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embarrassing Q: do they give you an enema during labour?

(33 Posts)

just been talking to my mum about labour and one of the things she mentioned is that they give you an enema to avoid any embarrassing poop incidents with all that pushing...

is this true though, or is it something they used to do but don't anymore?

i just wondered as i keep reading things about where women have had number 2's pop out during labour...

i love my husband to bits and we are both totally comfortable around each other with toilet things etc but i still feel it would traumatise me beyond belief if i disgraced myself like that while delivering his baby!

if they don't give you one, can you request one? or can you buy some to keep in your house to use when you first go into labour?

and, if you did use an enema, how can you be sure you won't accidently birth the baby while on the toilet?

i know this is a totally stupid question and i probably won't care when it gets to the day but i've been reading about how you need to be as relaxed as you can be during labour i want to minimise as much stress and anxiety as possible!!!

ConnorTraceptive Fri 12-Feb-10 13:45:14

no not anymore

Comewhinewithme Fri 12-Feb-10 13:45:14

I've given birth 7 times and never had an enema mentioned to me so I wouldn't worry too much.

ConnorTraceptive Fri 12-Feb-10 13:46:16

You won't notice any poo incidents either during labour

displayuntilbestbefore Fri 12-Feb-10 13:46:33

Have given birth 3 times and didn't have an enema with any.

displayuntilbestbefore Fri 12-Feb-10 13:48:30

and you don't need to worry about anything "popping out" because you won't be aware of it even if it did. The midwives are so used to births that if anything did pop out, they whip it away so discreetly that no-one would be any the wiser.
Don't worry about it, it isn't important and you won't be embarrassed by anything when the time comes grin

PeasPlease Fri 12-Feb-10 13:48:38

You can request one if you are really concerned, but honestly, you will have strangers with their hands between your legs and you wont care.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 12-Feb-10 13:49:07

I don't believe they'll give you an enema even if you asked for one (my friend was refused.)

Many people poo a lot in early labour when you're easiy able to get to the loo - it's a way for the body to empty itself, and I think the uterus contracting makes you poo as well.

No, it's something they used to do. I got this told many many times by my mum (there's a whole story about how she couldn't have one with me <rolls eyes>)

Tbh I didn't poo either time but I wouldn't have noticed anyway. Actually I didn't notice any of the gunk, the midwives cleared it away so quick.

rubyslippers Fri 12-Feb-10 13:55:49

you don't get enemas

if you poo, and about 99% of women do, then as everyone says you won't notice, you won't care and nor will the MWs or your husband

Ziggurat Fri 12-Feb-10 13:55:56

1. As ILikeToMoveIt says - your body tends to dispel everything unnecessary in the early (i.e. manageable) stages of labour, when you'd easily be able to get to the loo.

I only found this out a week or so before in antenatal classes. And yes, I then really did have to both poo and be sick a lot - by the time I was in proper labour I was done downstairs, although kept being sick throughout my (short) labour.

2. In any case, you will not even be aware that you're doing it, if you do it! This is one thing that really concerns so many women pre-labour, but you honestly Will Not Care if it happens, and as Display says, the midwives are just so used to dealing with it, that it's all in a day's work for them, and you'll be none the wiser.

I asked my DH if I did and he swears I didn't, and given how often I needed the loo before we went into the delivery suite, I believe him!

MrsTittleMouse Fri 12-Feb-10 13:58:43

My Mum asked me if you still have a shave and an enema - it used to be routine, but you definitely don't have either nowadays.

My poor old husband had already been around me the day when I was preping for a colonoscopy. Which is grim, trust me. So it wasn't really an issue for him to be around me when I was labouring and delivering, even though there was a lot of blood and gore. And he still thinks that I'm pretty hot! Mind you, we both had a strict arrangement that he would always stay at the head end.

slightlystressed Fri 12-Feb-10 13:59:31

I spent about half hour on the toilet while in labour with both DSs and literally everything came out, sometimes you're body natuarlly evacuates its bowells to give more room for the baby to come out. But dont worry if you dont like other posters have said you wont notice and noone will care if one pops out while in labour.

displayuntilbestbefore Fri 12-Feb-10 13:59:33

asparagus - if you attend any classes at your hospital about what to expect in labour, you will be reassured about this issue and also, if it's like the class my hospital did, your dh will go off with the dads-to-be to be told about what labour is like so they will be aware of possible things that happen and are probably advised at that point that it's more than their life's worth to mention anything if it did happen grin

Beanigan Fri 12-Feb-10 14:03:20

I was concerned about this also but honestly during labour you really really won't care. I'm almost sure I pooed but neither my husband or myself would have EVER known for sure - the midwives are fantastic and whip whatever away so no-one notices.

I mentioned it to my husband afterwards and he said "I don't know if you did and so what if you did" - he didn't care in the slightest.

It really will be the last thing on your mind - you're emotions will be overcome once your little one is born so don't worry about it.

MamaVoo Fri 12-Feb-10 14:09:17

What everyone else said. I have no idea whether I did or not and was sqeezing DH's hand so tightly that he didn't have a chance to get down the business end.

Your embarrassment threshold will be much higher after you've had the world and his wife staring up your fanjo. I had a group of sightseers with a torch at one point hmm.

I had absolutely no idea. I could smell something but assumed DH had farted grin
I discovered, whilst sharing my birth story mutual friends, that I pooed loads - thanks for that bit of info there DH. Mortified wasn't the word! angry blush

ShowOfHands Fri 12-Feb-10 14:20:00

I'm so repressed. Honestly, it's like I belong to another century. I can't say the word poo, I can barely type it. The idea of me doing it during labour worried me so much it kept me awake. I couldn't bear the idea of it. I had this half-baked idea that I should give birth in a wood in the middle of nowhere to avoid the shame of anybody seeing anything at all. Everybody told me I wouldn't care on the day and I ignored them because they don't know me and they are liars.

When it came to it, I wouldn't have cared if the pope, his band of merry men, the cast of Friends and a choir of angels was watching me. I had to transfer to hospital during a planned homebirth and the midwives were hanging onto my ankles, pleading with me to 'at least put some knickers on' as I trudged, naked, bleeding and contracting to the waiting ambulance, through the neighbour's lupins in the middle of the day in front of a sizeable audience. I did not care. There was only labour, nothing else, the world contracted down to that fact. I can't tell you how much you won't care about anything, you'll just want that baby out.

DorotheaPlenticlew Fri 12-Feb-10 14:23:45

PMSL at going naked through the lupins watched by crowds, ShowOfHands

MumNWLondon Fri 12-Feb-10 14:28:03

I had several loose bowel movements in early labour each time.... when I was easily able to go to toilet myself. After that I wasn't worried about pooing as I was sure there was nothing left.

And as others say the midwifes would get rid of it very quickly.....

sweetkitty Fri 12-Feb-10 14:29:31

I have pooed twice out of three times. The second time was a HB and DP actually cleaned it up for me, nice of him to tell me afterwards but in his words "well your my missus and you were in too much pain to do it yourself, it's only a bit of poo and then you had a baby hanging out your fanjo which is the most amazing thing ever"

As everyone says it's impossible not to do it as you use the same muscles to push the baby out as you poo in fact the baby feels like a giant poo, the MWs usually just whip it away with all the other stuff and never mention it.

Honestly do not worry about it.

displayuntilbestbefore Fri 12-Feb-10 14:31:00

Also worth remembering that often before labour starts, you might have a couple of days of going to the loo a bit more than normal and for some women they have bit of a stomach upset at the start of labour - possibly nature's way of clearing out a bit ahead of the birth!

ShowOfHands Fri 12-Feb-10 14:32:31

PS I didn't poo.

PPS Her at no 8 with the bulldog chewing a wasp face was horrified at my behaviour amongst the lupins and for that I am eternally thankful.

PPPS I returned to being utterly repressed and was forced move house shortly after the birth.

abroadandmisunderstood Fri 12-Feb-10 14:34:17

I had to have a shave AND an enema before my elective C Section. Mind you, I'm in Germany and they really are rather fascinated with "movements"!!!! In fact, the pain relief after the birth was also given anally (makes mental note to give birth in uk next time).

DorotheaPlenticlew Fri 12-Feb-10 14:40:51

Fantastic thread.

I don't think I did a poo, but I did throw up just before "proper" full-on labor kicked in. And I kept thinking between contractions that I needed a poo, but nothing came out when I went to the toilet -- was just the pressure from the baby.

Ended up with an EMCS at long last and cannot recall any discussion of enemas etc; I hadn't eaten for about 24 hours though and had been sick, so doubt there was much left.

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