When you’re ready to have a baby, it’s normal for all proprieties to fly out the window. You’re about to push a new human being into the world in one of the most primal and intimate ways imaginable. This is not the time to worry about keeping your pinky raised while sipping tea; this is the time to get as real as necessary to get the job done. And if you’re looking for ways to induce labor, there is no shortage of interesting — and sometimes bonkers — advice for hurrying that baby along. Here is one of the realest questions of all: will pooping start labor? Because when you’re desperate for that baby to debut, you’re willing to try anything.

In general, if your pregnancy is progressing normally, then pooping will not start labor. Even if you have to strain to get through a number two, your baby will likely stay put. “Unless you have preterm labor or early labor, if you strain, you will not push out that baby," OB-GYN Lisa Masterson said on The Doctors. "Because the cervix is actually very strong if it’s healthy." In general, it might not be possible to trigger labor on your own. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is probably not anything a pregnant woman can do to trigger labor, at least according to current studies. So if your pregnancy is progressing normally, you can most likely go about your usual bathroom routine without any possibility of an early baby. (Of course, this may not be good news if you’re really ready to have the dang baby already.)


Conversely, if your pregnancy has faced complications, then it’s a good idea to work with your doctor to make sure any excess straining won’t trigger preterm labor. In fact, feeling like you need to move your bowels without any result may be one sign of preterm labor, according to the Marshfield Clinic. By listening to your body and contacting your physician at the first sign of trouble, you can make it through these stressful complications. Once the baby arrives, your restroom habits can go back to being your own business. Well, at least until your kid is old enough to bust in the bathroom door any time you try to go.