What is enema

Enema and shaving of the pubic area

Birth | Birth preparation | treatment

Many women find it unworthy to have to undergo a series of routine examinations and interventions in hospital before giving birth without knowing their purpose and without having given their consent. This also includes the enema and shaving of the pubic hair. In the opinion of the World Health Organization and many hospitals, there is no longer any reason for such measures before the birth. In most hospitals it is therefore up to you whether you want an enema or not. Pubic hair is practically not shaved at all, and infections are no less likely to occur than before.

Most women have very loose stools or even diarrhea just before giving birth. The approaching contractions usually ensure that the bowel is emptied even without an enema.

The traditional enema can, however, have advantages, as many midwives confirm. The bowel is emptied after an enema and the women can indulge in their contractions more unrestrained. In the pressing phase you do not have to fear that not only the child but also the intestinal contents will be pressed out during a severe contraction. Another advantage is that the rectum is emptied and the small pelvis offers more space for the child's head. In addition, many women tense up when stool is pressed while pressing, which increases the sensation of pain and lengthens the expulsion phase. An enema also promotes labor.

But the idea that the enema may be given in the presence of the partner is unreasonable for many women. Many clinics therefore give women the enema very discreetly so that they can administer it to themselves in the toilet. It consists of a small plastic bottle (mini enema), the contents of which are injected into the rectum. You sit on the toilet and feel the pressure to empty pretty quickly.

If a nurse or midwife does the enema, you will lie on your side in bed. Warm water is introduced into the anus through a tube. It does not hurt. After about 5 minutes you feel an urge to defecate and go to the toilet.

Last updated: 03-03-20, BH