Sometimes issues with the bowels can be helped with control of the pelvic floor muscles.
Things That Can Affect Our Bowels
- Some foods
- Fluid intake
- Activity level
- Some diseases
- Damage during vaginal delivery
Desired Bowel Function
- Normal range is 3x/day to 3x/week
- Want minimal effort and minimal straining to empty
- Stools should be soft and well formed
- Should feel an urge and be able to determine if air, solid or liquid
- Should be able to hold your stool until on the toilet
Are you Having Bowel Evacuation Issues?
Do you have TWO or more of the following at least 25% of the time in the last three months?
- hard stool
- incomplete emptying
- less than 3 BMs/week
A rectocele can be caused by chronic straining and constipated stool, and can also interfere with normal emptying.
- Found in the food we eat
- Little is digested, stays in the stool
- Makes hard stool softer/bulkier- drink extra water
- Makes soft stool firmer- acts as a sponge
Healthy Bowel Habits
- 25-35g of fibre/day
- Are you drinking enough water?
- Are you exercising?
- Avoiding irritants like caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol?
- Pelvic floor exercises
Position for Bowel Movements
- Elevate feet above hip level
- Lean forward with a straight back
- Breathe through pursed lips
- Keep your pelvic floor and lower abs relaxed once the BM has started
- Can turn trunk clockwise at the end of the BM to encourage further emptying
Pooping in the natural squat position opens the colon to make elimination faster, more complete, and reduces straining. Squatting rather than sitting could help prevent things like constipation, hemorrhoids and pelvic organ prolapse.
Squatty Potty: Turn That Frown Upside Down!