Hi, First time mom expecting a baby girl this April. I was wondering if I should get an enema before giving birth in the water? Did it help with keeping the clean and not contaminated? What were your experiences with it? Help or Hurt? Did you have many bowel moments before labor? What was your experience with water birth? LIke it or wanted to get out of the tub?
Enema before waterbirth?
I have had two waterbirths (children #2 and #3) and have attended almost forty.
For my own births, the water was really helpful. I got in the tub with my second, not necessarily planning to birth in the tub, but it was such a relief that I ended up staying in to deliver.
I did not get an enema. None of the moms I've worked with (to my knowledge) have had one.
Poop in the tub isn't an issue. If mom poops, we take a fishnet and discreetly scoop it out.
I had a waterbirth for my one and only baby (DS, born 2Mar13). The warm water helped a ton. It eliminates the force of gravity, you know! I could float in the tub (which was great, because after 22 hours of labor, I was very tired and the floating helped support my tired muscles) and move in ways that just weren't possible on land. I kinda wish I could have given birth in water 5 ft deep, but I guess that's frowned upon in pools other people swim in... Oh well. Of course, warm water helped relax the nether-regions, which helped prevent major tearing, even though I pushed quickly.
Now, poop. I was terrified of letting one slip while DH was around (and he was in the water with me!). But by the time it happened, I didn't care. The pressure DS was putting on my rectum with his head was almost unbearable, and I felt like honestly, all I wanted to do was poo to relieve some of that pressure! But alas, pooing did nothing for me, because like a pp said, its just little tiny poos anyway. What a let down! DH took it well, I didn't care, and when DS's head finally popped out, oh my goodness, what a feeling, simply because the pressure was instantly gone!! Really. Pooing during pushing=not a big deal. In any way.
Everybody gets nervous about the poop. In labor your in such a totally different head space your previous modesty flies away. I can't believe how many people saw me naked and I didn't care at all. Try not to stress about it bc in the moment you most likely won't care at all.
Yes to this. I was so horrified of pooping in front of DH . I remember feeling DS's head and yelling "I'm pooping, oh my God, I'm pooping!" because I was so horrified and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It felt like it must be giant, but of course was not at all, just a hershey's kiss. Good times, lol. At least this time I will know better than to be so embarrased!
Can I just say as a Doula I've seen so many women say "I'm pooping" during pushing and they aren't even pooping at all. Sometimes the feeling like you are is so intense you are convinced you are but it's just the pressure of the baby on your rectum. And if you do poop it's not biggie, everyone, including partners, are pretty focused on the imminent arrival of baby that they don't even notice the poop :)
The water is fine:
I seriously considered an enema for my second birth. I was constipated for both my pregnancies, which was not well managed by anything I was willing to do during pregnancy. I felt like my first birth would have been better if I had emptied my bowels. So, with my second I was prepared to do an enema. When labor started I forgot all about it. So, my advice is to research, decide if it's for you and if you do want one, ask your DP (or whoever you will have with you in early labor) to remind you.
I've had two waterbirths. Everyone assured me when the time came, if I pooped, I wouldn't care at that point. Totally not true. I did poop with DS1 (tiny poops like everyone is saying) and it did embarrass the heck out of me. It seemed like I kept pooping for awhile. I know the midwife scooped the first few, but at some point DH became the scooper. He would just casually scoop them out with the fishnet and put them in a bowl. HUGELY EMBARRASING. He didn't seem to care, and no one else did. But I never reached that "oh I don't care" phase:)
With DS2 I didn't poop at all (yeay!)
My midwife had me have an enema before my waterbirth because she said there was poo that was affecting the angle of baby's head. In my opinion this made it worse (although it may have been necessary), because then the poo that was in the water was loose and making everything kind of gross. :p I'm still thankful for the waterbirth (wish I had done it with my second!! Didn't realize how much pain relief it provided!), but it was a bit gross. I think my husband was more grossed out than me, though. He kept trying to keep my face out of the water.
As for the previous poster who said they have only seen constipated moms poop copious amounts, I would disagree as I poop with a most regular flow in pregnancy after the first trimester hormone shift. In fact I wish I pooped as regularly when not prego :-)
However poop happens and I'd think that as long as you let people know who will be there that you prefer not comments it will be fine. I think we make a big deal about poop but other mammals eat poop to meet nutritional deficiencies - so my guess is it can't be that bad for us in labor. We know through science that it cultivates a healthy flora for us at birth and I personally believe our fear of it in labor is a carry over from the sterile conveyor belt birth days.
I've seen poop in tubs and on the bed, and for me watching I hardly notice and hope this new knowledge helps me this time around. I hope this helps some. :-)