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Embarrassing Worries

This is embarrassing: I’m concerned about having a BM while I’m in labor. Did you worry about that?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: During my first pregnancy, I was a resident on the hospital’s labor and delivery floor. So I knew everyone there! My colleagues dropped in to my room to see how I was doing. I fondly remember the intern came in to start my IV because to this date, we’re still professional colleagues and I enjoy running into her at conferences.

I wasn’t worried or self-conscious about how I would look to my colleagues while I was in labor myself. A lot of women are concerned that they might have a BM or pass urine while in labor. That’s understandable, but it’s simply not a big deal for the average obstetrician because we see it so much — it is so normal that it happens most of the time. The baby’s head is pressing on the rectum, and some stool comes out. There’s a big catch pan, and they simply wipe away anything.

On the other hand, what I was worried about was pushing. I thought, “Oh my God, if I’m a bad pusher, everyone on the labor and delivery floor will know.” So when I was fully dilated, and it was time to push, I pushed very hard. I really focused and was lucky – I only had to push for around 20 minutes—not very long at all–and then my daughter was born!

 —Siobhan Dolan, MD, MPH, a mom of three, a consultant to the March of Dimes, and an associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, in New York City

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.