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By hushabye On 02/23/04  

Okay, I'm not having a baby anytime soon, but I'm super curious about something.
I've seen enemas mentioned in birthing threads a few times, and it seems like they are looked down on. Why is that?

(TMI)I had one when I had my appendix out, and it wasn't bad at all. Kind of gross at the end (Ha! punny!) but I didn't think there was any bad parts of it.
I really need you guys to tell me because I think all the women I know would flip if I brought it up in casual conversation. Help a confused sister out!

By jennymeg On 02/23/04  

I just don't think they are necessary, like a lot of other things that have been used in the birth process (i.e. shaving). It is sort of an unnecessary intervention, hence the reason that it might be looked down upon, as you are saying. Some people want to cleanse themselves out I guess for fear of embarrasment when something unexpected *could* come out. But, hell, a LOT will come out (blood among other things), and so what's the point, really? People seldom know *exactly* when they'll be giving birth, so I'm not even sure when something like that would be administered. There are just SO many other things to worry about, you know?

By Melynn On 02/23/04  

I have had two enemas-both pretty much against my will, but my second was when I could understand having to have one(I was having my tubes tied, It is just part of the procedure)
As far as the first time for me, I think the main reason why I was so upset I had to have one, was because I had been in labor for over 30 hours and had no pain meds. So 30 hours in labor I had been through a few shift changes for nurses. I ended up having like 8 different people's hands up in my body checking my cervix. I know they were doing what they were supposed to do, but I felt the violation had gone far enough without having something shoved up my rear too. But apparently it was supposed to relieve pressure and make the contractions go smoother. Ha, yeah right.
I was the only one I knew that actually got an enema during labor. My friends, sister, when they had thier baby, the nurse asked them if they wanted one. They said no.-And they just skated right the hell out of it. I have a pretty good sense of humor aobut it, I have to-my sister and I are very close and teasing is a MUST with us. As soon as she found out I had to have an enema she said, "So how'd that work out for ya?"
For me I thought they hurt. It felt very pokey and pointy.
I think it should be a choice to have one.
Shaving-The only times I was shaved was when I had the c-sections. Then when I had my tubes tied-I already was shaved.


By looloo On 02/24/04  

I know that I have read somewhere that they are absolutely unnecessary...they are so that you don't poop yourself during pushes. But you know what? There is nothing discreet about the birthing of a baby, what is a little poop, eh?

By senorcoconut On 02/24/04  

Hell, pushing out a kid is enough for me. Those nurses are they to take care of me and if I want to poop all over the place to avoid a tube up my ass, then so be it.

By Melynn On 02/25/04  

Hell yeah! That's the way to be! I was with my sister when she asked if she had to have one so she didn't poop on them and the dr said that she did not have to have one, she may not even do it, but if she did then it wouldn't be in the way, so it wasn't anything to be concerned about.
I had another friend who was really constipated all through her pregnancy, she didn't have an enema, but she did poop when she gave birth and she said it was the greatest shit she ever took. Very vocal gal there!


By wisheveled On 02/25/04  

In both my labors I had diarrhea.

I always have it the cramp day of my period too.

By sofrosyne On 02/26/04  

I actually *wanted* an enema, I figured it would make a more comfortable labor and I wouldn't feel inhibited or embarrassed about pushing. In the end, I got to the hospital around 5 or 6 cm and my labor was way too active to deal with having an enema on top of it, so I didn't have one. I still think it would have been nice, though, to have had one at home. I felt so much pressure as the baby was coming down, it might have been better if I had made as much room as possible.

***edited to add***
I think they are looked down on because historically they were one of those things that they unnecessarily, routinely did (like shaving and episiotomies) that the mother might not have wanted or needed. I think most hospitals don't do that stuff routinely anymore (less so with episiotomies, but that really depends on the ob/gyn)

By jennymeg On 02/26/04  

I don't think it would have made a difference. You're going to feel that pressure regardless. It's all about the convenience of the people tending to you, and they get PAID (no disrespect)! But the other stuff that comes out is really no less foul. I mean, for a lot of people, the water breaks in the time the baby is trying to get out and my husband said that was pretty gross (he was on the viewing end). He said it was all mixed with blood (Ew! why am I talking about this? it is making me light-headed!)

By msm On 02/27/04  

Ditto Sofrosyne! with my personality and shyness, i knew that i would have an involuntary resistance to pushing if my bowels weren't empty, so i requested an enema in my written birth plan. My hospital's policy was no enema unless requested. Supposedly they can make your labor pains worse; that's the only con i've heard.
I was in labor at home without realizing it and had eaten a big dinner shortly before we decided to go to the hospital. they barely had time to give me the enema, on the toilet- i was SOOOOOO glad they did, as it was nasty. the sweet nurse cleaned me up 3 times (i kept pooping) and got me onto the delivery table where i felt fresh and was in much better mood to push. (obviously, i did natural childbirth which was my choice).
LOL- i would rather be covered in broken water and embriotic "stuff" than diarrhea ANY day! there's a big difference in the smell for one thing- IMHO-

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