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Toilet positions

Trying to maintain a good toilet position may be useful for people that find it difficult to pass a stool, who strain when defecating or who suffer from constipation. There is no right or wrong way to sit on the toilet; however the following pointers may help make emptying your bowels easier.

  • Lean forward when you are sitting on the toilet with your hands resting on your thighs
  • Make sure that you knees are bent and are higher than your hips (it may help to use a footstool if your toilet is high or you are not very tall)
  • Make sure your feet are resting on the ground -(or on a footstool)
  • Try to breathe to the bottom of your lungs with your mouth open to prevent straining and contracting your pelvic floor (diaphragmatic breathing)
  • Bulge your tummy muscles forward as you take a deep breath in and then ‘brace’ your tummy to prevent it from bulging further forwards. Do not tighten your tummy.
  • Relax your anal sphincter to open your bottom and let the stool out
  • Use your deep breath to increase the pressure in your abdomen and push down towards your anus.

Only try this a maximum of 3 times. If it does not work, get up from the toilet and walk around. It may help to try having a warm/hot drink.

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