Self Care: The Squatty Potty

Body: 

Hi all,
I wanted to report on a recent find that I really like: the squatty potty (I have no financial interest in the company) As you may or may not know, the toilet is ill-conceived for pooping because it does not allow you to squat, which is the position we are supposed to be in for elimination (if you have any doubts about this, observe a dog doing a #2, and you will notice the dog is always squatting)

Anyway, the squatty potty is a C-shaped stool that slides out from the toilet . You can place your legs on the sides, lift yourself off the throne and squat. Because of a surgical POP correction, I have to be careful of deep squatting, so I place my hands behind me on the toilet seat and lift slightly, supporting myself evenly between my hands and feet. Works great!

Here is a link:
squattypotty.com/

What is interesting/related is that in birthing a baby, we should really be in a squatting position too. I think I read somewhere that squatting for birth was prohibited in delivery rooms, not sure if that is right? For women of childbirthing age, I would think build up musculature to squat would be very desirable -- you might be able to do somewhat of a squat during delivery and perhaps avoid or lessen POP issues.

Mamp

Forum:

Hi Monica,

I've felt like the Grinch responding to several of your posts. :-/ This product, in my opinion, would be detrimental to women's pelvic health. The reasons are purely anatomic and easily understood.

When you squat all the way down - unless you stay up on the balls of your feet with lumbar curve fully in place - the tailbone tucks under and the pelvic diaphragm is made shorter and narrower. This is a terrible position to give birth in and at least one of our members, Granolamom, believes it cost her a terrible tear during a natural birth she had prepared for by deep squatting. By squatting down into the position this stool encourages, the pelvic organs are moved toward the back and over the outlet, which is now much more underneath the body. Intraabdominal pressure is pushing the entire pelvic contents downward toward the outlet.

We are much better off keeping our beautiful white porcelain pottys (one of the few things in this man's world that actually serves us well - lol) and getting our weight off the seat when we need to increase pressure by simply leaning forward onto our feet. This half-squat position is far more natural for women (think how much of the time human females used to spend hugely pregnant) because it drops the organs into the lower belly and away from the pelvic outlet, which is now squarely at the back of the body.

In your particular situation, your uterus is more subject to prolapse given that the front vaginal wall is being pulled forward by the sub-urethral sling. In order to prolapse, the uterus needs to be pushed backward toward the outlet - just what raising internal pressures in this full squat position is likely to do.

***Unless you can learn to defecate balancing on your toes with a full lumbar curve in place - quite a trick!

Christine

I have seen toddler girls, when still in nappies, standing to defecate when needing to strain, and on occasion bending (leaning) over a child's table. Of course, at that age their lumbar curve is still very much in place. This appears to be a natural thing for them to do before potty training. Whether it is an individual practice or a universal one, I'm not in a position to say. But from my limited observation this unlearnt practice of girl toddlers certainly has given me pause for thought.

cheers Fab

Hi Fab

This is interesting. Remember that when a baby is born she doesn't have a lumbar curve at all. It develops after she learns to walk, and her breathing has a role in its formation, but I am not sure how long it takes after a baby starts toddling.

I did see a video recently of an adult male gorilla walking bipedally. He had a real 'arthritic hips' style style swagger, because he doesn't have a lumbar curve, and because his elongated pelvic bones were interfering with the underside of his rib cage. You watch a newly walking toddler. She will have a similar side to side sway, even if she doesn't walk as confidently as this gorilla, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3nhz0FBHXs . However, it is not long before her gait will come into more normal human gait as her spine changes.

Louise

Again, just an observation, when a baby girl learns to sit, I assumed her lumbar curve was coming into place, but I'm certainly no expert on this.

The first movements of a toddler appear more dramatic to me than said gorilla, perhaps only because of the protective instinct engaged when an adult sees this ungainly exercise in a baby. I'll have to observe more, but isn't the beginning toddler shuffling on the balls of their feet with arms braced in a riding a bike type posture as well as the side to side movement? But apart from the arms somewhat like a lady teetering in high heels, who tips forward rather than swagger? With the more experienced toddler the heels come down and the knees are more flexible and bend? Either way, the toddlers I observed defecating standing were on their heels and steady.

Really curious about this, Fab

Yeah, the gorilla comparison is not perfect. I guess lumbar development would start with sitting, because sitting is not a lot different from standing, except for position of femoral head in the acetabulum. It would be interesting to see an x-ray of a sitting baby's skeleton. I doubt that we would get one. If you have access to a toddler girl, I wonder if her Mum would mind if you had a feel of where her bones are, gently of course. I don't happen to have any girl children in my cupboards at the moment. ;-(

Do you mean that when they do a poo they do a mini-plie, or that they half squat leaning over, or that they full squat? I am gettng more intrigued by the moment.

They were pooing mostly in a mini squat with knees flexed and leaning forward from the head down to the waist about 5-10 degrees (the strain when it comes is noticeable) and on a few occasions leaning over a child's table with head placed on the table-top. Yes, I know a few mums with girl tods, will take me a few days to get my hands on one though. Not sure whether my fingers have enough sensitivity to feel correctly.
cheers

Don't get too carried away Fab. It could be seen as being over-the-top unless the mother was really interested and the child did not object. Don't get yourself or anyone else into hot water. It is very different checking out your own body from checking out someone else's child's body.

Hi Everyone,

Check out the June edition of the Whole Woman Village Post. Lanny Goodman has written a great article on managing your relationship with the medical system.

You might find my article on balance interesting and my News from Science article on evolution of the lumbar curve timely in light of this discussion! The ability to remain agile affects so much more than we know!!

Christine

I don't mean to be impatient but I post a comment about the DHA/Flaxoil Christine recommended I use last week but she didn't say how much to use where to put it and how often I should use it, so please if any of you nice kind ladies know would you please let me know, I went on the webpage that sells the oil, but before I order it I would like to know these questions the reason I'm asking is it said to take it internally.

Please help.
Heavenlyflower

Hi Heavenlyflower, I know Christine said "to use just a pea size amount of local honey into your vagina in the morning and at night." I also have ordered the DHA/FlaxOil and am waiting for it. I would assume that she wants you to also insert some into your vagina internally for health and lubrication. Please correct me Ladies if I am wrong. This is what I intend to do Heavenlyflower. Just put a tiny bit up into your vagina internally in the morning and at night. I have started the honey and it has helped me. But at times I feel I need a little more and that is when I am going to use the DHA/Flaxoil plus the honey. I hope I am right and that this helps you. You might want to wait until the WW Teachers or the older members chime in and tell you whether it is right or not. But I feel it is right until and if I am corrected. Best of luck to you and I hope it helps you with your problem.

Hugs - Jaylove

Dear HeavenlyFlower, Me again. I found a past-post dated Decenber 31, 2011 from Christine to you. She says,"I also wonder if DHA/FlaxOil might be good for you to use Vaginally? Just a bit poured onto your fingertips and rubbed into your Vagina and Vulva? I find it extremely soothing." So this is how you would use the DHA/Flaxseed Oil. Here is your question answered. Good Luck!!!! I'm going to try it also.

Hugs - Jaylove

Thank you jaylove for the info, you say high up in the vagina does this also mean to coat the inside of the vagina? or by inserting it at the top will it eventually spread through out?
Aloha
Heavenlyflower

Hi Again HeavenlyFlower, If you are talking about the Honey - Christine says to place a pea size amount high up into your Vagina at Night and in the morning. I think it will spread and disperse itself all throughout the vagina after you place it high up.

Aloha, Jaylove

Oh my gosh you are an angel!!! I saw that comment Christine first sent to me in Dec of last year, I saw it for the first time about a week and a half ago I pretty much am fairly new at sending comments and finding the answers Surviving60 helped me she was very patient with me and explained how to do it, I was begining to think nobody loved me lol. Mahalo, Mahalo, (thank you in Hawaiian) Oh my gosh I will forever be in your debt. I have to tell you I searched every page for it and just could not find it to save my soul, so now you have to tell me how and where did you find it.
I do feel so much better about my condition since I've been coming on the WW webpage, their were times I thought I was going to die, it is pretty scary when you don't know whats going on with your body and the people that you were taught to help you don't know as much as Christine and all you wonderful ladies do.
Lots of Aloha and much hugs to you if you were standing next to me I would give you the biggest hug you ever got in your life( lol) I feel really good you have made my day.
Aloha, Heavenlyflower

Hi, Christine,

Thank you for your response and you needn't feel like the grinch:)

Academically, I understand what you are saying about pushing the pelvic organs down and back but I have read in several places about the value of squatting for elimination, not to mention the fact of the huge increase in the incidence of colon cancer since indoor plumbing was introduced . I for one don't believe the increase is strictly a not-eating-enough roughage issue.

At any rate, I will try your suggested half squat this week and see how it goes. I have been surgically corrected and I have every desire for that to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't know about this work before I had the surgery.

What do you think is the best position for giving birth? I am past child-bearing age but for myself and the rest of us with daughters, I would love to know. (if this issue has been addressed before in an article somewhere on this site I would love to know that too) I am very certain that my prolapse occurred from a birth injury. My daughter was big-- 8lbs 10 oz but I am wide hipped. I didn't push until it felt like I was going to have a BM right on the table :) but when I did push, it felt like I was pushing a bowling ball out of the hole the size of a golf ball. (I didn't push in a hurried manner either)

Thank you for all you do in regards to POP. As with so many things in medicine today, many of us with more severe conditions were told we could "do nothing" or "have surgery" and it is so refreshing to find some mid ground.

Regards,
Monica

my kids all did/do the standing thing for poop. I practice elimination communication- where the baby does not wear a diaper- and from birth until the baby learns to pull up I hold the baby- back to my chest, right under the knees- like a little froggy, over a small potty in the sink. Then once they start to pull up it gets tricky because they don't want me to hold them while they poop (they wanna move!). So I usually put them in the tub, I'm pretty good at catching the poop with a small potty- but they (all 5) have stood and then did a semi-squat with any increase in pressure.

My firm belief about positioning during birth is that the mom, if trusted, will get in exactly the right position for her and the baby. A woman allowed to birth as a powerful, knowledgable being just knows what to do. But she must be trusted and encouraged to trust her body. With my 4th child, I was on my knees in a large hot tub (spa)- his head came out and then I knew things were not right. I just knew! I said to my husband, something is wrong. and he said- you are doing what you need to do, the baby is doing what he needs to do- it's all going to be just fine, take a deep breath and trust yourself to do what's needed. I floated to the surface of the water on my side and brought my right knee up to my chest. There was a deep pop and out he came. Little sucker displaced my pubic bone. But when I checked in and trusted, I knew! I really believe that had my birth been managed, it would have been called shoulder dystocia and would have needed intervention.

So, my advice for women who want to avoid tearing is that you gotta let it take the time it takes to stretch- don't worry if your baby's head is visible, there is no rush, wait. let your body stretch- hold back on pushing if you can- and do anything you can to avoid coached pushing, purple pushing and any pushing that does not feel really productive and right. there is a feeling at the end that if you just muscle your way through it, it will all be over and you will have your baby. Trust me, if you just breathe and let your baby be born it will not take much longer than if you force it.
I'm not saying don't push. For my 5th labor, I pushed in the early stages, I did that during my 3rd labor as well. My body said push so I did. I think the baby just needed a little help getting into the right position. But don't push for hours just to get it over with.

Hi Heavenlyflower, yes, it is pretty scary when you don't know what's going on with your body and the Medical field tells you to do nothing or get surgery. We are the Lucky ones to have found this Web-site. We are all so very grateful for Christine's Work and for the knowledge we gain from this Forum. As far as telling you how to find that Past-Post to you from December 2011 - I can't. I tried to find it again but with no success. I guess I was just Lucky to find it the first time. I'm sorry but maybe someone else with more experience on how this Forum works can explain it to you. I'm glad I could help you though. You are very welcome. Let us know how it goes for you.

Aloha, Jaylove

Alemama, that is a very good answer about birth positioning. I am not sure we need to say any more about this, other than to say that it is not anatomically sound for a woman to birth a baby in any position where there is weight on the lower sacrum and coccyx, which closes the pelvic outlet at a time when the baby is trying to emerge.

And thanks Alemama, for your account of your littlies pooping. It certainly adds to the information we have.

I think we could also say that the woman needs to be *free to move* wherever she wants to and however she wants to, and that it is the woman's responsibility to herself and her unborn child to ensure that she has access to all the physical facilities she needs, and that she has permission from any people with authority in her birthing environment, to use them as she needs to, and when she needs to.

Being prescriptive about birthing position is not a core activity for Wholewoman.

Heavenly, as flax oil is a food supplement I *think* it safe to say that if it is safe in your mouth it is safe in your vagina. If you wouldn't put it in your mouth, then don't put it in your vagina. Know what I mean?

Monica, I think you know now just about all Christine has had to say about toilets and toileting position, and we have talked about it rather a lot. Let's face it, the white porcelain potty has many variations in height and shape of seat. We women are equally variable in out stature and bodily proportions. And as you say your anatomy is not exactly the same as a woman who has had no surgery. If you find that a Squatty Potty is useful for you, I think it will be a wonderful help for you.

Being purist about furniture only works when one is referring to oneself. Wholewoman talks about the principles behind furniture and its use. Let's hope that other women with the same post surgical situation as you can find your ideas on the Forums and find them helpful.

I don't think you will find that Christine will ever endorse the Squatty Potty because deep squatting (which is aided by the Squatty Potty) appears to be counter to Wholewoman principles of anatomy for western women at least. Anthropological studies also back up Christine's theory that for most western people who do not deep squat regularly from birth, the bones in their feet, ankles and knees do not develop the squatting facets needed for a fuller range of movement in these joints, so they will never be able to deep squat and maintain normal torso alignment. You may have regularly deep squatted from birth and can do it comfortably. It is an asset that I often wish I had developed.

Most of us are stuck with western style toilet pans. Wholewomen can work around them satisfactorily, and we need to be able to work around them because we can't always use our own personal one at home. ;-)

Being able to adapt to our environment, whatever we need to do, is a philosophy I think makes life smoother for me, and stops me from resenting reality and developing unnecessarily negative attitudes towards the world.

L

Hi Heavenlyflower,

First of all, thanks so much, Jaylove, for searching and responding to Heavenly's concerns. Whole Woman has become and all-consuming business and I can no longer read and respond to every post.

I believe I mentioned the DHA oil in conjunction with occasional inflammatory symptoms, rather than regular use - although regular use certainly wouldn't hurt and might even help reverse symptoms of vaginal atrophy.

Just want to say that if you are having vulva issues (pain, itching, skin changes), one of the contributing factors may be estrogen metabolites excreted in urine. If you pee in the WW position, then symptoms may be around your urethra/clitoris - as urine runs over this area. A small dab of good (organic), thick salve (sorry I don't know a brand) after urinating will provide an effective barrier to the irritating urine. If you dab after you pee, you will have the protection for when you go again next time and for any residual drops.

Christine

Louise,

Thank you for your response, which was very detailed and on the mark, as it always it. I was surprised though about your comment that "being prescriptive about birthing is not a core activity for Whole Woman" -- fair enough, but I want to do everything I can to spare my daughter from this not-so-fun problem. In preparation for my own childbirth experience, I went through the Bradley child birth course, read Dr. Sears book, had a doula with me in the room, and was no way prepared for my peeking bladder that showed up almost a year after my daughter's birth. I would like to see some information on proper birthing for the next generation of women. (I might add that information about prolapse and its causes is still not widely disseminated) Maybe some other members can chime in on this one. I understand about the woman trusting herself in delivery but the real issue is for the first time moms who are delivering.

Monica

Hi Christine,
Thank you for your comments on the honey. Your comment on Dec 2011 was in reference to the bleeding I get when I wipe myself, you recommended me using DHA/Flaxoil, I didn't remember how much I was suppose to use, and that's why I was so adamant in finding your comments or having someone who had more experience to assist me.
I did go onto the webpage for the DHA/Flaxoil I will be ordering it soon, now that I have the info.
Mahalo,
Heavenly flower

There was a post maybe 18 months ago by a midwife. Aza is the screen name. She was asking something like "what do you wish someone had told you" or something like that. You might like to go read that thread.
I really think the real issue is that we are not allowed to birth using our instincts and instead intellectualize it all. Your body (first time or 10th time) knows how to birth your baby. And your baby knows exactly what to do too. It's not in the thinking part of your mind. It's in the deep knowledge part. That part that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you sense danger and falls in love at first sight.
When we give the mother freedom and trust and support to listen to this deep knowing, she will do exactly what she needs to do to avoid tearing or straining during birth.
If there is any fear it must be worked through so that she can allow all her oxygenated blood to fill her tissues and keep them supple.

Thank you alemama for this comment and your one previously. I appreciate your responses. I will try to locate that thread and if I find it post it here. This site is full of good information but sometimes it is not easy to find. If someone else knows of or can find that thread pls post the link here in case others may be interested.

I found these threads - not sure if either of these are the one Alemama was talking about:

http://www.wholewoman.com/forum/node/3984

http://www.wholewoman.com/forum/node/3319

Thank you Curiousity for these two links, and thank you Chickaboom for finding the specific link Alemama mentioned and for posting it so quickly. (we have a great group:) I plan to print it out and save for future reference.

Isn't it wonderful when our daughters can stand on our shoulders!

Question for a teacher.....so if we are able to squat, well up on the balls of our feet and with the lumbar curve in place, is this a good thing to practice? Or perhaps we only THINK we're in good alignment, when in fact, we probably aren't if we have not been doing this a lot throughout life? Could we do more harm than good?

I'm not talking about defecation or birthing, but simply, exercise.

Parallel squatting up on the balls of your feet with your lumbar curve in place is a wonderful exercise. It stretches the entire "Back Line" - as structural integrationists call the muscles at the back of the body. This is such a great stretch for maximizing WWPosture, if we really pull into it. But think about it...it's really just the same as sitting upright in a chair, but with the extra pull throughout the back line.

It's also a wonderful, self-evident example that the iliopsoas muscle is both a hip flexor at the bottom and a thoracic extender at the top.

This is splendid exercise for the arch of the foot because the toes and arch are pulling the soft tissue to the front, while the calcaneus (heel bone) is stretching it to the back. The demands on the arch are quite a bit greater in a squat (be careful and take it slowly!) than when we're standing up on toes in our fully stretched out, gravity-free structure. :)

This position would be very difficult to give birth in - or have a bowel movement in, for that matter. The tendency would be to flatten the back, which closes the pelvic diaphragm. Much better to release the back line by straightening the legs a bit into a half-squat.

I think Alemama hit the nail on the head - there is too much dictation in what positions a woman should have during childbirth. To fix this for first time Mumma's the only thing we can do is (try to) educate them on hospital practices & how to give birth confidently, following their own body's leads. I've had 3 babies, and by far the best birth was my accidental unassisted home-birth. I spent the whole labour on the toilet, as that is where I was comfy, my hubby dragged me off when I started pushing (I couldn't move!). I was then on all fours, as I'd heard that was a good position, but I totally felt that was wrong, so I stood up and gave birth in a semi-squat. It was amazing, as less than 30 seconds before, I couldn't move - but once my body told me to, I had no choice but to follow it's instructions.

My first baby, I intellectually knew that I should be labouring upright, or in an all fours position, but found these positions really uncomfortable. But I didn't have faith that that was fine. That I should just do what felt comfy. I shouldn't be trying to push anything onto myself, because I thought I 'should'. So I did what I was told by the hospital staff. And then had birthing issues because of it.

My 3rd birth was a planned home birth. I really liked this birth, but I also found this problematic, that because there was a 'professional' there, I didn't listen to my own body as much as I could of. I feel like the OB Michel Odent has it right when he attends a birth. If the woman asks him a question to which she should be listening to her own body, he just shrugs his shoulders & lets her figure it out. :)

Mamp, I didn't mean that we didn't have opinions, just that we don't prescribe what is the best position. I think this thread has now illustrated this very well!

Yeah, it is very hard, when you are a curious woman who wants to avail herself of techniques that have worked for others, for good reasons, to simply stop and listen to her body. And if your daughter is not as 'into' her body as you are your voice can be like a clanging symbol when you try to explain 'going deep into yourself' and 'allow your body to lead you'. Maybe if my mother had been able to birth me instinctively I wouldn't have needed the support of all the books?

By the time our third baby was born I had Sears, Balaskas, Odent, and Bradley down pat. I couldn't tell you who was suggesting what techniques, but I knew by then that I didn't have to worry about what to do because my body knew by then what to do ... and it did. Then I went back to reading Sears and Leach and all the others to find out more about babies as they grow. LOLOL!

The three kids eventually grew up strong, healthy and slightly feral. ;-)

But I will never forget their births, and I will never forget the joy of nursing each of them. Sigh.

Louise

Hi Christine, I have uterine prolapse. At age 65, leaning forward takes more effort and attention away from the job at hand if you get my drift :) I tried using a little stool (not the "Squatty Potty" but the same idea) and was surprised that having a BM came as easy as urinating, no straining in the least. I appreciate the importance of posture, but perhaps for the short time it takes once a day, the squatting position may be acceptable?

delete

Hi Cace,

I would say, invest in the small effort it takes to increase the strength of your thigh muscles and you will prevent worsening of prolapse symptoms. Keep your feet up on the stool, and your bum heading straight for the drain, and you will likely blow your organs further toward the outlet - even if you've had good luck with compliant bowels so far.

Do you see that by leaning forward you are pressing your bladder, uterus and sigmoid colon into your lower belly instead of against the pelvic floor? That is the whole concept in a nutshell.

Wishing you well,

Christine

is simply a matter of balance. If your feet are in the right position there is a point of balance in a half squat where, with your hands on your knees, it is very easy to maintain the half squat for long enough to have a full poo. You just have to shift your weight forward towards your toes to find it.

If is is really difficult to use your thigh muscles, then it is really time to purchase Saving the Whole Woman if only for its ballet workout and CD, or First Aid for Prolapse (or First Aid for Prolapse for Elders) for its workout and its information content. Strong thighs, and strong rest of body muscles can be accomplished by anybody, at almost any age, with enough will and enough exercise. It is usually the will, or sore joints that hold us back. This will only allow more physical weakness to ensue.

These workouts help our bodies to compensate for too much sitting, too much slouching and too much flexion; instead they stretch the body out and make our muscles stronger by using them through their full range of movement. This in turn makes it easier for our bodies to use Whole Woman posture.

Louise

I understand how the half squat protects organs and the pelvic floor while pooping, however for those of us with rectocele and soft poop, complete evacuation seems impossible.....everything just slows down at some point in this position, how are you supposed to finish?

Sea turtle, I have rectocele and I totally know what you're talking about. It is frequently a compromise between protecting lumbar curvature and getting it all out. I am lucky because I have times of incomplete emptying, alternating with times when the poo is the right consistency for this not to happen. So when it doesn't all want to come out, I might choose to wait until next time. If I know that's going to make my day more difficult, I fully admit I will do what it takes even if it means bad pooping posture. That is why it's so important to do as much of the "right stuff" as you possibly can, posture-wise, to make up for when you don't or can't. - Surviving

Cace if you could put something into your bathroom, a chair or stool or small folding ladder something of sufficient height and weight for you to hold onto as you semi squat. You might feel more steady and so more confident about the WW toileting advice until such time as your leg muscles are strengthened as they surely will as you practice WWposture and do the walking.

It’s a tricky thing to get the muscles right when defecating. It seems to be a matter of relaxing some (sphincters) and not others (abdomen) so there is a bit of tension held which protects the prolapsed organ and prevents it from further prolapsing as you go. You will eventually find this ‘sweet spot’.

Until then don’t sweat it, just observe, and take note as you pass the different stools and what happens to the muscles around your pelvic region. Also where you experience difficulty do deep diaphragmic breathing as this will help relax things. (Tummy out with the inbreath, and tummy in with the outbreath.) This will help you relax and just might spring it for you.

But as Surviving says there will be times when we make a hash of it. The only thing then is to try again next time.

Also Seaturtle have a look at what is making your stool so soft. What is it you are eating that is causing this? Maybe, keep a bit of a food diary, or just remember back what you were eating over the past two days when you have a soft stool. Everyone is different and will react differently to foods so saying what caused it for me may not necessarily be applicable in your case. However, a lot of us take magnesium for this problem as well as looking at the immediate cause and either eliminating it and substituting something else or eating it with other foods which will slow its rapid ride through your intestines down.

I went to Lamaze, and then to some other birthing class for my 2nd child. When it came time for counting and going over when and what happens with the start of contractions, I started to get confused. (something about Math and calculating does not get through to my brain) SO after the lesson in the circle where we practiced giving birth with our partners, with over a dozen other couples was over,,,i pulled the instructor to the side and I asked, "what if I just didn't do any counting or breathing, and just got too absorbed into the flow of things,,, and i am unable to recall how to count and when to push.....? Would the baby just come out anyway?" And she said, "yes, the baby will come out anyway."....I said, "thank you. THat is a relief because I can't follow the counting for some reason..."
and that was it....When it was time for my child to be born, we drove to the birthing center in NYC,, and there was the nice birthing tub, and I just would not go into it. It all felt counter intuitive.
I eventually just grabbed the bed post and didn't let go. I felt safe there and wanted my feet planted on the ground and no where else. I held on and would not let go, nor did I breath any particular way....THen I felt the urge to get on all fours, and that is what I did...the midwife told me to hug my husbands waist,, and I think that's what I also did... and I could not hear most of what anyone was saying..... My son was born with a few pushing episodes and we left a few hours later... In retrospect, I think I wanted to hold the best post because my thighs felt weak. Intuitively my body felt I could not support myself. SO that is why I held onto the bed post. I do recall being on my knees while holding the best post.

Yikes! I don't know if I'm coming or going with all the changes I've been making to try to improve my cystocele. Before I learned about WW, I was convinced that what brought on my cystocele (at the time I didn't have a clue of what was going wrong with my vaginal area) was a rare case of constipation. That one instance was so severe and lasted so long that when all was said and done, my whole vulva was pushed out. I rolled up a towel and sat on it to push everything back in, and that did help. It was not too long after that that I felt something like a small ball just inside my vagina. It wasn't diagnosed by my GP when I went to see her about it. That was very upsetting for me because she spent many years assisting in homebirths and she specializes in well women care. So I was really hoping and expecting that she would give me information and guidance as to what was happening and how I could help myself. I did lots of google searches, and I only had my own description to rely on, and unfortunately didn't come up with the answer to what was going on down there. I was feeling desperate and reached out to the midwife I worked with during the pregnancy and homebirth of my 2nd child (I have 3 kids, all homebirthed). After just a few minutes of describing what I was going through, she said, you have a cystocele. Thank the Universe for her! She finally gave me the information I was looking for! Sorry, I went off of what was really concerning me. So before I knew what condition I had, I wanted to do EVERYTHING I could to avoid straining while eliminating. A good friend of mine was raving about using this squatty potty. She is very healthy and very smart, so I got one. I have been so pleased with how easy eliminating is while using it. The one way I could describe it is that certain bodily functions are designed to be involuntary. I know from 3 homebirths that you don't push the river, it flows perfectly all by itself. Well it feels the same while using this squatty potty, it's like an involuntary process, I just let my body and nature take care of this job on its own, I just stay out of the way. Now I'm upset to read Christine's point of view. I really respect her, but I'm hoping in this one case that she may be wrong (no offense).

Has anyone with cystocele used the squatty potty on a regular basis?

Thanks for tolerating my long post!

I haven't used it, no. Christine's point is that you need to maintain lumbar curvature with organs supported forward when you are on the toilet, especially when you need to increase pressure a bit, and the Squatty Potty doesn't encourage this. But if you can do it, then more power to you. I have never seen or tried one. - Surviving

I haven't been here for about two years, but I learned so much then from Christine and WW and have carried it with me. I practice the posture and have been aware that carrying my "chest up and belly relaxed" relieves the pressure of what I can now see is a rectocele, with occasional evidence of a cystocele as well.

For years I have had IBS, with a tendency towards diarrhea, but in the past few months I've been experiencing constipation and it has not been fun! That included too much straining, and I know how bad straining is for my pelvic floor. (I had a virus this past winter than had me coughing for a month, and that wasn't good for my pelvic floor either!)

Browsing on the Internet I came upon the idea that a squatting position would be helpful for constipation. I started by using a small upside-down container under my feet when sitting on the toilet so my knees would be higher than my hips. I noticed an improvement in the constipation right away. I then came upon the Squatty Potty and ordered one. I've been experimenting with different positions to use with it, and it seems as though my rectocele has become worse :-( What Christine has to say about the process makes sense, as the squatting may be pushing the pelvic organs towards the outlet. However, I've started to sit up straight and not "squash" my body together when pooping, to try to find a middle ground between the WW posture and the effectiveness of the Squatty Potty idea on constipation. It's still a work in progress!

Next week I have an appointment with a pelvic physical therapist for an evaluation. I haven't seen a doctor or other type of practitioner for this prolapse for one to two years, as I simply haven't trusted anyone. I've done a lot of Internet research myself however. I'm nervous about this upcoming appointment, but I'm hoping that the PT will have a conservative approach that combines posture, massage, exercise, diet, and stress control so I feel more optimistic about keeping this comfortably managed.

RE: massage. My massage therapist has found one of my psoas muscles to be extremely tight and feels that loosening this muscle could help what may be compression against my vagina by my bladder and rectum. She came up with an Internet link explaining how this can happen, even to the point of having one hip higher than the other/one leg longer than the other as effects from the contracted muscle.

Oh, also I think that the episiotomy I had with my first (of two) deliveries is coming back to haunt me, and that was 35 years ago. Will be interesting to hear what the PT has to say about that too.

Hi gfkspicoli. I read back on some of your prior posts and it seems that you have a not terribly profound cystocele/rectocele situation. Despite finding the WW work, which is quite comprehensive and aims itself at the entire body and mind.....you are still looking for something else. Has there been a worsening of symptoms? Do you stay in excellent posture all the time, jiggle and firebreathe, and protect lumbar curvature throughout your day? Have you gotten the constipation under control? Lots of discussion and helpful suggestions on this forum of late. Here's one thread:

https://wholewoman.com/forum/node/6225

Don't be a WW dabbler. Give it 1000%. PT's do not teach the fully-extended posture that Christine has shown us to be the natural posture we had as children, and must return to. They are into kegeling. i hope you will bone up on Whole Woman principles first, if you are determined to go. Get out your book and dvds or whatever you learned from, and refresh yourself on all the concepts. I can say from personal experience that a couple of years of dedicated effort is plenty to get those 'celes to know who's boss. If you feel something is missing, it is most likely right here under your nose. - Surviving