I'm 39+4 with my 3rd and final child. For some reason I have been thinking about stuff that never even crossed my mind with the other two. Right now at the top of my list is pooping during delivery. What can I do to avoid this?

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Dominique,

 Thirty-five years ago it was fairly common for a woman to receive an enema as she went into labor--not a great experience. It is normal to pass some stool during the pushing phase of labor. It's important to avoid being constipated or having hard stool that can slow down pushing. My advice is to stay well-hydrated. In this hot weather 10 to 12 cups of water, juice, soup, jello or other liquid is important.

    With your third baby the pushing phase may go quickly and it is possible that you won't pass any stool. 

    Wishing you a safe and happy birth experience with this baby!

I am not sure if you can really avoid it. I am on baby #5 and it happened to me with #4. Its always something I wanted to avoid. To be honest it was not a big deal and the nurse acted like it was nothing. The only thing I have to deal with is the hubby bringing it up every once in a while joking. It was just us in the room too. Usually right before labor begins I have to go and I think that is what kept it from happening before. Maybe you could try to go during early labor before things start to get tough.
Don't worry about it! It's a normal bodily function and those attending your birth will (or certainly should) treat it as such. It happenned to me during my second homebirth - it was minimal, but I was at first embarrassed. My midwife just wiped it away and told me to focus on the business at hand - getting my baby into my arms!!
It's a natural part of the process.  I suppose you could try pooping before active labor sets in and you're not exactly worried about bathroom runs, but I don't know of a single woman who didn't poop during some part of L&D (except probably our grandmothers, and only because it's unladylike to talk about, but not because they didn't).

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