Pooping During Delivery

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Yes, we know how weird and awkward it may sound. Putting your body through hours of pain and effort to get the baby out of your body is one thing. But if childbirth is accompanied by poop, the feelings of warmth and happiness are ruined, and the process seems like the most disgusting, embarrassing, and harrowing experience. However, pooping during early labour is nothing out of the ordinary, and many women wonder how to deal with it.

Why Do Some Women Poop While Giving Birth?

You might be wondering if it is normal to poop during childbirth. During delivery, the entire lower section of your body engages in pushing out the baby, which activates the same group of muscles that are responsible for pushing out poop from your butt. Furthermore, being pregnant means the presence of the baby puts a lot of pressure on the region. The pressure further increases when the delivery is underway, and the baby is moving down through the birth canal. At this juncture, the pressure on the colon and rectum is immense, which can facilitate pooping.

At the time of delivery, your body starts producing a hormone called prostaglandins. These hormones stimulate the bowel movements in your body, along with inducing labour. What the body understands is that it needs to push things out, be it the baby or poop.

Can Epidurals Increase Your Chance of Pooping?

Many women believe that the absence of the pain during childbirth may make your body think that you are trying to pass out poop instead of pushing out your baby. Therefore, epidurals might increase chances of pooping.

But that’s not how it works. Epidural or not, your body is well-aware of the fact that a baby’s delivery is on the way and nothing is going to stop it. What the epidural will do is numb the sensation of the bowel movement. So, you might poop as a result of pushing your baby, and you wouldn’t even realise that you did.

How to Prevent Pooping During Labour

Envisioning the scene of pooping while delivering the baby, many women want to know how to avoid pooping while giving birth, and retain the beauty of childbirth in a memorable way. Well, there are certain measures you can take to prevent your body from pooping during delivery.

1. Get an Enema While You Can

The best way to avoid pooping is to not have any poop inside your body in the first place. When your contractions begin, and you reach the clinic, if your doctors say that your labour is still in the early stages, you can request them to help you with an enema, especially if you feel that your bowels are full. By clearing up your bowels, you will be more relaxed and can fully concentrate on delivering your baby. The enema should be performed by trained professionals and under guided supervision.

2. Don’t Hold Back if You Want to Poop

Just the way labour tends to set in when the time is right, pooping usually happens the same way, pregnant or not. In case your contractions have begun, and you do feel the need to poop, don’t avoid it or try to stop it with the rationalisation that you can get it done once the baby is delivered. If you are still in the early stages of labour, your baby can wait for some time. Go to the toilet and empty your bowels. The mental calm of having cleansed your intestines can facilitate labour to proceed properly.


3. Opting for Suppository Medication

At times, you may not be ready for an enema, and you may also be suffering from constipation. This puts you in a situation where you want to poop but are unable to. Suppositories work wonders in such cases. These are preparations that are inserted in the anus, which dissolve and cause the bowel movement to take place. Constipation disappears within half an hour to an hour after taking the suppository, and you can directly head to take care of the business. A doctor’s recommendation is required in such a case and the doctor may recommend a glyverin suppository to relieve constipation.

4. Do Not Eat During Labour

Labour is extremely exhausting and taxing and can make you hungry, especially if it is extended labour. This does not mean that you should eat anything you lay your eyes on. The safest food items to be had during labour are light, especially in the liquid form. Soups and smoothies or nutrition bars are suitable to be had. Try not to have a heavy meal full of meats and fats while you’re in labour since it would be difficult to digest and cause heartburn.

5. Maintain a Proper Diet to Avoid Constipation During Delivery

Pooping is a natural activity, and there is no stopping it. But the process can be eased and be made timely, so it does not interfere with childbirth. This entails taking care of it right from the time you get pregnant. Make sure your diet has enough fibrous food items. A balanced diet helps build up the bowel movement that is necessary for pooping and reduces the chances of constipation. It can help you during labour since you can quickly go and take a dump if you feel like it, and not be plagued by constipation-related issues throughout.

By knowing how to avoid pooping while giving birth, you can ensure your childbirth stays poop-free. Despite that, if pooping does occur, there is no reason to worry or feel embarrassed. The doctors and nurses are entirely focused on ensuring that the baby is safe, and they are well aware of such instances happening. So, it is in your best interest to make sure your baby is delivered safely and happily, and poop can make its way out by itself, should it choose to.

Resources & References: Parents, What to Expect

Also read: 12 Tips for Easy Labor and Delivery

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