I’m always a little surprised by what women are scared may happen during the birth process. Some fears are based in truth, some based in hearsay, and some have no basis at all but are real to the woman.
The most common fear I get is “I’m afraid I’m going to poop during the birth.” Seriously. This is a real fear. What seems to drive this fear most is that the woman’s spouse might see this happen, and she’s afraid her spouse will be “grossed out” or won’t find her attractive anymore. Her fears compound upon themselves; she thinks, “It’s not sterile…what if the baby comes in contact with it…?”
I have seen labors literally stall because of this fear. Women ready to push their baby out, and labor stalls. Because of this fear. Why is a normal bodily function viewed as repulsive? I don’t want to swim in it or anything like that, but moving the bowels is as normal as breathing. It’s got to happen. The alternative is very unpleasant.
What I find amusing is we are not offended watching animals poop. We walk our dogs and pick up poop and carry it around until we find a garbage. We pick it out of cat litter boxes. I’m sure you have noticed animals don’t care who is watching them relieve themselves. It’s a normal bodily function. The animal kingdom is not thinking twice about this. So why are we?
Here’s the thing—you are most likely going to push out poop when pushing your baby out. Not always, but it is likely. If you have stool in the colon area, a baby’s head is going to push it out as it’s coming through the birth canal. This is normal. Usually, it’s all done by the time the baby is born and is of no concern to your midwife or other healthcare provider. Actually, it’s reason for celebration!
“Celebration?” you ask. Yes!!! Celebration! The baby is coming, and you are pushing beautifully! We will often cheer (privately, as women don’t welcome it so happily). A midwife friend of mine says, “God wouldn’t have a baby come out so close to the poop hole if it was bad for them.” I agree. Most providers discreetly just wipe it away and move on.
Will your partner still find you attractive? Yes! Will your partner like seeing this? Probably not. But what I find is, the moment this happens, they don’t care anymore. They watched you and encouraged you through this pregnancy and labor. They have watched you manage contractions for hours. Their only concern is for you and the baby. They do not care at this point. They just want you to stop having contractions. Our partners often feel helpless because they can’t make labor better; they can only support you. They are in awe of your birthing powers, and, honestly, they can’t wait to have relations again. I’m just being real.
Pregnancy and birth is a normal part of a woman’s life and so is pooping! Throw away the fear, and embrace it, if it happens. It means your baby is very close to being in your arms!