evacuate their bowels (the polite medical way to say "poop") while pushing. It's the dirty little secret no one ever tells you, and NO ONE wants to admit to if they themselves did it.
Okay. Yes, we've talked about flying doo doo balls and flourescent green poop here, and I'm sure that even though reading about it is good for a chuckle, the prospect of pooping on the delivery table is horrifying and embarassing to most women.
The truth is, nurses and doctors are USED TO IT. I personally think that the book Everybody Poops
should be mandatory reading material for any woman being admitted in labor.
When a woman is pushing, and her bowels begin to empty, most nurses and doctors know to take it as a good sign, beause it means not only is the woman using the correct muscles to push, but the head is getting very low and compressing her rectum, a sign of impending delivery.
It is NORMAL. Back in the old days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth
, women had their pubic hair shaved and were given mandatory enemas before delivery. This antiquated practice stemmed from the belief that a vaginal delivery was "sterile"
, and that pubic hair and feces would "contaminate" the delivery field. Also, here's a little known factoid....in the dark ages, only a physician could check cervical dilation vaginally. Nurses checked dilation RECTALLY. Thus the need for an enema, to "clear the path," per se.
Your mother and my mother more than likely were shaved and given an enema, as it was common practice until about the early 80's.
Enemas are now something only given to a woman upon HER REQUEST. Some midwives or physicians will suggest giving an enema in early labor, but NOT because they don't want you to poop on the delivery table. An enema irritates the intestinal lining, causing the release of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are what ripen a cervix and help speed labor on. Giving an enema is seen as an alternative way to "naturally" augment labor, much like nipple stimulation. You should in no way feel pressured or obligated to have an enema out of fear of evacuating your bowels while pushing, as it is a normal occurance and not something "bad" or "gross."
So fear no more, ladies. Pooping during delivery is normal. It is okay. Your nurse will not be horrified or disgusted. If you manage to push out flourescent green doo balls, well, you will gain some noteriety
, but only in the sense that you have spectacularly powerful and creative bowels. Be proud.
You are woman, hear you roar.