What if I poop?

What if I poop during labour?

A question that every birth doula has heard. Numerous times. Usually asked in the vicinity of “should I shave?”, but we’ll save the latter for another day.

You’ve all heard that pooping during labour is TOTALLY normal.

True? Yes.

Comforting? Heck no!

I know you’re not worried about whether its normal or not, you’re worried about a team of people seeing you “do your business”

Let’s calm you all down, and give you the scoop on the poop.

Close your eyes and imagine…

Wait! Don’t do that! You won’t be able to keeping reading….

Imagine (in your mind’s eye with your eyes still open), a peaceful birth room, dimmed lighting and serene music playing. The scent of lavender fills the air.

Amazing right?

You’ve been riding the wave of every contraction and you feel like it’s time to push.

Suddenly your anxiety hits. Your heart lurches into your mouth. Your butt feels both wide open and totally stopped up.

You think you need to go to the loo.

But you don’t want a toilet baby!


What to do?

Oh no! It’s too late, you pooped!

Ground, please just swallow me whole.

But wait, it still smells like lavender and rainbows! You scan the room, no one has flinched. Maybe you didn’t poop.

But you did…

And no one cares

You see your birth team have seen (and smelt – hence the lavender) it all before. It’s no biggie to your doctor, your midwife, your nurses or your doula.

Poop on the bed? We’ll roll up the linen saver and change it without you even noticing.

Poop on the birth ball? We’ll don a pair of gloves and clean it up.

Poop in the tub? We’ll scoop it out.

Why though?

Because. It’s. Not. A. Big. Deal.

And actually it’s an important part of giving birth. Poop is a magical meadow  of beneficial biological bacteria! The kind of bacteria that you want your newborn to be coated in so that they will be healthy and strong.

Sounds gross though, that your baby might land in your poop. You’re about to deal with a whole lot of poop. Newborns can poop like it’s nobody’s business. And they’re going to poop on you at some stage, I guarantee it. So why not get the first shot in?

You will find yourself talking about poop a lot in the future, but soon the actual act of pooping will be  become a non-event  for you too(until your little does it on the toilet the first time, then you crack open the champagne- for the adults Carol, relax, I’m not advocating giving toddlers champagne. Gahd.)

I for one am a big fan of the pushing poop. For one, it means your body is pushing the way it should. For two, once the poop is out, there’s more space for the baby to come out. The more space there is, the better!

So next time you are worried about pooping in labour, think of the benefits, and know that your doula is your pooping cheerleader. And, when it happens, she will also be your private pooper scooper.

No. Big. Deal

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