Blooma Birth Class

Ask the Educators: What If I Poop During Birth?

Childbirth education at Blooma serves families no matter what type of birth they are planning. All classes present evidence-based information for normal and safe birth, influenced by the Lamaze 6 Healthy Birth Practices. Classes provide information to expectant families to reduce their fear or anxiety while building confidence and preparing them for birth.

We love hearing your questions, and helping you make informed decisions for your birth. Many mamas and partners want to know, What if I poop during birth?

Educator Sarah Auna answers the question many are nervous to ask....

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Birth is not proper :: it’s primal

Birth is not lady-like :: it’s boss-like  

Birth is not pleasant :: it’s powerful

Birth means not holding things back :: ANYTHING!

 

Including your poop. Let the poop go. From a birth worker’s perspective poop = progress.

Pooping during labor means a birther’s body is releasing, letting go, and opening up. It means the baby is moving itself into a position low enough to stimulate the colon, meaning progress is being made!

Now you have to be a real birth-nerd (like we are here at Blooma) to come to a place of “celebration!”  when it comes to pooping in front of your birth team. So here is some info you may need before you can really let it all go in birth…

 

Will I poop during my birth?

The plain answer is simply, yes. Most likely. But, not in the way that you think.

The human body “cleanses” itself a few days, or sometimes hours, before active labor starts. This allows your body to focus on the work of labor.

You’ll likely have most of your bowel movements in private during early and active labor. This is one of the reasons why it’s so smart to labor at home as long as possible. It allows you to eat the calorically-dense, highly-hydrating, nutritious foods that feel good in your body --- and then use the privacy of your own bathroom to let them go.

If you need to “go” at your place of birth - you can ALWAYS ask for privacy. Many birthers love to use the toilet to support themselves in birth. It’s cool, private, quiet, and a familiar place of “letting go”. Just keep in mind -- if the sensation of needing “to go number-two” is combined with an uncontrollable urge to bear down… then you’ll likely have an audience in the bathroom -  because it’s not time to poop - it’s time to push a baby out!!

This “uncontrollable urge to push” is known as the Fetal Ejection Reflex and it’s often all mixed up with that “I have to poop” feeling.

Here are some common phrases birth workers hear when this Fetal Ejection Reflex is present:

“I feel like the baby is coming out of my butt”

“I can’t, not push!”

“I’m puuuuuuuuushing!”

“It feels like there is a bowling ball in my butt!”

“I have to poop so bad!”

“I sound like my toddler when they poop!”

 *GRUNTING* ... just primal grunting.

 

What if I poop my hospital bed?

If you’re choosing to birth on a bed (with or without an epidural) and you poop during your pushing phase -  then your midwife or nurse will be at the ready to clean it up quickly (often without your knowing) and your doula will be there “fluffing the air” with some quick peppermint or citrus oil, while she thinks: “Hooray! Great work! Great progress! We’re almost there!”

 

What if I’m having a water birth and I poop in the birth tub?

Many women find that having the “shroud” of the water in birth really helps to the facilitate that “no f***s given” vibe that’s needed to tap into their primal- birthing self.

More importantly, if/when you poop in your birth tub -  it’s not a “CODE BROWN! EVERYONE OUT OF THE POOL!” scenario. Rather, the midwife or nurse, whose job it is to be at the watch, will use a little fish-tank net to swoop up the floater before you (or anyone else) even know it’s there.

 

Remember, poop = progress!  Get real with yourself, your partner, and your pride and if you’re struggling to find peace with this aspect of birth…. just recall midwife Ina May Gaskin’s birth declaration: “LET YOUR MONKEY DO IT!” and you’ll tap into that primal, powerful birther who is ready to bring forth life, no matter how messy it gets.

 

Sarah Auna is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and yoga teacher at Blooma. She specializes in adding humor and real-talk to birth and motherhood and she’s here to help you through all of this! Find her classes HERE.

 

Thank Goodness for the Prep Work! Margaret's Birth Story

“Giving birth can be the most empowering experience of a lifetime – an initiation into a new dimension of mind-body awareness.” ~Ina May Gaskin

As soon as I got pregnant I read everything related to pregnancy and childbirth. I wanted to know what to expect, and what I could do to ensure everything went smoothly.

I opted to take Hypnobirthing class through Blooma (shout out to Channing!).  

Hypnobirthing provided me with information about what to expect in the different stages of labor, and offered several techniques to help me cope with the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that pop up during childbirth.  It also provided a platform for my husband and I to talk about my wishes during labor and birth, and how he could best support me.  It helped him to know what to look for as I was going into labor and what he could expect.  Which, it turned out would be very helpful in my labor and birth.

As a part of Hypnobirthing you do daily work on affirmations and visualizations.  These were incredibly helpful for me on so many levels.  It not only helped me work through my own fears leading up to my labor and delivery, it helped me cope with the new experiences I was having in pregnancy empowering me as “labor-day” drew near. 

Doing this work helped me to honor and trust in my body and my son to birth safely.  These things that I practiced turned out to be critical, allowing me to have a labor experience that left me feeling happy and empowered.

I had measured “big” all along, and was so convinced my son would come early. I think every first-time mom thinks this - or is it just me?  I remember my midwives telling me that it’s normal for a first-time mom to go past her guess date.  I also remember thinking “yeah, okay – but that won’t be me”. The universe was laughing in my face.  It was a full eight days after my guess date that I went into labor. Nine days post-guess date my son, Crosby, joined us Earth-side. 

By labor started with a false-alarm water breaking (being that pregnant in the height of the summer – one never knows).  After this false alarm I was having inconsistent surges/contractions.  This went on for several days…

Finally, on Friday, August 3rd, I hit a mental break.  I had been having surges irregularly for at least 24 hours and I felt like I was not progressing AT ALL.  I remember thinking I was going to be in this in-between state forever.  As these surges continued, I utilized my breathing skills that I had been practicing and continued my affirmations.

After two phone calls to the midwife, an increasing pressure and discomfort low in my pelvis, and continued inconsistent surges, I was convinced I was in very early labor or prodromal labor. I consciously welcomed the sensations that I was feeling and let them flow.  In fact, I remember wanting to feel more of it – because I knew that would mean we were getting somewhere!

Eventually, I felt like I needed to use the restroom, so I tried, and tried, and tried.  I didn’t need to go to the bathroom - it was a head, my sons head. In the moment I was confused. Listening to my body I thought I was progressing, but because of my irregular surges and after my conversations with the midwife I was convinced I wasn’t even close to birthing this baby. (Side note: my husband was NOT confused – he knew what was up.  But remained a steadfast observer and supporter.)

Before I knew it, my body sprang into action.  I felt a surge coming and my whole stomach bore down! After a conversation with my husband, and a call to the midwife, we were on our way to the birth center!

These pushing surges continued and about 30 minutes later we arrived at the birth center.  My midwife checked baby, I got in the water, I was checked, and he was on his way out!

This is where things got good! The water was AMAZING.

This was a happy phase for me – it felt good that my baby was coming, that I was in a comfortable space surrounded by the support team I trusted.  I worked with my body and breathed through the pushing phase. This is really where I feel the techniques that I had learned and practiced paid off!  About 2 hours after arriving at the birth center, we had our baby boy.  It was the most crazy and surreal experience.  I wouldn’t change a moment of it.

In the moment, I couldn’t tell you what stage of labor I was experiencing, but I knew to use my breath. I knew how to build support around me that allowed me to get through the moments of fear. The months prior to my birth, I had been learning and practicing so that I could put these lessons into action. It felt so good to work with my body as I brought my dear boy into this world.  My experience would not have been the same if I did not put in the work.  By preparing and practicing coping skills I set myself up for success.

Doing the work, taking time to educate yourself (and your partner), preparing your mind and body, and sharing your wishes with your support team are amazing steps you can take to create an amazing and empowering birth experience.

Written by Margaret Achu – Certified Health Coach, Occupational Therapist, Mama You can follow me on Instagram @coach_margaret_achu or check out my website margaretachu.com

To schedule a Health Coach appointment with Margaret, you can contact her at coach@margaretachu.com,  or you may schedule an introductory session through Blooma’s Wellness page.

Birth Story: "Go With The Flow"

Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of Hudson's Birth.

The moment I found out I was pregnant I had an Amazon Prime order in for the top pregnancy books so I could prepare for pregnancy and birth.  I’m a Project Manager by profession, so needless to say I’m a meticulous planner.  We took the Blooma Birth Class, did classes with our midwives, and I constantly read blogs and birth stories. I had, what I thought was, the perfect detailed birth plan.  I wanted a natural water birth with the midwives at my hospital.  Little did I know, my sweet baby boy had a different plan for me.

My due date came and went, and I wanted to avoid induction if at all possible.  We had friends and family constantly reaching out, asking for updates and wondering why the heck I hadn’t been induced yet.  It was the longest two weeks of our lives. After trying every natural way to induce labor I learned that baby will come when baby is ready!  I also learned that maybe we shouldn't have shouted our due date from the rooftops to family and friends - post due date was such an emotional time to get through.

Had it been my choice, I would have waited even longer. I simply didn’t want to go through the cascade of interventions that can oftentimes lead to a c-section.  But, at 42 weeks, we went in to the hospital for induction and I was only 1 cm dilated.  My midwife was supportive of my birth plan, and tried to stay true to it as much as possible following the induction. Thanks to our classes and preparation, we felt educated to make decisions as things progressed forward.

After 36 hours of labor, I was exhausted and, in my mind, “gave in” to the the epidural.  Within 2 hours of the epidural I went from 6 cm, to fully dilated and ready to push.  After 3 hours of pushing, the OB came in to check the positioning of our baby.  He was face up and after a flip and 3 additional hours of pushing, it was determined that he was stuck.  I was devastated to find out that a c-section was my only option after 40 hours of labor.  

In a blink of an eye, Hudson was here, and I completely forgot about all of the exhaustion and pain.  Along the way, I listened to my body and the excellent health care professionals surrounding me.  Do what you can to prepare for your birth, but be ready to adjust your plan based on what is actually happening.  Go with the flow, and listen to your support team, this will be the key in getting through it all.  Be your own advocate and surround yourself with people you trust.  Labor and delivery is a beautiful experience - even if it doesn’t follow “the plan”.

Written by A Blooma Mama.

Share your birth story with us here.

Ask the Educators: When Should I Go to My Hospital or Birth Center?

Childbirth education at Blooma serves families no matter what type of birth they are planning. All classes present evidence-based information for normal and safe birth, influenced by the Lamaze 6 Healthy Birth Practices. Classes provide information to expectant families to reduce their fear or anxiety while building confidence and preparing them for birth.

Each Blooma Educator is a seasoned birth doula, up to date on birthing practices and policies.

Our educators frequently hear the same concerns about pregnancy, birth, and beyond.

A question our educators frequently hear: At what point during labor should I go to the hospital or birth center?

First and foremost, we advise all birthing people to listen to their body and their heart.  The most important thing is that you feel safe wherever you are.  This means some birthing people may stay at home longer than others, and some may choose to head to their birthing place earlier on.  Your labor may not meet the criteria below, and that’s the beauty of birth!  It’s not a one-size-fits-all kinda thing.  There is a wide range of normal when it comes to labor patterns, and despite the differences each birthing person may experience, there is always some amount of common ground.

Here are a couple tips and tricks to give you insight.

It is always a good idea to let your care team know when you suspect you are in labor.  Your provider, and doula if you're choosing to work with one, can help you identify where you are at in your labor by listening (in person or on the phone) as you cope through a contraction.  They may suggest rest and comfort measures and encourage you to stay at home a bit longer.  If it’s clear you are in full-on active labor, your provider or doula may suggest making your way to the car (which sometimes can take 30 minutes as you’ll need to pause and focus during contractions) and head to your place of birth.

“4-1-1” is a great tool to help you gauge the progress you are making.  During active labor, contractions will pick up in intensity, become closer together, and stay that way.  We love to see a pattern of 4 minutes between the start of one contraction to the next and each contraction lasting for about 60 seconds.  This pattern should occur for at least an hour.  At this stage of labor your contractions will require your full attention and focus and you will not be easily distracted.  Your job is to breathe and cope through each wave and surge, and then rest in between.  Your support people (partner and/or doula) will be giving you their full attention; helping with position changes, providing water/snacks, encouraging you to go to the bathroom frequently, and reminding you of your strength and power.  It can be so helpful to have someone right by your side the entire time.

Plan accordingly with the travel time from your house to your birthing place.  It is also important to factor in heavy traffic times. Sitting in a car is not the most comfortable place to labor, so if you are approaching a heavy traffic time, you may want to work with your care team to work around it.

What might be an advantage to laboring at home for a longer period of time?

You may be giving birth at a hospital or birth center. But, it is a good idea to labor at home.

It helps to arrive at your place of birth when labor is fully established.  At this point you are more likely to be in a good rhythm with coping through the discomfort and know what tools work well to help you manage each surge. Sometimes arriving at your place of birth too early in labor can cause contraction patterns to subside or stall.

If you are hoping for an unmedicated birth, staying at home as long as you feel safe and comfortable increases your chance of avoiding interventions.

Your home is where you live!  It’s comfortable and safe.  You have your own blankets, pillows, bed, and couch.  You are surrounded by your own scent and personal feel.  You have access to your own kitchen and food preferences to keep you nourished.  Being in your own space allows you the ability to control things like lighting, music, and mood in a much more private and uncensored space than that of your birthing place.

Always remember to listen to your body and your heart. When unsure, always reach out to your educator, doula, midwife, or doctor.

Want to feel more prepared for your birth? Have more questions for our educators? We encourage you to join us for one of our Childbirth Education Classes at Blooma. Find one here. Best of luck to you and your birth!

Laboring at Home Photo by Jenna Dailey

Written by Amy Kelley, Doula, Childbirth Educator, Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Kids, Toddler, & Byob Yoga Instructor.  Wife, dog mom, sister, daughter, and auntie to 6 beautiful children!  You can find me on Instagram as @amykelleydoula or visit my website at www.amynkelley.com