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Why Do You Poop Yourself When Giving Birth?

by Autumn Jones

Pick up any pregnancy book and you can find paragraphs and chapters detailing things with horrible names. Mucus plug, cervical ripening, linea nigra, and placenta all have prime showings in pregnancy literature, and yet there is barely a whisper of the one thing almost all women with vaginal deliveries experience. I'll just come out and say it: poop. As if you haven't been through enough while growing this little human, for the love of all things labor and delivery, why do you poop yourself when giving birth? I know it doesn't seem fair, but it's highly likely that it will happen.

Go ahead and toss any remaining bit of vanity out the window. Sh*t literally gets real when you're about to push a baby out. But before you let the dread set in, keep in mind that this is something doctors, nurses, and midwives see every day and is just part of the process. As the website for Parents magazine pointed out, "the very same muscles that you engage when you're having a bowel movement are the same ones you use when you're pushing." And don't forget how big that baby has grown in the last few months. Now that your bambino is taking up so much room, the pressure from your full grown baby presses down on your rectum and colon while you're pushing.

Although this may not sounds like something to celebrate, if some poop does slip out while you're in labor, it means that you're pushing the right way, according to Everyday Family. So high-five to you on good form. The good news is, this phase of labor doesn't last long. As Parenting magazine's website reported, pooping while pushing usually happens in the first stages of labor, before the baby crowns. Which means by the time your baby makes her way into the world, all traces of poop will be a memory.

To make you feel better, in it's first act of solidarity, your baby is also likely to poop during the delivery. Known as meconium, this baby poop is mostly water and poses no harm to the baby during labor, according to Fit Pregnancy. This is just another ho-hum everyday part of delivering a baby.

You'll be happy to know, that poop from mamas and babies is something that delivery room pros see every day. As the website for What To Expect pointed out, hospital and birthing center staff are prepared for this event, and have the necessary items standing by for clean up. They attend to this part of labor with a discrete and professional approach.

Pooping yourself during labor is another thing you can add to the list of unexpected motherhood sacrifices. You do what you have to do to give your baby life, and if that means a little poo on the table, then so be it. At the end of the day, it's anatomy's fault; and physics's too. You haven't done anything wrong. In fact, pooping was never so right.