"Everyone Poops." That's the title of a book my sons always enjoyed reading when they were younger. It's also one of the greatest fears women have in childbirth. I often get asked the question, "What if I poop when I push?"
Boys laugh at potty humor. In fact, in my house, that conversation is pretty commonplace. But women tend to be more...discreet. If you deliver in a hospital, you may already be anxious about the point at which all modesty goes out the window when you're on the table with bright lights and doctors, nurses, doulas, and the like in your private space. Add in the possibility of having a bowel movement during all of that flurry of activity and that may be enough to make you want to run for the hills and just not do this whole birth thing.
Trust me when I say that one of the things that all professionals in the field of labor and delivery wish women knew was that poop is really not a big deal. It happens. It's as normal and natural to them as sneezing and nose blowing is to us when we have a cold. And doctors are super quick about getting rid of it as if it never happened. They get it. And they aren't freaked out by it.
Let me put it this way: If you poop when you push, it means you are doing it absolutely RIGHT. In fact, doctors and nurses will often remind women of imagery associated with having a bowel movement to describe HOW to push effectively when the time comes.
So please, dear reader. Do not fear poop. Everyone does it. At least once a day. :)
Thanks for reading!
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.