Your hospital bag is packed with your favorite robe, slippers, and amenities to make your delivery as comfortable as possible. And although you managed to remember your finest toiletries to look fresh and clean for your post-delivery snapshot, as you're pushing you might be wondering, "am I going to poop on the table?" This is a totally valid question. In fact, Marie Bigelow, a staff doula at Boise Women's Health & Birth Center in Idaho told Parents, that the fear of pooping during labor comes up in nine out of 10 deliveries. She continued to elaborate that, indeed, it's very common to have a bowel movement during labor.
Why? You might think that all the action is happening in the front, but nope. There's some back door action going down as well. In the same Parents article, OB-GYN Jason James said that not only are you using the same muscles to push the baby out as you do when you're defecating, but hormones called prostaglandins get released during labor, and these hormones also stimulate bowel movements. So, an unintentional poop might accompany your special delivery.
You know what else is common? The fear of pooping during delivery. Perusing the message boards at Baby Center, many expectant moms are mortified at the prospect of pooping while giving birth. It's not that I don't relate, because it took me until my 30s to be comfortable enough with my bodily functions to take a dump in a public place, but you should try to get some perspective.
Your OB-GYN has seen it all. In fact, according to She Knows, your birth team has a poop towel at the ready to clean up if you do the deed. And, guess what? Even if your partner hasn't seen you poop already, he or she is most likely waiting for the main event: the arrival of your baby. But, you can remind yourself that your partner poops, and it's quite possible that even the fictitious Rachel Greene, the fanciest "Friend" of all, pooped during the delivery of little Emma.
Common sense and The Stir suggested that before your due date, you stick to a plain diet and drink lots of water to keep your feces to a minimum. Of course this doesn't guarantee that you won't poop on the table when push comes to... push. Parents suggested that you relieve yourself in the early stages of delivery or ask for an enema before you go into active labor. However, The Stir, in the same article, reminded you that you don't want to stress over pooping, before delivery, because that will make you constipated, adding to the probability that you will poop during labor. And, James told Parents that fear of pooping might prevent you from pushing effectively.
In case it does, might I suggest you pack a little Poop~Pourri? Just think, once your little one arrives, you'll be cleaning up poop all the time.