How To Breathe A Poop Out

Yep, you read that correctly. Did you know you can "breathe" your poop out?

People always laugh when I tell them they should be able to breathe one out because it sounds funny, but also because the majority of the population is used to straining or bearing down to allow a stool to pass.

Is It A Bad Thing To Strain?

Straining causes increased intraabdominal pressure. When there is more pressure inside, it will start to push out on the weakest point. If you are dealing with diastasis recti, prolapse, or other pelvic floor issues straining and bearing down can make your symptoms worse.

What Is Good Potty Posture?

I'm pretty sure we have all seen the commercial for the Squatty Potty before, but in case you haven't here is a link that makes the whole pooping experience a little more...."colorful" Haha, pun intended! In addition to using a some type of leverage to get your legs up in a squatting position (I already have enough stuff in the bathroom so instead of purchasing a Squatty Potty, I use my kids step stool), I suggest remaining in a tall seated position as well. When constipated, we have the tendency to lean forward. Don't do it. The reason leaning forward is a no-no is because the minute that you do, you are no longer allowing your diaphragm and transverse abdominus to help you out.

How To Avoid Constipation:

1. Use a good stool to get you in a squatting position when you go to the bathroom.

2. Drink lot's of water!

3. Eat plenty of fiber filled foods (dark vegetables like broccoli, legumes, variety of fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas).

4. Avoid, or eat less of, processed foods, greasy foods, dairy products, and gluten if you are sensitive to it.

5. Adding magnesium as a supplement to your diet will help to make stools softer.

So How Do I Actually Breathe A Poop Out?

1. Sit with knees above hips (i.e. use a stool or Squatty Potty)

2. Allow yourself to sit tall (not slouched or leaning forward)

3. Take a deep belly breath in through your knows, allowing your tummy and ribs to naturally expand. Keep chest from rising to a minimum. This ensures you are using your diaphragm to inhale and will help activate the transverse abdominus.

4. Exhale through your mouth as if blowing air to cool off hot food. Make sure you are drawing in your abdominals in a slow controlled fashion. Maintain this hold for a 5-10 second count.

5. At this point you will either A) feel the peristalsis take over and you simply have to wait and allow the stool to pass or B) your bowels are still working and need some more help so at that point you will simply exhale slowly again through your nose and then repeat step 4.

6. TIP: when trying this out for the first time, make sure you are not distracted by your little ones as you will surely trip up over the breathing technique the first couple tries since it is opposite of what we are used to doing!

Again, it's a strange concept to wrap your mind around and it's funny too! But give it a try and I promise you your bowels will thank you for it!


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