I'm worried that I'll need to go to the bathroom during labor. What happens if I have to go?
Answers from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
During labor, you might be able to get up and urinate every few hours. Your health care provider will probably encourage you to do so because a full bladder might slow down your baby's descent or make pushing less comfortable.
However, it might be difficult to sense that your bladder is full when you're having contractions — especially if you've had an epidural. As a result, you'll likely have a small tube (catheter) inserted into your bladder to drain the urine.
Occasionally, a small amount of stool is expelled during birth. Keep in mind that this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
Jan. 08, 2015
See more Expert Answers
- Grant GJ. Adverse effects of neuraxial analgesia and anesthesia for obstetrics. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 2, 2014.
- Bucklin BA, et al. A Practical Approach to Obstetric Anesthesia. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009:143.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 9, 2014.
- Laughlin-Tommaso S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 15, 2014.