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

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

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.


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:

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

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.


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.


Ad failed to load

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


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.


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

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

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack