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Pooping and farting while giving birth

by Evelyn
(Boise Idaho)

I was pregnant with 4 girls and every birth I would always have a lot of farting and pooping while delivering. Excuse me, is it normal?


Great question!

Pooping while birthing is a common concern of pregnant women. Honestly, who really wants to do THAT in front of someone else?

I am sure no one does.

However, it does frequently happen. In the final stage of pushing out the baby, the rectal passage gets compressed by the baby and anything in there also gets pushed out.

For midwives and other birth attendants it is no big deal. It's a normal part of the process and they are quite used to dealing with the fecal matter. They usually cover it and remove it swiftly!

Its also not a bad thing. Research has shown that being exposed to the bacteria in that area actually benefits the baby's immune system. This is one of the many Benefits of Giving Birth Vaginally.

Interestingly, not all women pass faeces while birthing. Quite often they experience the need to use the toilet in early labour and the body cleanses itself in the process, but as stated above, not everything might be removed before the time.

When birthing for the first time, many women are surprised at how similar the sensation of pushing out a baby is to that of pushing out a poo. It should not be surprising as the head of the baby is putting pressure on all the same muscles and places and so it does feel the same - just a lot bigger!

So, in a nutshell, while not everyone has the same experience, it is quite normal.

Pooping or farting during labor & birth are normal bodily functions that happen during normal labor (as do burping, vomiting, grunting, groaning, crying, etc).

Birthing is not the time to try to impress anyone or display social graces. It is a time to be as private as possible, undisturbed and to act on your instincts.

P.S. I know a midwife who seems to deliberately burp and fart out loud, and I am sure her motivation is to put a birthing mother at ease. What's she saying by her behaviour, is "I've done it, so it's alright if you do anything impolite too!"

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