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The Not-So-Fun Birth Fact You Need to Know

If your OBGYN doesn't prepare you, how would you know it happens to everyone?

Samantha Green/Unsplash
Source: Samantha Green/Unsplash

Women nowadays arrive so well-prepared at childbirth. Between the books, videos, blogs and general opennessnothing can surprise them. Or can it?

It turns out that some of the less picture-perfect moments are still left unspoken. Which doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

I pooped on the hospital bed during the prep stages for my first childbirth. There, I said it. Hello social death, and so much for anyone coming up to me saying “OMG, I read your blog on birth and really loved it!” But, the truth is, I’m not the only one. Not by a long shot. Another truth is I did not see it coming. I read the book that everyone in the Western hemisphere read. My partner and I took a few classes with a nurse. And nothing.

So maybe I am the only one this happened to?

The NursingBirth blog mentions the unmentionable BM, and while she doesn’t provide any statistics – I could not find any either – she sounds very confident in saying: “DO understand that the vast majority of women poop during the birth of their babies and that this phenomenon is NORMAL.”

In an interview for Catherine Pearson on Huffington Post, Dr. Shivea Ghofrany, an OBGYN with Stamford Hospital, said it’s highly common for women to go to the bathroom during labor. But, she also said she will never voluntarily tell patients that ahead of time. Why not, I wonder? Isn’t it better for women to know this might happen, and then feel less embarrassed and confused when pooping occurs?

As part of my new project – what to REALLY expect when you’re expecting? – I decided to look at the dark corners of childbirth. It’s not ‘dark’ in a negative sort of way, just in the sense that it is unlit. Unspoken of. I’m talking about the things that women experience as unexpected, though any professional should have shed some light on this for them. As someone who's been researching medical decision making and patient empowerment for so long, my goal is to help women – and partners – be realistically prepared for childbirth. Knowledge is power.

I welcome thoughts, comments, and accounts of unexpected birth events. From mothers, partners, . midwives, doulas, OBGYNs. Bring it on, and let's shed some light together.

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