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A question for the MN midwives: roughly what percentage of women poo in labour? (not in the loo!)

(27 Posts)
SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 14:05:48

Just curious really. Thanks!

EccentricaUsesTheDMForBogRoll Fri 21-Aug-09 14:07:17

lots. but i get ever so excited by all body fluids, particularly poo. means there is a head pushing down low.

Nettee Fri 21-Aug-09 14:09:03

very common anyway and not a big issue except as Eutdfb says - means things are happening

EccentricaUsesTheDMForBogRoll Fri 21-Aug-09 14:12:17

also good for colonising baby's gut.

SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 14:12:18

lol at Eccentrica's excitement grin

Hmm yes, I kind of expected it to be around 50%.

reikizen Fri 21-Aug-09 14:13:34

I would say it depends on whether the woman has had an epidural and been 'starved' so no poo to come out. Also, lots of women find their bodies 'clear them out' early on in labour. But it is pretty common and we try to be discreet about clearing it up! It isn't normally a huge amount though. Most women worry about it and it can even hold some women back from pushing which is a real shame when midwives don't bat an eye about it.

SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 14:13:39

Really Eccentrica? Not sure if I want the answer to this, but is that because the baby ends up with a bit of poo on him/her?

Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 21-Aug-09 14:13:55

only 50%? I thought it was a dead cert. A couple of nuggets was about all I managed to push out - had to drag dd out with forceps but I had no probs pushing the poo out grin.

EccentricaUsesTheDMForBogRoll Fri 21-Aug-09 14:14:44

not really but because anus and vagina are so close together.

SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 14:16:27

reikizen - yeah..I'm pretty sure I didn't poo with DD (long starving labour + epidural) but I think I did with DS. I've just been mulling it over as I've had diarrhoea for blimming months now, and I am somewhat apprehensive about having a terrible poo-fest in labour this time round shock

SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 14:19:05

Eccentrica - I'm ashamed to say that I have giggled slightly at birth videos when you see the baby coming out looking at a botty hole. [childish]

(I then almost always and quite inexpicably burst into tears hmm Just as well I'm not a MW, eh?)

lou4791 Fri 21-Aug-09 14:39:12

Agree with all the previous posts. At least half of ladies will poo a little when pushing out their babies. If there is some poo in the lower rectum it will be be pushed out- impossible to stop it. It truly doesn't matter to the midwife in the least- in fact we see it as a really good sign that birth is likely imminent and to make sure we've some towels ready for the baby!I usually clear it away no problem without anyone noticing - even the mother. Please don't worry about it at all.
Lou x

Mammina Fri 21-Aug-09 14:45:38

I keep meaning to ask DH about this - I'm sure I pood when pushing DD out and I'm sure I felt the midwife wipe something away blush, but actually all I cared about was getting her out, so I wasn't bothered in the slightest!

Trikken Fri 21-Aug-09 14:53:47

This topic makes me feel so much better, i dont think i did with ds but must admit was slightly worried about it happening with this one, now i will take it as a good sign if I do!

Caro1302 Fri 21-Aug-09 21:06:09

I know I did and I couldn't stop apologising to the midwife blush

sweetkitty Fri 21-Aug-09 21:13:01

I did with DD1 and 2 couldn't have cared less, with DD2 DP actually cleared it up, I asked him about it and he said of course it didn't it's only a bit of poo for heavens sake, he them said a baby came out your fanjo, thats amazing.

With DD3 she crawled out in two little pushes no time to bear down and push

Reallytired Fri 21-Aug-09 21:21:19

You will be in so much pain you won't care. I pooed during the second stage, but the poo landed in the toilet. My poor baby narrowly missed being born in the toilet as well.

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Fri 21-Aug-09 21:27:07

"You will be in so much pain you won't care."

Gosh that's helpful.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 21-Aug-09 21:50:43

I think what reallytired means is that you will be in agony concentrating so hard on the pain intense sensation of getting the baby out that you won't care about a bit of poo when there is a baby emerging from your fanny. I pooed a wee bit but it was right as he was crowning and I truly didn't care. I did see it tho as I was standing up and so saw every gross thing that dropped out from between my legs.

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Fri 21-Aug-09 21:53:17

Perpetuating the idea that a normal delivery involves "agony" just makes me really cross. If the pain is too much to cope with, there is plenty that can be done about it. There is just no need for anyone to be in "agony", if that's what they really feel it is.

PinkTulips Fri 21-Aug-09 21:56:20

I didn't with dd and ds1 but with ds2 i did and somehow managed to end up with some on my elbow hmm

There were 2 nurses, a MW and dp there and none of them even reacted... dp actually helped me clean the stray bits off once ds2 was delivered.

I was convinced that if it happened to me i'd be mortified but honestly, couldn't give a rats arse... there was no way ds2 was coming out without the poo making an exit too!

Sorry, i know that's not a mws answer but figured if you were looking for percentages i'd add my 33.3333333% to the mix wink

hf128219 Fri 21-Aug-09 21:58:08

What gets me in threads like this is the idea that 'poohing' is wrong!

If you need to go, you need to go!

Just don't worry about it.

Reallytired Fri 21-Aug-09 22:06:36


OK then... The contractions sensations will be so intense that you will not even think about poo. At that sort stage of labour your body takes over. You lose all inhibitions and you just get on with the job of delivering the baby. If you are going to worry about a bit of poo you would tense up and the birth would be more painful than need be.

I managed to give birth four months ago with no pain relief except TENS. (Not even gas and air) I did find the final contractions painful, but I coped.

I am quite weird in that I found the crowning stage quite empowering.

Klaw Fri 21-Aug-09 22:11:52

not all births i've been at have had poo in the second stage, as many women will have evacuated earlier in the labour. I recall declaring at both my own labours that no-one should enter the toilet I had just come out of for a while...

but if there is poo well it's a fab sign that baby is almost out. Childbirth is the only time when we can rejoice about poo! It's a sign of progress, something to be positive about grin

emkana Fri 21-Aug-09 22:15:32

In Germany women routinely have an enema when going into labour, but doesn't see common at all here.

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