You've probably already gotten used to strong reactions from your body during your pregnancy. For many pregnant people, this starts in the first trimester with the familiar morning sickness. As your pregnancy develops in the months that follow, it will put more pressure on your bowels, causing you to have to go to the bathroom more often. For many pregnant people, labour also begins with diarrhoea or vomiting. In a way, the body is making room for birth. It sounds more embarrassing than it is. Midwives and obstetricians know this reaction of the body. They can also help you to specifically empty your bowels beforehand, so that you can devote yourself entirely to pushing during the birth.

Just as vomiting can begin the birthing process, it can also indicate the imminent end of it. When the cervix has opened to about eight centimeters in the fetal expulsion phase, many people in labour throw up again. Only in exceptional cases does this happen with almost every contraction in which the cervix dilates. If you throw up a lot, it can cause extra stress and make you cramp up. The cause of vomiting and nausea may be excessive irritation of the nerve cord that connects the brain to the stomach. It's called the vagus nerve. The medications given to relieve pain can also cause vomiting. The reason for this is that not everyone can tolerate an epidural, the antispasmodics, or the labour medications that are often administered during deliveries.

Vomiting during childbirth is quite normal. However, in order to protect you and your stomach, it helps if you only eat light foods once the contractions have started. You should also drink enough during childbirth. This is especially true if you've been throwing up. Because you'll lose a lot of water that way. Drinking also helps with headaches that can occur due to lack of fluids. There is no universal prescription against nausea itself. What helps varies greatly from person to person. Some people in labour benefit from acupuncture, osteopathy or a little massage. Just like controlled breathing, these methods can also help you relax again after you vomit.

Diarrhoea is quite normal during childbirth. The hormones that trigger your contractions, called prostaglandins, affect digestion. Many people have either very soft stools or diarrhoea at the onset of labour. The drugs administered to induce labour and thus induce birth also contain prostaglandins and can cause diarrhoea. To help empty your bowels, you can have an enema. This is done either by a colonic irrigation with lukewarm water or an enema, which is a kind of bag filled with liquid that you can squeeze. In the past, all women were given an enema before giving birth. Today you can decide for yourself if you want to have one. Again, it's important to make sure you drink enough so you don't become dehydrated.

A targeted bowel evacuation before delivery has several advantages. For one thing, it decreases the likelihood of having an involuntary bowel movement during the birthing process. Secondly, anything that takes up space in your abdomen makes it harder for the baby to get out. When the bowels are no longer full, it is much easier. Plus, you'll be better able to let go and push full force in labour if you don't have to worry about uncontrolled bowel movements. As a result, the birth usually goes more easily.