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enema during first stage labor?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay - this is embarrasing to ask, but why not ask on an anonymous message board? Most of us fear the poop factor in labor. I was 8 mos pregnant with DS before anyone told me a story about pooping while pushing in front of family members and DH. It truly haunted me Luckily, when I went into labor, the first stage labor involved a lot of involuntary trips to the bathroom, so I didn't have anything left to worry about when it came time to push.

In Robert Bradley, MD's book "The Husband-Coached Birth" he mentions the fact that he thinks that the routine hospital shave and enema as a prelude to the "knock 'em out, drag 'em out routine" of last century is unnecessary, he also says that it might not be a bad idea for those women who are deathly afraid of pooping. He mentioned that having one in early labor might get rid of the fear so that when it comes time she can push with all her might and ignore the feeling of a bowel movement, knowing that it is just the baby coming.

So it has me wondering - should I consider an enema (at home, not forced at a hospital for gosh sakes) during first stage labor? My sister, an RN, told me she gave them to herself after pooping with her first daughter during pushing. She said she did them when she noticed she went into labor - and swore that they sped labor along and caused her not to have any embarrasement during pushing with her last three daughters (and she often invited friends and family to witness that event).

What are your thoughts on this? Please do share
post #2 of 19
With baby #1 my body naturally cleaned itself out the couple of days before labour started so this wasn't an issue. Although with baby #2 , when I was induced, my OB palpitated my belly and said I needed an enema as my bowel was full. They gave me a suppository and told me to "hold it" in for 10 mins. I know exactly what you're talking about because I am an absolute PRUDE when it comes to bowel functions. I told them that I will be in the toilet for the next 10 mins as there was NO WAY I was going to embarrass myself before labour had even started, plus I didn't want them to know when I went LOL .
Anyway, even though I did this, there was a moment as the baby crowned that I felt my greatest fear occur but the MW gave me a nervous look and sorted it out so quickly that my mum didn't even notice - and she had front seat tickets! It was a secret between the MW and I.
I don't think you should do your own at home without MW's advice, especially if you're as private as I am. What if you have a fast labour that starts just after you start your enema? Oh and they do speed up labour because it frees up some space for the baby's head to be able to push hard against your cervix .
I vote you tell your MW about your concerns and after she's told you not to worry about it, it's common BLAH BLAH then she'll give you some good advice and possibly note down that you're a discreet person and anyone else that you deal with will (should) respect that.
post #3 of 19

I was sooo afraid of pooping with my first. And I had a couple floaties in the pool but they were quickly whisked up by the fecal fish net.
My Second was a bit more..*intense* shall we say, and I was thinking my intestines were coming out - not just poop.
I say inform your mw if you feel the need for an enema.
post #4 of 19
i took castor oil to get my labor going wth DD since we only had a few more days left to deliver at the birth center. it certainly cleared me out before we got started and it sped things along big time!

they say the contractions of the bowel help stimulate the contractions for labor...
post #5 of 19
Not in you DDC, but sort of expecting an OCt baby and I am so glad to read this post!

I have been horribly constipated with this pregnancy and I just told dh that I was afraid that my backed up bowls might loosen while pushing and I, too, am deathly afraid of having a bm during labor. In fact, I think with my son I held back some while pushing as I was sure I was pooping everywhere (I didn't). I would want to do an enema at home though as well. What would people use to do this? I have some baby fleet enemas from when my son was about 3 and was horribly horribly constiapted, but that is where my emena knowledge ends.
post #6 of 19
I pooped while pushing with dd, but my MW just kept quickly wiping it away. Fast enough that DH never even realized until years later and I was talking about it. He didn't believe me.
post #7 of 19
I did an enema with dd as soon as I got to the hospital, b/c I knew I wouldn't be able to push and be afraid of pooping, and it does feel like pooping.
They have the same enema bags at the drug store, so if I don't clean out on my own this time, I will probably give one to myself when I'm sure labor is starting.
post #8 of 19
I'd say if you're deathly afraid of poop while pushing out the baby then go ahead and ask about it. I mean, you don't want to be so scared of pushing out some poo that you wouldn't want to push out the baby. But it's all part of the process and that's life, plus your body will generally do its own natural clearing out in the days/hours before labor really kicks in, so you really shoulnd't have to worry too much about it. Everyone poops...
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiesmom View Post
I did an enema with dd as soon as I got to the hospital, b/c I knew I wouldn't be able to push and be afraid of pooping, and it does feel like pooping.
They have the same enema bags at the drug store, so if I don't clean out on my own this time, I will probably give one to myself when I'm sure labor is starting.
What do you put in an enema bag? Just water?
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlost View Post
What do you put in an enema bag? Just water?
Acctually, I heard the reason why you poop during pushing is to colonize your newborn's gut with the bacteria it needs to colonize his/her intestines with the bacteria he/she needs to produce vitamin K

>.> I'm smart...

*stops crashing your DDC..*

sorry..
post #11 of 19
this is one of my big labor fears - i blame my mom for telling me they made her have an enema with me. for my one other pg (which resulted in a stillbirth) i could have sworn i had to go to the bathroom, so they let me go and left me alone and i delivered alone in the bathroom and now i'm just completely paranoid.

anyway, DH told me he doesn't want to watch anything, he just wants to stand by my head and hold my hand (hospital birth) so that helps me relax a bit.
post #12 of 19
I don't have any particular fear about pooping during labor. If it happens, it happens. However, I thought after my first that I might want to do an enema this time around because having the poop inside me just wasn't particularly comfortable during labor.

I would have to be in some serious discomfort before I actually asked for one, though, so I don't think it's going to actually happen.
post #13 of 19
Sorry for crashing you DDC!
With my dd I pushed her out on the toilet so it really wasn't an issue! You could try that!
post #14 of 19
Not in your DDC either, but put it this way:

Do you want the poop falling out or spraying out? 'cause an enema can make the latter happen.

Sometimes in early labour your will feel the need to evacuate your bowels, and you get cleaned out. MOST moms push out a little stool while pushing out their baby. It's not harmful, no one in the room will bat an eye, and as a previous poster said, it may even be helpful to the newborn. IMHO, an enema is totally unnecessary, and an intervention. And you may spray your poop!
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
How on earth would it do that? As far as I know, the baby does not come in contact with the rectum (or the poo if a MW wipes it away). I just took a certification course in childbirth education, and I never came across that one. Not to say it isn't true - I just don't know how it would work.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertrandsgirl View Post
How on earth would it do that? As far as I know, the baby does not come in contact with the rectum (or the poo if a MW wipes it away). I just took a certification course in childbirth education, and I never came across that one. Not to say it isn't true - I just don't know how it would work.
Babies are born facing the rectum generally, if not, then they are born sunny side up and that's when you get one hella back labour.

Usually facing rectum = contact even if minimal. (even if there is no acctual Poo present, there is poo particles especially if there was a minor BM before hand...TP only gets so much KWIM?)

And that minimal contact = good for colonizing the babes intestinal flora.

There was a whole study done a while ago about the gut flora of C-sectioned babies vs vaginal birthed babies. I should google it...it involved mice and I know there was a post on it in Birth and Beyond somewhere....I just woke up so please give me a break lol.

Anyway the conclusion of the study is that the guts of the newborn mice who were born vaginally matured and colonized at a faster rate than the guts of the mice who were born via c-section.

ETA: I had a friend excersise teh google fu and this is what I got:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

Figures, a compromised gut at birth can lead to allergies and problems down the road..yes...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

Still can't find THE study. I know there was a thread on it over a year ago in Birth and Beyond....and I can't find it to save my life either..My google fu is weak

Aaah here we go

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=14599042
Quote:
The maternal intestinal flora is a source of bacteria for the neonatal gut.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynnMarilynn View Post
Not in your DDC either, but put it this way:

Do you want the poop falling out or spraying out? 'cause an enema can make the latter happen.
Ok, that made me laugh out loud! I would actually have a cardiac arrest if I "sprayed my poop out"! But when I did the enema with dd I just used warm water), it was another 16 hours until I was pushing, and I didn't poop. Of all the concerns of labor and delivery, it's really sad that pooping is at the top of my list, but it is!

Also, couldn't the natural flora of the vagina help the baby colonize the gut?
Isn't it essentially the same bacteria?
post #18 of 19
Thanks ladies! I wasn't even thinking about pooping and now I am! LOL. I guess if its normal, then I shouldn't feel silly about it, but the thought of pooping in front of people freaks me out. I still shut the door to the bathroom if I have to go so that my husband doesn't come in.

Maybe I'll just stock up on prunes over the next few weeks so that I'm free and clear of anything in advance!
post #19 of 19
I worried about pooping when I was preg with my first but once I was in labor it was the furthest thing on my mind (plus I completely emptied my bowels in early labor). I didn't even worry about it all with my second (and I probably did poop w/him). I am very private about pooping too but while in labor I just don't give a sh!t (pun intended ).
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