Ask a Midwife: How can I get over my fear of pooping during labor?

Ask a Midwife: How can I get over my fear of pooping during labor?

Let’s face it. Birth is beautiful, but it can get pretty messy. There’s blood, amniotic fluid, mucus, bloody show (this is my husband’s least favorite phrase of all time 😂), vomit, poop… You get the idea. Birth is a bold and beautiful mess and that’s just how it is.

First off, let's get one thing straight: the birthing room is a judgment-free zone. It's like Vegas; what happens in the labor room, stays in the labor room, especially if it involves your bowels. When you're pushing a tiny human out of your body, your muscles are on overdrive, and yes, that includes the ones controlling your poop.

But why does this happen?!

  • Pressure and Muscles: When it's go-time, your muscles are in the spotlight, working harder than they ever have to guide your baby down the birth canal. This includes muscles you use for bowel movements, because, yes, they get in on the action too. It's all part of your body's strategy to push effectively.
  • Ease into It: As the main event approaches, your body releases hormones designed to relax your cervix and pelvic floor, creating a smoother path for your baby's entrance. This relaxation might also signal your bowels to clear the way, making room for your baby's debut.
  • Baby Makes an Entrance: During the final push, your baby navigates through the birth canal, gently moving aside anything in their path. It’s a delicate process, but know that your body and baby are working together in harmony to make this moment happen.

So don’t worry, it’s not a design flaw; it’s biology, baby!

And here’s a little secret: healthcare providers? They’ve seen it all. They're seasoned fans of the birthing space; a little poop doesn’t even make them blink. They're equipped, ready to swiftly manage a little clean up. In fact, it's often a sign that you're pushing correctly. So, if anything, consider it a badge of honor.

So, to all the fabulous mamas out there fretting about the possibility of a poop-stance during labor: let that sh*t go (pun fully intended). Focus on the main event – meeting your baby. Trust me, once you’re holding your little one, whether you pooped or not will be the last thing on your mind.

Pooping during labor is just another story for the books.

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