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Should I be worried about having a bowel movement while giving birth?

No! It definitely happens and is considered a normal part of the process.

There are lots of things that you might worry about when having your baby: how will I know I am in labor? Will it hurt? How long will it take? Having a bowel movement while pushing out your baby should not be one of them. This is a very common thing that obstetricians, midwives, and nurses are used to and see every day. In fact, it can be reassuring to see because it means that you are pushing the “right” way; that is, you are directing your forces effectively. This makes sense since the pelvic structures all sit right next to each other and share many nerves.

If you think you can avoid this by using an enema or taking castor oil (or something related) on the way to the hospital, you may want to consider skipping those steps. Those medications may just leave you feeling nauseated and give you diarrhea, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid.

Comments

  1. This happened to me, while giving birth to my 1st child. I knew none of this information that you have provided here. So, I was genuinely mortified! I had him 10 minutes after arriving at the hospital. So, prior to arriving, I’d known I needed to go & was afraid I’d give birth in the toilet because I was contracting. I guess the moral of my story is-your not going to be able to hold it until its over! Lol!

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  2. I was worried about the same thing, and my OBGYN told me that it was totally normal, and probably a good thing, since you don’t want to push or strain for a few days after delivery.

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    1. That’s true – the first bowel movement after delivery can sometimes feel like a scary moment to anticipate. Stool softeners can certainly help though!

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  3. Oh dear… good to know!

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