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Enema during labour??

  1. #1
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    Enema during labour??

    Anyone else had any experience with this? I note that there are instructions to administer an enema on my admission letter to the hospital. As I thought this archaic practice was phased out some decades ago, it wasn't something I had even considered as a possibility! I am going to tell my doctor that I will refuse this procedure and the it's already been added to my birth plan. Is this normal practice for labouring women in Hong Kong hospitals?

  2. #2
    banane76 is offline Registered User
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    I didn't get one with my first baby at Queen Mary. I didn't know you had to do that. I guess they want to empty your bowels before baby comes? I'm sure you can say you don't want one though.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    You can refuse an enema. I put that in my birth plan. However, midwives will tell you that if your labor is progressing slowly and enema can actually have an effect of speeding it up in some cases. Anyway, there is no reason why you should have one--it also doesn't guarantee your bowels will be empty when it comes to labor. You'd have to go through at least a 1-hour colon cleanse in order to thoroughly clean out your bowels. An enema will only cleanse the lower part of your colon anyway.

  4. #4
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    i believe enemas used to be quite standard procedure in some places, but they aren't necessary. if you're going to have an 'accident' during labor, it'll happen regardless of the enema!

  5. #5
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    rani is offline Administrator
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    I think most people have "accidents" during labor. Isn't it better if the mess is less and have an enema?

  6. #6
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    No, Rani I don't agree. What women wants to arrive at a hospital in full blown labour and have to suffer that extra indignity? Not me, that's for sure. It could cause significant embarrassment and distress. Birth is messy (this isn't my first time, I've been there) and there isn't much that can be done to change that. I didn't have an enema with my first (unheard of where my son was born) and there were no issues.

  7. #7
    rani's Avatar
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    OK totally understand. I went to the hospital after my waters broke, and wasn't in full blown labour, so having one wasn't a real issue for me either.
    Last edited by rani; 04-05-2011 at 04:24 PM.

  8. #8
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    I was never even offered one in either of my labours at QMH - and I had a similar situation to Rani - first time around, my waters broke and contractions didn't start, I ended up being induced the next day to prevent infection because my labour was not progressing naturally. I was in the labour ward for nearly a whole day (with nothing happening) so plenty of time for them to offer me one and they didn't. With my 2nd, I was induced via prostaglandin suppository a week past my due date (I could have chosen to wait another week or so but didn't for personal reasons). I again had my waters break before my contractions became strong or regular and then was induced with oxytocin - so again had plenty of time for an enema to be offered but it wasn't.

    Just wondering, which hospitals DO offer enemas??

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