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Healthy Toileting Habits

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

If you haven’t been talking about your potty habit, you should be. It is an extremely important part of our quality of life. Having physical issues with our bladder and bowel can affect us socially, emotionally and mentally.

Healthy Potty Habits
Healthy Toileting Habits

Getting to the heart of this means asking yourself

1. How often do I use the bathroom?

2. When do I have a normal urge to urinate, how long can I delay before you have to go to the toilet?

3. How often do I have a bowel movement and when?

4. What do my bowel movements typically look like?

5. When do I have an urge to have a bowel movement, how long can I delay before you have to go to the toilet?

6. Do I find it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel?

7. Am I on any medications?

8. What does my diet look like?

What do you need to know about our bladder and bowel?

  • The bladder can hold about 400-600 ml of fluid– about 2 cups worth.

  • We should be emptying our bladder between four and eight times per day, and zero to 1 time per night

  • When the bladder hits about 40% of its capacity (150-200 mL), we feel the first urge to empty the bladder. There is a process involves a very complicated set of reflexes that occur in the brain and brainstem, the bladder, and the pelvic floor.

  • It takes about 3 hours to fill your bladder.

  • It should take about eight to twelve seconds to empty the bladder

  • Urine flow should be strong and steady.

  • Your pelvic floor contracts to store and relaxes to empty.

  • You should a minimum of 3 defecations per week.

  • The average bowel movement takes 12 seconds.

What can I do to foster healthy toileting habits?

Health Potty Habits
Healthy Toileting habits
  • Sit on the toilet. Posture plays an important role due to the location of the Puborectalis muscle (see pic). Best to layer that public toilet seat well.

  • Grab a book or crossword puzzle. Do not rush, push or strain to empty. Allow for 10 minutes on the toilet. If unsuccessful, try at the next scheduled time. Now you have an excuse to bang on that bathroom door ;0).

  • Go when you have the urge to go. Just in case peeing can send mixed signals to your bladder.

  • Stay hydrated. Rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces. Yellow-hello/ Golden-Hell No.

If you suspect you have an issue in the bowel and bladder area, don't hesitate to contact your doctor or set up a call. We at Little Antz Physical Therapy, pride ourselves in educating moms. We offer in-office and virtual visits. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us by using our Complementary Discovery Call.

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