Does Everybody Poop During Delivery?

Every so often I’m asked a question where I say, “Hmm, that’s a good question for a nurse,”  and pooping on the delivery table is one of them.

Seeing as I don’t attend many births (I was barely there for the two I did) I can’t say how common it is. All I can say is it was something I was VERY concerned about before I went into labor, then it was something that I couldn’t care less about during it – personally, I think the phrase “I don’t give a shit,” was coined by a woman giving birth.

But in the interest of knowledge, I asked Hilary from Pulling Curls about it because she’s an actual nurse (rather than a foul-mouthed Canadian sitting at home eating All Dressed potato chips) and may have a little insight on this gem.


Here’s the poop:

Hello Pregnant Chickens, I’m Hilary, from Pulling Curls  – your friendly neighborhood Labor and Delivery nurse here to answer your probing {haha} questions on pregnancy.  Believe me, no question is too stupid, no answer will be too graphic.  For instance, here’s the question du jour:


“Will I poop during delivery?  I will be moritified.  How can I stop it?”

— Ashley (asking for a friend of course)


Well, Ashley, that’s a pretty normal question.  I get it at almost every prenatal class I teach. Here are five things to consider:


It is less likely to happen if you go into labor on your own.  You will often clean yourself out during early labor at home.  If you come in for an induction, you miss out on that part.


Doctors used to order enemas.  You don’t want that.  Also, it didn’t really help and just made labor even LESS fun.  We will NOT do them anymore.  I’ve had patients ask and the doctors just laugh.


It is humanly impossible to clench the poop-exit area, while not clenching the baby-exit-area.  Hence, you’ll be pushing against closed muscles.  Average pushing time on your first baby is 2 hours.  You don’t need anything preventing delivery.


It’s what we do.  We clean-up poop, and vomit, and urine, and blood.  The nurse will stick a cloth there and clean you up regularly.  It is NOT a big deal for us.  Also, we are happy to see it, because it means you ARE pushing in the right area.  That is a happy thing!


If you do (and frankly, the majority do) no one will ever talk about it.  If they do, you need to question your relationship with them.  Gosh darn it, that baby pushes RIGHT on that area, it’s humanly impossible to prevent it.  In the immortal words of our friend Elsa.  Let it go. 🙂

So, those are my thoughts on pooping.  Got any other questions?

Unlike me, Hilary is a nurse who has worked in various medical fields for the past 14 years, however, none of the information on this blog should be substituted for the care of a physician. You’re smart. You get it. Call your doctor if something seems weird.

Our next recos:

Easiest Births Ever

Pain Relief in Labor and Delivery: The Epidural

7 Childbirth “Facts” I Was Completely Wrong About

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