Pooping during labor - Sybermoms Parenting Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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OB Myth of the Week: 10/12/03

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. Click here to enlarge

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 Click here to enlarge, 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" Click here to enlarge, 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 Click here to enlarge, but only in the sense that you have spectacularly powerful and creative bowels. Be proud. Click here to enlarge You are woman, hear you roar.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 06:24 AM
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Click here to enlarge Thanks Doodle!!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 08:01 PM
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OK, I am so NOT pregnant, but I was browsing in here and read the myth...

OMd, Doodle, you should seriously consider submitting that to some magazines. Click here to enlarge

Click here to enlarge "spectacularly powerful and creative bowels"

*snort*

Click here to enlarge
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Click here to enlarge Thanks gingah. Click here to enlarge I thought the gals could use something like this. Click here to enlarge
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 09:12 AM
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Click here to enlarge Doodle.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-14-2003, 02:51 PM
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Thanks, Doodle. I also think you should submit that to a magazine. It was reassuring and hilarious at the same time.
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 07:04 AM
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The thought of poop floating in the birthing tub a la "Caddy Shack" (remember the Baby Ruth?) Click here to enlarge Makes me want to do an enema at home anyway. Click here to enlarge
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-17-2003, 01:26 PM
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There is a book called "Everybody Poops"? Click here to enlarge

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 02:27 PM
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That is so reassuring Doodle. Thanks so much for the info. At least that's one worry taken care of.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 10:59 AM
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hey Doodle
Thanks for the info. I do feel much better about it now, especially since I went natural with DS and had a little break between full dilation and pushing, so I was walking around the room pushing and crapping all over the place. Click here to enlarge

My doctor was a bitch though, so that's ok. My water also broke ALL OVER her while pushing and she had to go change Click here to enlarge

Would that gain me some notoriety? I have to say I do feel bad for the nurses who she made clean up all my poop. Jeez.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 11:01 AM
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Oh PS that "everybody poops" book is hilarious. My favorite page: "A one hump camel makes a one hump poop, and a two hump camel makes a two hump poop.... only joking!" Click here to enlarge
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 11:18 AM
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I was given an enema with my third baby. Click here to enlarge
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 01:33 PM
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I have no idea whether or not I pooped during pushing with any of my pregnancies. If I did, nobody bothered saying anything to me. And, honestly, at that point - I want nothing more than TO GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT NOW! The last thing in the world I'm going to be thinking about is keeping some poop in. Click here to enlarge

Seriously, though - am I the only person who never really thought/worried about whether or not they pooped? Click here to enlarge
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 02:09 PM
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I worried with dd#1 and did poop, but with dd#2 I knew it was going to happen so...I just figured..I had enough other things to think about, worrying about things that would happen was far too time consuming. Click here to enlarge

Thank you Doodle.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 09:22 PM
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I have to admit I gave myself an enema before I went to the hospital with all three of my kids. I realllllly didn't want to poop during delivery.

It worked though. No pooping on the table for me. Click here to enlarge
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 06:12 PM
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I am 2 for 2 on pooping while pushing, or so I've been told by DH, and I can assure you that it was truly the LAST thing I noticed while in the throes of pushing out a baby. I could have been lying in the middle of Times Square with a cheering crowd, concession stands and a close-up crotch shot on the JumboTron, and I would not.have.given.a.flying.fuck.

I fully expect to make it a trifecta with this one.

I would suggest that once you think labor has started, maybe stay away from Mexican food or anything heavy/greasy and eat things like soup, fruit, jello, etc. Hypothetically. Click here to enlarge
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 03:16 PM
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Doodle,(lol, I almost wrote Doodie) I am so glad you wrote this. I was really scared about it for both of my labors. I couldn't tell, who can really. BUt, I asked. My first doctor was really cool about it and made me feel ok about it. My sencond was kind of a bitch about it but I was still a little embarrassed. It's a good thing to know that you're not the only one. Click here to enlarge
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 03:49 PM
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It was a fear of mine before I delivered all three of my kidlets. I needn't have worried, for I pooped not. Click here to enlarge I guess that makes me RARE?!?! Click here to enlarge
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 09:54 AM
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2 for 2 here as well. Going for 3 in May! Woot.

I just have to say that I'm THANKFUL for the pre-birth cleansing my body has done each time. OMD if I didn't do that before giving birth I would have made quite the mess. Click here to enlarge
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 03:06 AM
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Click here to enlarge Thanks doodle! I think if you poop on the table you should get a badge or trophy to mentally make it a good thing. Click here to enlarge
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