When will we ever poop again? (Courtesy of the author)

Every Single Mom Needs A Squatty Potty, & Here's Why

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When I got to the hospital, it was all very high-tech — machines that self-calibrated drugs and detected contractions and heartbeats, transmitting them to TVs around the ward while I writhed about on the bed. Delivery rooms look like spacious space shuttles, full of gleaming baby scales and special warming stations. There are QR codes on everything to scan. But then you deliver the baby and suddenly it's back to 1950. They wheel you over to the recovery ward, which looks like a bus station, and the extent of it is gauze underpants, maxipads the size of my old flute case, and a single plastic squeezee bottle to blindly hose it off your undercarriage every time you shuffle into the Trans-Pacific toilet car that is your “en suite.” Which is crazy, because half of the trauma occurs after childbirth. And when it comes to delivering your first poop after baby — pain station 3 if you're unlucky — there is no one there massaging your butthole or chanting words of encouragement.

Editor's Note: As of Dec. 22, Squatty Potty recalled the specific step stool, Squatty Pottymus, due to potential slipping hazard.

Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool, $24.99, Amazon

Birthing injuries to the pelvic girdle are, I suspect, second only to mental health issues in going undiagnosed postpartum, and all that is holding off complete chaos between the tattered vagina and butt space is a "wall" of tissue as thick as a piece of devon. Still, the hospital staff send you off home as soon as they are happy you can so much as fart, like, good luck! Mazel!

Ad failed to load

The second time around, I had a better idea what to ~expect~ in the postpartum poop department, so didn't spend the lead-up to childbirth sandbagging my intestines with cheesy-crust pizza and cake doughnuts, thinking that once the baby was out my colon would inflate like an escape slide and be instantly back in business.

Giphy

Still, digestion as a pregnant person is no small thing, and after basically directing everything below your waist toward the exit during that one final push, you don't know what you've done to your bum. Sitting on the toilet and feeling like there aren’t any trains scheduled for days — like there is just no urge at all — can be precarious. Enter the Squatty Potty.

Ad failed to load

People are really evangelical about Squatty Potties. It’s like Cross-Fit or The Secret for creating tribes of people who Know and now feel compelled to recruit. I heard about them in the potty training book Oh Crap, and before I knew it, I was perusing user reviews on Amazon — these are, if you don't know, very enthusiastic. A sample:

"Swag." Amazon

Says Katscatters, "My husband is a much happier man since we bought the sqatty potty. No more needs to be said. :)"

Ad failed to load

I was sold.

When mine arrived at my home via Amazon's two-day shipping (the only shipping speed acceptable to postpartum women), it was in a ginormous box, looking like it could be a ghetto blaster or an electric keyboard or something. “What came?” Asked my husband, excited about the box. Every week he wonders if a PlayStation will find its way to him, even though no one is ever buying one. “Ooo, I don’t kn— oh wait. Yes I do,” I say, realizing what it is. “It’s something for Scout.”

Yes, I pinned the purchase of a Squatty Potty on my toddler, but having recently fished a floater-du-Scout out of the bath, I didn't feel too bad about it.

Ad failed to load

So, you set the plastic footstool up around to your toilet and, when it's time to go, prop your feet so you're in more of a squat. The website explains the general ergonomics of the deal on your sphincter with a helpful unicorn diagram:

Does it work? By jove, it does.

Ad failed to load

Sitting with your feet propped on the cheap white plastic and experiencing the magic of a BM passing the Argonath, it feels almost as though you've been doing things wrong your whole life — squeezing a sunscreen tube with that foil seal on under the cap, or living in a Truman Show-esque fabricated reality in which we all sit on thrones to poop because a coterie of hidden producers have decided it should be that way.

Giphy

Some of the Amazon reviews are to the tune of, "I don't have time to read a single article any more on the toilet!" And it's true — I only have time budgeted in my parental schedule to poop for two minutes once a week, but this gets it done in seconds. I imagine entire podcasts and print magazines would see their readership and listenership in free fall if the Squatty Potty ever gained a stronger hold on the nation's bathrooms.

Ad failed to load

And here's where I get political: I believe every mom should have one.

Hospitals have been known to charge as much as $15 for a single Advil tablet for inpatients; for less than two tabs, you could give every woman walking out of the maternity ward with a newborn her very own Squatty Potty.

Imagine.

Ad failed to load

"You get a Squatty Potty! You get a Squatty Potty! You get a Squatty Potty!"

Giphy

Try and fathom that level of care and concern being directed toward women's perineums. Picture vulnerable and sore women walking out of hospitals the country over and smiling as they wrangle a gigantic hoverboard-shaped box under their arm, winners of the game show that is parenthood.

Ad failed to load

Instead, our general take as society is that women, after flipping their organs inside out like those toys that tuck into their own pockets, should be sent home to an isolated existence of round-the-clock feeding without so much as a Camelbak, all while dealing with c-section wounds and vaginal tears that have been darned by a couple of interns.

A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 3.1 percent of women in a study of 949 experienced fecal incontinence after childbirth. Nearly a quarter of a million U.S. women underwent surgery for pelvic prolapse injuries in 1997, per Women's Health journal, making it one of the most common surgeries for women; one of the key risk factors is a vaginal birth. The European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology states that many women experience sexual dysfunction postpartum, but "embarrassment and preoccupation with the newborn" keep them from seeking help.

A squatty potty might be nice, is what I'm saying.

Ad failed to load

My husband doesn't love the Squatty Potty ("I have no problem with pooping." Me: "Then what are you doing in there for 20 minutes every morning?"). It's not the most beautiful piece of decor. But my daughter uses it to climb up and help herself onto her kid-potty seat. And I love it. It feels like yoga. It's the one second each day when I have good posture. Maybe I'll paint some succulents on it or something, help it to fit in with our aesthetic.

Swag!

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}