There are 3 Ps of a perfect poo which you should keep in mind during your ablutions!
Are you or family doing any naturally??
- How do you sit?
- Do some people in your family take a LONG time in the toilet?
- Who reads the paper? (Should you keep books in the loo?)
- Might you be helping too much?
Do see the video below to learn more about good bowel habits and promote some healthy/unusual/hilarious family discussions!
[Before you watch – to explain the context – this was an adventure on to a public speaking course a while back. There was a Gala Finale with the brief to give a ten minute inspirational speech… well with a challenge like that it’s hard to hold a physio back….Apologies, a bit squeaky at the beginning – I was very nervous!! ]
P for Position
They have actually done lots of research about the best way to sit on a toilet. Yes really. In Australia.
Nature did not intend us to sit lady like on a ceramic toilet. We are supposed to squat down behind a tree. The key thing is knees higher than your hips. This un-kinks the bowel and relaxes the pelvic floor muscles.
- sit with your feet up on a toddler step or box
- Bottom well back on the seat
- Rest your elbows on your knees
- Untuck your tail bone keeping your back relatively straight
- Let all your body muscles relax, especially your pelvic floor and abdominals
P for Patience
Emptying the bowel is a natural thing that the body does best on automatic pilot. It is not something that ‘we’ do. Like sneezing. The best ones come from nowhere. And just like a juicy sneeze that you can feel coming – if you think about it too hard (and especially if you say “I think I am going to sneeze”) – it will disappear!
An age old trick – READ – a book/magazine/back of a shampoo bottle….anything to distract your corticol (thinking) brain and let your automatic brain do it’s own thing. Give your body some time. You are waiting for something solid to move out – it doesn’t just fall out like liquid. Your body needs to accept that it is a quiet, private moment.
P for don’t Push – rather Pant!
[This last P got a bit lost in the talk ( I got a bit flustered when they showed me the 2 minute warning notice!). I got to fill in the gap to the audience in the awards bit – they voted it the “peoples choice” which was encouraging.]
The danger of a traditional “hold-your-breath” push is that you can accidentally tighten your pelvic floor just as the stool is trying to come out. This can cause it to be pinched off midway so you get some out but lots gets left behind in the rectum. You might not be able to feel it there but it goes on giving off gas, making you windy, pressing on the rectum walls, making you uncomfortable, and drying out into small pebbles.
Rather open your mouth (which helps relax your pelvic floor) and let out pants or sighs, just as the midwives teach you to pant to deliver your babies head. This allows the poo to come out as one full tube with just a nudge and light pressure from you.
Now you really know everything! Do go share!
About to have a baby or just delivered?? Do see the post 10 tips for the first postnatal poos for more ways to help you have comfortable bowel movements.
PS It was a great Public Speaking course – I highly recommend the team at Ginger
** My original title was The Life Changing Magic of Sitting Comfortably.. but it now seems to be known as the 3 Ps talk……