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Pooping in the Delivery Room

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me About the Delivery Room's Dirty Little Secret?

There are many things about labor that you can't possibly imagine until you've experienced them. One of the best-kept dirty secrets? Poop!

I thought I was just having stomach issues when I went into labor, which is unusual for me. I can chow down on jalapeños, sodas, and ice cream in one sitting without tummy ramifications. That night, however, I must have visited the throne 15 times before I finally realized my baby was making her way out. As she began to push her way out into the world, she rested heavily on my bowels. A common experience for many laboring women, I was actually quite relieved, thinking there would be nothing left once I made it to the delivery room.

Once in the hospital, the contractions took the place of the stomachaches. After I got the epidural, I felt zero pain — not even the contractions. Relieved that my restroom trips had come to a halt, I rested and waited for a couple more hours until I was ready to push.

Nearly seven hours after my first labor pains, I laid in a hospital bed ready to meet my child. As I began pushing, I described my experience as a "good workout." Nearing the final heaves, I could tell that the birth was coming soon. I looked at the nurses in the room and said, "I am going to address the big elephant in the room. I don't want to poop on the table!" They all laughed at me and said, "It's not a big deal if you do. Most everyone does." Whining, I said, "But I really DON'T want to!" And just then, I pushed. The baby did not come out, but something else did. Right there with a wipe and a smile, the nurse took care of me the way I was to take care of my newborn in the near future.

At my last ob-gyn appointment, I asked my doctor how many of her patients deliver number two before they produce a baby. She said 75 percent! And, she admitted that she slyly omits the poopy fact from her patients in an effort to make them feel less humiliated.

Tell me — did you deliver numero dos before you had your baby, too?

LucyDiamond LucyDiamond 7 years
I dont want to poop.... ojala que no por favor.... no numero dos!!!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I was my older sisters birthing coach, along with my mother, and she was just a-pushin away when i smelled poo and i had a puzzled look on my face like "is that poop?" and my moms eyes got big and she shook her head like "if you say anything out loud right now i will pummel you" so i didnt, and I noticed the nurse wipe and whisk something away to the garbage bin. I only said something later when my sister was talking about how she heard that women sometimes do that during birth, i chimed in with "well you did" and she had no idea, we laugh about it now. I dont have kids yet, but when i do, I wont really care about what happens to my body during birth, its not like your going to keep it in there!! why worry about the embarrassment of a natural occurrence?
laj7465 laj7465 9 years
I had no idea that I did until a few weeks after and a pregnant friend ask me. I started to say no when my husband informed us both that in fact I had. NICE.
chrisTyyy chrisTyyy 9 years
I've never had the guts to ask anybody about this and it always made me curious! I always thought that when you give birth, everything else down there naturally stops lol.
cnlew cnlew 9 years
I have ALWAYS been terrified of this when I finally have children. It will be mandated that my husband NOT be allowed down least not until that part of the process has been done and cleaned up. I am VERY modest about poo...and would be MORTIFIED if my husband witnessed the act.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
this talk of mirrors is interesting. They are not present in my hospital-no recording of the actual birth allowed either. They are afraid of litigation. Does prevent the immortalization of poop,though.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 9 years
my sister's mother in law told her about this after the nurses had induced the pains, as she was laying in the delivery bed!! she worried about it for the next few hours but once the pain started kicking in she forgot all about it. she didn't end up pooping, but she did throw up after eating carl's jr before they induced her pains. lol. when I have children, I really won't care.
Pencils Pencils 9 years
I'm not planning on having a mirror there, and I'm not going to bring up the subject. If it happens, I don't want to know! Besides, I'm not that embarrassed about anything anymore. I've had a colonoscopy once already, and I didn't even like that doctor very much. :P
niklectric niklectric 9 years
I'm pretty sure I did, but I certainly didn't want anyone to tell me.
jessie jessie 9 years
:rotfl:... i did with my first...sorta hard not too...especially if the bowels have "stuff" in them. at that point...i really did not care...all i wanted was that baby OUT! i didn't know i let poohed with the first one until my hubby told first i was embarressed, but then i really thought about it. i've done far more embarrassing things in front of TONS of people...this was only 3 or 4 who will forget me..:D
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Mushaboom...thanks for the info I just had never heard of it before. BlairBear, I never thought about that. That is kinda gross. I had originally wanted a water birth, but my doc whom I wouldn't have changed for the world won't do them. He had some horrible statistics that I wouldn't want to risk.
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
Just a thought...when women are doing the water births (which totally icks me out) they are sitting there in the amniotic fluid, blood and poop too? :SICK:
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Everyone I know who did hypnobirthing also pushed, just not as early as those who rely on doctors to tell them when. The same amount of them pooped that didn't - even if the body's naturally pushing the baby out, it's bound to affect the bowel muscles and allow a release there as well. They also took measures with me pre-induction to clear things out. Still pooped on the table. *lol*
lawchick lawchick 9 years
mushaboom, people are entitled to their feelings and it't not very nice to be condescending about it. just because someone is embarrassed about this possibility doesn't mean they aren't also concerned about a safe and healthy birth. personally, I am very modest and everything about being wide open like you are when you have a child is a little horrifying to me. I like to keep bodily functions to myself -- I don't even pee in front of my husband.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
No kids yet, but this is not what I am going to be worrying about when I am delivering!
mushaboom mushaboom 9 years
badkitty, milosmommy, the body will involuntarily push the baby out, whether you try to or not. you don't have to force pushing. if you are patient, and let the process take its time, your body pushes the baby out. and you lower your risks of tearing. i can't believe so many people are seriously concerned about pooping as they deliver. it's poop, you've been doing it your whole life, everyone does, it's a normal part of birth. there is something so much bigger happening and you're worried you might poop a little in front of your husband and medical professionals?
lawchick lawchick 9 years
this is the kind of thing that makes me think I'll never be ready to have a baby. I am sooooo squeamish
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I was wondering the same thing badkitty. And I too did poop on the table. I knew it happened, but I was way too busy pushing to care. Neither the doctor or the nurses said anything. My husband didn't either, but he does like to tease me about it now. It is gross, but it comes with the territory and nothing to be embarrased about.
badkitty badkitty 9 years
How do you have a baby without pushing unless you have a c-section? Does the baby just fall out?
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
I knew about it going into it. I also had the mirror so I know I didn't. Of course, I was also induced and took pre-measures to make sure everything was cleared out. (Which was GREAT until they wanted me to poo before I left the hospital. Finally I just had to lie and say I did.)
Mishell Mishell 9 years
We will be using Hypnobirthing, so there will be no pushing. I wonder if the pooh still happens.
foxie foxie 9 years
Childbirth grosses me out so bad. Blech.
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