Childbirth and Bowel Care

Childbirth and Bowel Care

Review by Brigitte Collins of childbirth and its effects on the bowel

Bladder and bowel care during childbirth is a critical part of maternity care. Ineffective care and management can lead to short and long-term consequences for both the woman and her family.

After attending The MASIC Foundation’s study days over the last 2 to 3 years, it’s been apparent from the MASIC mums who tell their stories that complications during childbirth can have a really devastating effect on the bladder and bowel.

In the first year after a vaginal delivery, 27% of women suffer with anal incontinence. This figure remains fairly consistent at 5 years post-delivery.

Complications during childbirth can lead to obstetric injuries. MASIC are paramount in raising awareness and dealing with these issues and along with the RCN (Royal College of Nursing). The RCN produced guidance in April 2021 that discusses bladder and bowel issues during pregnancy, labour and postnatally. One of the key messages from the RCN document is that we need to talk more about bowels and what can go wrong, and what help there is available to women with obstetric injuries.

Read the RNC Report here.