Do women always poo in labor? See why it happens to some and not others.

woman in labor
I would say the majority do and it certainly feels like you want to do a poo when you're pushing a baby out. There's a lot of pressure down there. The reason why this is so common is that the same muscles used when having a bowel movement are the same ones engaged when pushing in labor.

There's also the extra pressure on the colon and rectum with a baby moving through the birth canal to consider. The odds, therefore, dictate you will poo. If you do, so what? As midwives, we get very excited by the sounds of a woman saying she needs to do a poo because it means the baby is on its way.

You may not have pooed so openly in front of your partner [but] we're quite discrete as midwives at clearing it away. It's not just the thought of pooing during birth which alarms women. Given the effects a vaginal birth may have on the body, many mums-to-be have concerns about that first, postnatal poo.

That first time you do a poo is terrifying. You may have had some stitches if you've had a vaginal birth so it can be quite terrifying the thought of having to push something out (obviously not of your vagina) - but I think a lot of women really worry about it.

Top tip?

My advice on the first poo is, try not to worry about it. When you feel like you need to go, you definitely need to go then. Because you can wait too long. Depending on the birth, you don't want to hold it in and risk constipation, you want to go when your body's saying 'let's go for a poo.'

Try not to worry, the midwives will take care of many 'mess' We hope parents-to-be are feeling reassured by this. Even if you do the poo, so what - you're bringing a CHILD into this world!
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