If you haven’t run to the bathroom in Target squeezing your butthole hoping you don’t poop your pants, can you even call yourself a mom?!? Kidding but seriously. If you have a hard time holding your poop in, whether it’s after childbirth or anytime, read the below tips.
Avoid dairy, spicy and greasy foods
If your poop is too soft it’s harder to hold in. Bananas, rice, toast and apples can all make your poop firm and easier to hold in while dairy, spicy foods and greasy foods can give you the runs.
Eat your fruits and veggies
Make sure your poop is not too hard. Constipation and not emptying well can cause leakage. Keep your poops soft by avoiding too much dairy and processed foods. Instead, add magnesium, fresh fruits and veggies, prunes and drink plenty of water.
Use a Squatty Potty
You have to empty the tank when you go. Put your feet up on the squatty potty and lean forward to help relax your pelvic floor muscles to empty completely.
Fair warning: your first postpartum poop you may feel like you’re pooping a baseball. Here’s how make it a little better.
Put your feet up on a stool (use a squatty potty) or if you’re in the bathroom at the hospital, use the garbage can on its side.
Lean forward onto your elbows. Doing so puts you in squatting position which helps relax your pelvic floor muscles, which helps get poop out easier.
Exhale like you are blowing out a birthday candle. This helps push poop out and helps prevent straining so you don’t blow out your vagina. Your perineum (area between the vagina and anal opening) will be weak after having a baby.
Put tissue paper down there as you gently breathe, bare down and exhale.
Work on your Pelvic Floor muscles
Your anal sphincter (aka butthole) is part of your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can get weak with aging, pregnancy, chronic straining or a perineal injury during childbirth and may need to be strengthened. However, the pelvic floor muscles can be too tight or tense sometimes and kegels and strengthening can make it worse. In this case, they need to be relaxed first and then work on strengthening. A Pelvic Floor PT can help.
Work with a Pelvic Floor PT
We can guide you on dietary changes, proper pooping posture, and exercises that are right for you. Let us help… so you don’t have to ditch your cart (or your kids) in the clothing section of Target to race all the way to the bathroom in the front of the store to take a poo.
Interested in more tips on how to prevent or overcome Pelvic Floor Problems?
Download this free guide for some simple, do-able, totally-not-weird tips to take better care of your down there.
Sara Reardon PT, DPT, WCS is the owner of NOLA Pelvic Health and founder of The Vagina Whisperer, a resource for online pelvic health education and therapy to help women worldwide with pelvic health conditions. She is a board certified women’s health physical therapist with a special interest in treating pelvic pain and pregnancy and postpartum conditions. She is a mom, wife, Saints fan and wanna be yogi.
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