The No-Shame Answers to Your Questions About Pooping While Popping a Baby

Black and white shot of newborn baby right after deliveryAs if popping an eight-pound baby out of the vagina isn’t overwhelming enough, pooping during childbirth also happens. Even though it’s natural, it’s a real ordeal to go through these human struggles and at the same time, in your most vulnerable state.

The actual experience is embarrassing, but more so is asking about it. For your sanity, here’s a compilation of the most embarrassing questions you’ve had, answered once and for all:

Why do women poop while giving birth?

The reason women excrete feces during childbirth is pretty straightforward. According to experts in obstetrics and Provo-based health experts, the muscles that exert effort when you push the baby out are the same muscles used during bowel movements.

Also, remember that your baby puts extra pressure on your colon and rectum as they get out of your body through the birth canal. Of course, just like with any weird change you’ve experienced through these last months, hormones also have a part in this process. Prostaglandins, the hormones responsible for prompting labor, are also the same hormones active during bowel movements.

Is it possible not to poop while pushing the baby out?

Yes. You might poop before you push the baby out. Before the final stage of labor, you may feel the natural urge to take a number two. This will reduce the likelihood of excreting feces when you’re giving birth. In instances where you don’t feel like pooping pre-pushing, some healthcare providers use an enema, laxatives administered in the anal canal to empty out the colon. After 15 to 20 minutes, you would feel the need to defecate. Discuss with your doctor if this is part of their standard procedure.

How would doctors react?

Mostly, this is where the anxiety comes from. But frankly, doctors and nurses will likely not give a second thought about that poop. They’ve seen it all — and these are the very people who understand well that this is all part of a natural process. Plus, their focus won’t be on whether they’d wipe your butt if something comes out or what. They will be glued to your baby, doing their best to deliver them safely. And that should be your priority, as well. Don’t hesitate on pushing — give it your all.

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Pooping while popping a baby isn’t exactly a good combination when you’re at your most vulnerable state, but in the end, it will be worth it. The life of a child is worth all the sweat, hardships, and a little embarrassment.