Q: I've heard it's perfectly normal to have a bowel movement while delivering and not to be embarrassed by it. What happened to the practice of providing an enema? Aren't there enough things exposed and enough vulnerability without adding more unnecessary concern and worry?
A: Enemas are no longer routinely given during labor. Defecation while pushing is a normal occurrence. I have had patients give themselves an enema at home prior to going to the hospital if they were worried about losing bowel control while pushing. Enemas are safe when you are full term, but they should not be used during a pregnancy unless it's advised by your obstetrician.