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Sep 27, 2020

Gut health is so important to overall health, and most do not know that know pelvic floor physical therapy can help with. As mothers, many of us deal with constipation at some point in our motherhood journey whether it is during pregnancy, early postpartum, or it has been a lifelong issue. Dr. Betsey shares actionable steps can we take to help ease constipation and improve gut health. Maintaining proper gut health ultimately can lead to better labor, delivery, recovery, and overall well-being as well.

Link to Dr. Betsey Caldwell's Birth Class: The Push Lab

Use code "Mothergood" for $20 off Dr. Betsey's birth class!

Steps to Ease Constipation:

  1. Set yourself up for success. Use a squatty Potty. We want knees higher than your hips. For centuries, humans defecated in a squat position. That seems very caveman-esque, but it’s the truth. That is because our body’s were anatomically designed to defecate in a squat. 

    1. Click here to see what squatty potty looks like
    2. WHY - We need to activate our parasympathetic nervous system - the rest and digest NS 

  2. Slow down the process. Don’t Rush a BM. I know as moms we can have multiple kiddos screaming at us when we are trying to relax to have a bowel movement. Try keeping special toys in the bathroom that they ONLY get to play with when you need to poo. That should give you 10 minutes!

    1. Try to respond to the urge to defecate within 10-15 minutes if you cannot respond immediately. IF we consistently ignore the urge, overtime, our body will stop sending us signals.

  3. Pay attention to your urges! Don’t ignore the urge.

    1. Make sure you sip and do not chug. 

    2. For some of us, smoothies and carbonated drinks including sparkling water can worsen constipation.

  4. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. 

     5. Pay attention to stress.

    1. I know we are living in a very stressful world right now but not only will managing our stress levels help us strengthen our immune system to fight off any virus or illness we get entering into flu season, it will also help regulate our bowel movements.

    2. When I say MANAGE stress levels what I actually mean is learning how your body internalizes stress. Which leads me to my last tip...

      6. Stop Gripping your muscles to cope with stress. 

For example, do you grip your jaw, your shoulder blades, your belly muscles, your glutes (butt muscles) or your pelvic floor?

When we do these compensation patterns, we are internalizing stress and it can actually slow gut transit

Dr. Betsey Caldwell's Bio

Betsey Caldwell is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who specializes in pelvic health and women's health. After consistently hearing from her patients, "why didn't anyone teach me about my pelvic floor sooner?" she has made it her mission to spread pelvic health awareness and education on social media.

Unafraid of talking about all things bowel, bladder, and sexual health related...Betsey believes that we become the best version of ourselves when we are equipped with the knowledge about our changing bodies during every stage of motherhood!
Betsey received her BA in Psychology at Aquinas College before making the move from Michigan to California to obtain her Doctorate Degree in PT. She is also a pregnancy and postpartum exercise coach, helping women run, jump, and lift without pain or leaking!
She is a mama to Noah and wife to James. When she isn't chasing her one year old away from the dog food bowl (again), she loves healthy cooking and hiking. Betsey is a firm believer of imperfectly showing up to try your best and giving yourself grace through the many struggles of motherhood.
Ready to say YES to living your best pelvic floor life? Follow Betsey on Instagram @drbetseypt and join her private Facebook group for moms of ALL ages (link in her IG bio). 
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