How to Poop (and Make it Great!)

Do you know how to poop?

This may sound like a joke, but I’ve found that most people don’t know much about doing the doo. They don’t know what a good one looks like, let alone how to have one.

Has your doctor ever asked you about your poop?

Did your mom teach you how to poop? Did anyone?

I bet the answer is NO! But Mama Natural is going there 🙂

In this video, I’ll give you the scoop… on how to have a great poop

Here are 5 tips on how to poop and make it great.

1. Eat a Good Diet

This goes without saying, but you want to be eating a healthy, real food diet with lots of plant consumption because this contains helpful fiber.

Shoot for up to 9 servings a day of:

  • Leafy greens
  • Root and cruciferous vegetables
  • Fresh fruit

Throw in some grains properly prepared through soaking or sprouting.

Nuts and seeds are also wonderful additions, but can be difficult for some to digest, especially for folks who are prone to diarrhea. So be sure you soak, sprout or use nut/seed butters.

You’ll also want to be sure you’re consuming enough good fats from things like:

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Raw butter
  • Coconut oil
  • And so forth

Ample protein keeps your bowel muscles strong, so be sure to get enough from sources like:

  • Pastured and organic meats
  • Eggs
  • Raw or Organic dairy
  • As well as wild fish and seafood

2. Position

Position? For pooping? Don’t you just sit on the toilet?

Well, no. Not ideally.

Toilets are relatively new inventions in the history of humankind. Sitting on the pot is actually not the best position for pooping.

Anorectal Angle, sitting versus squatting - how to poop series by Mama NaturalWhen a person sits on a toilet to eliminate, the rectum is forced into a kinked position. This can cause us to strain in order to eliminate. This straining exerts pressure on the anal and rectal veins, which can contribute to hemorrhoids, bowel herniation and other illnesses associated with the lower digestive tract.

Anatomically, humans are intended to squat when eliminating, and have done so since the dawn of time. In fact, more than half the world’s population still squats today.

BUT. We’ve all got “western” or sitting toilets in our homes, right? Are we supposed to get rid of them?

Well, no. But you can improve your form when you’re on them. The key is to elevate your feet to get up into that squatting position. You can put your feet on a little waste basket. Or better yet, a stool.

For the longest time we used our toddler’s little step stool. Now we use a handy stool from Step and Go that tucks under the potty when you’re not using it. Ours is a handsome bamboo version, and they also make a white one.

3. Timing

This might sound silly, but make time to poop every day.

In our busy world, we often race around first thing in the morning and don’t stop to allow our body to do what it needs to do.

Create a morning ritual that includes sitting on the pot 15 minutes. For many of us, it will take much less than that, but this is a good practice for those with constipation.

Use your potty stool, perhaps a little Peppermint essential oil, and relax on the toilet. Try to let go of your stress, which can make us hold in our bowels. Maybe read a good magazine.

By doing this daily, you can help train your body to eliminate each day.

4. Exercise!

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is can be hazardous for our health… and also for our poops.

If you wanna GET things moving, you gotta GET moving.

Exercise helps relieve constipation because it stimulates the nervous system and helps the muscles and nerves in the gut to work better. The bowels respond even more when you’re in a consistent exercise routine and exercising at the same time each day, according to the University of Michigan Health System.

It can be as simple as walking. Various yoga poses and abdominal massage are excellent to stimulate the bowel as well.

5. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Hydration is also very important. Water helps move things along in our systems. In fact, studies find that people who got plenty of fluids were the least likely to suffer constipation. And the large intestine needs fluid to form stool. In fact, our stools are made up of 75% water!?! So be sure to get that H2O.

So what’s next?

Check out my companion post and video: What Your Poop Says About You.

Plus, green poop! Here’s the answer to the age-old question of “why is my poop green?

How about you?

Did your doctor, mom, or anyone else tell you how to poop? Share with us (if you dare) in the comments below.

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. I poop in sitting position but I always poop very fast and easily. Can I continue like that? I eat plenty fiber, water and exercise..

    • Sounds like you are very regular. As long as your bm’s are solid, you’re likely in good shape.

  2. This article was a blast. Really helped me get it all out there. The number 2 article I’ve read all day. Everybody should read this.

  3. I’ve been told it’s bad to sit on toilet for more than a couple of minutes.

  4. I have a hx of indigestion. Found that taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 1st thing in the morning and before meals has been effective and also providing some relief.

  5. I have tried all of these steps, yet I still have constipation sometimes.
    When I was around 3-7 I used to get it all the time, and while that doesn’t happen anymore, I still get it from time to time, and it’s very unpleasant, and painful for me.
    I get it like once two months, if I’m lucky sometimes three.
    Any help? (I’m especially asking this, because I am having it right this second)

  6. I really like the two shows that I see you put on but what if you have constipation due to medication for years. Then had a colonoscopy and now go to the bathroom once a week or once every two weeks and it’s always thin and fluffy looking.The doctor said there’s no bacteria, but somethings going on this is not right

    • Use Miralax in the a.m. with your first drink. I have been on medicine for years that constipated me. The gastrointestinal dr said miralax twice a day if you need it. And FYI you cant taste or see it, so it’s easy to use.

  7. I drink lukewarm water with lemon and suckle an Umeboshi( a salted japanese abricot )

  8. When I had most severe IBS your article helped me a lot. Even now I put sometimes something under the feet when I sense a passing problem, but not often.

  9. I have had constipation/diarrhea problems for around 8 years now and haven’t found anything that helps yet. I’ve used the stool actually two very thick books and they made going a little easier but the constipation and diarrhea still cause problems on a regular basis. Any ideas that might help?
    On a side note the problems started after having my daughter, I had a lot of stitches and had just got over the stomach bug.

    • You should see a gastroenterologist. I have/had a similar situation for last ten years, and got an IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) diagnosis five years ago. With right medication, much care about stress levels and food, my symptoms got much more manageable. You may have some organic change after the childbirth. For my constipation problems, I have found a nice fluid laxative, Lactulose 66.7mg/l, but please consult a doctor before trying it out, it has some side effect but according to my dr, it makes much less disturbance than other types of laxatives. I use it one/twice a month, but I remember times when I used it more often.

      • Could be rectocele issue.

    • Hi, have you tried bentonite clay?

  10. I have a 8yr old son who has trouble pooping he basically poops in his pants he says he can’t tell when it happens he says his tummy doesn’t hurt no cramps or any signs of when he has to go so it ends up on his clothes he trys so hard to have a BM normally(in the bathroom) as a mom I don’t know what to do can you please help.

    • You may need to see a functional medicine doctor it could be a million things.

    • Have him sit on the toilet for 15 minutes after about an hour after he eats. Make it a routine, let him read a book while on the potty. This will relax him, as she said routine is everything.

    • Sounds like classic encopresis. My son has battled it for years. He needs a good clean out and maintenance plan to reverse the stretching to his rectum. I second finding a good doctor to partner with, especially one who is knowledgeable about encopresis. Btw-most neck kids get nose blind to the smell and can’t feel when they go. It’s one of the classic symptoms.

  11. The doctor’s I’ve worked with and seen over the years, have never explained how SHAPE matters. I have # 1, and it could be up to 7 days before I could go…meds, gastric by-pass, diabetes, you name it, I’ve got it. After 14 years, the doctors are finally addressing the problem. Thank for the amazing article.

  12. some meds affect how well you poo, mine are like bricks, sometimes I need to use a knife cut into small pieces so it will not stop up the drain.

  13. Hi, I was thrilled to have run across these posts on everything imaginable about BM’s! As I suffer a w/a few issues in this area. It’s an area of our health rarely touched upon & difficult to know where to get good information. My most troublesome concern is severe constipation. I can sometimes go days & days up to a week without going. When this happens I begin to swell up severely with excessive fluid retention! My legs, ankles & feet being the worst. To the point where ankles & feet look monstrous and becomes painful! When this happens it also triggers odd & widespread acne breakouts along with a very itchy scalp that feels lumpy & swollen. I’ve mentioned this to my Dr. who’s reaction wasn’t overly concerned and just advised me to take a stool softener. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this? Thank you for all this great information!

  14. Very informative! Wish this wasn’t such an awkward subject in our society.

  15. its too embarrassing to tell. But i know how difficult problem is this. when any one face this what should he do please help me . I do fingering in my anus to make sure that to my poo are clearly came out.and dont know when it started i think it since when i was 10 or 12. now i do fingering but my shit are not come out and i feel very very bad .please tell me what should i do?

    • I am not sure since I have no experience doing anything similar, have you tried googling for people who do anything similar?, also maybe there’s subreddit where you can ask, good luck

      • Also if it too embarrassing maybe try writing the doctor so you don’t have to say it face to face

  16. Help ! I have seemingly the opposite problem that you all have. I poop 10-15 times a day and it is diarrhea. I have been regularly scoped. I have a very high metabolism clearly but my weight gain is not equal to that thought. I am 65 so I want to poop at 10 pm. Help !

  17. I love to Poo!!!!

    • so do i i want the biggest every day i measure with my eyeball hope always at least 12 inches the better i eat the better i poop yay when i eat any cheese even goat cheese oh man very strained and unpleasant

  18. Great tips. Pooping can definitely make the difference between a good or bad day. Here’s another great product I’ve recently found that I can truly say has changed my life (at least in the bathroom). It’s all natural and is aptly called, “The Perfect Dump”. I love the name and the actual results that it provides. I highly recommend it to everyone.

  19. This is really weird.

    • I love too poo too!!!!!

      • I find pooping really relaxing. Unless I’m having problems doing it.

  20. A2

  21. I am a 73 year old man and I just want to say pooping is one of the most under rated pleasurable activities in life. In fact, I only eat so I can poop,
    So, I encourage everyone to just relax and enjoy your next poop and see if I am not correct.

    • i totally agree i know its embarrassing but its life when i hear of people only pooping every 3 days omg thats not right i aim for a grat poop every day and get soooooo excited when i have a large s shaped poop keep the good comments comin g please thanks for info

  22. What do you know about too much iron or calcium causing constipation? I’ve recently changed my diet to include more vegetables and fruits, along with the right amount of protein, a lot more dairy (greek yogurt), and limited amounts of starch. The first few weeks, I was really regular, but now I’m having issues. I did some research online to make me think I’m eating too much spinach and Greek yogurt (I was like – what?! Those are healthy). To give you an idea of my daily intake, an average day would be: a small serving of oatmeal with berries, 2 servings of Greek yogurts over the day, one granola bar, one additional serving of fruit (like a ripe banana), chicken stir fry on top of a big bowl of spinach, and dinner with a protein, grain, and big serving of vegetables (broccoli). I also allow myself to snack on veggies if still hungry.

    Also, I’m constantly drinking water and run regularly, so I’m hydrated and active.

    I was at the store today and bought some pears, kiwi, and kale, so hopefully those will help. I also adjusted my position months ago (huge help!) and have plenty of time as I work from home.

    Any further suggestions would help. Thanks!

    • Actually eating too much spinach and dairy can cause constipation. Like they say too much of a good thing ain’t that good.

    • Add well-cooked Millets and Quinia to your lunch. Mix them with red lentils and lots of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans etc.) Also make sure you drink green tea in the morning and chamomile tea at night. Don’t go overboard with spinach and greek yogurt.

    • Ummm..

      srry im 2 funny 4 u

    • Two words for you: olive oil! Water is good but olive oil will lubricate your intestines like nothing else!

    • Try adding some magnesium to your diet also.
      I heard about this years ago when women were adding calcium to their diets to help their bone strength. Everybody is different, but they were saying it helped. You may have to Google to find out how much.

  23. 2 – 3 hours have a pool

  24. Is am going to order two of these soon and am wondering what size you use. I have been using a wooden stool that is 9″ and am happy with the height but will the 9″ fit under a standard toilet well?

  25. Well, as you can see my username, i am the master of poop. Here are a few “more” tips that works on me.

    15 – 30 mins before you eat your daily meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast) have fruits like, apples, strawberries, prunes, oranges, and some other similar stuff. Be sure not to eat any fruits after meals because that can easily cause constipation… Also, at night before bed, have a few sips of apple cider vinegar. (i add water because its too strong for me) Obviously there are tons of more ways to poop but here are some of “my” simple ways.

    If you’re always constipated, try taking vitamins (B-12) You may not have much iron. Or you may not have enough water to digest that shit. DRINK WATER (2-3 bottles a day). Train your body with water! 😉 but be sure not to get to hydrated….

  26. I poo quite regularly, an average of about e times daily, but the consistency, and shape vary quite drasticly, not usually a 4 but typically the 3 or 5, i know i have a much higher metabolism than most i eat like a horse and barely gain weight. Would the high metabolism acount for the inconsistent form? And i honestly just realized that my body has told me i needed to be in a squatting position for quite sone time now, its just much more comfy.

  27. We have toddler and he has a step and toilet training seat.

    The little step is ideal to place adult feet on and the benefits are amazing- plus no odd questions asked.

    • When your kid gets too old for the toddler toilet, there may be odd questions.

  28. Did you see Squatty Potty on shark tank this week? Watching it now…

  29. Squatting really works it makes a huge difference I just use my toddlers little stool, I notice a huge difference when I have a hard time going is when I forget it, I will then pull it out and I can almost go instantly its amazing!!! For the lady above who’s hisband is having problems I am an herbalist and I highly recommend a product called dr christophers lower bowel formula i give it to all of my clients who have constipation problems and its amazing and non-dependence forming literally the best product out there all my clients race about it and a lot of them have tried everything before coming to me.

    • Holly, I see there is a kids version of this, “kid-e-reg” I would like to try this on my 4 year old. Assuming it helps him, is this something he can stay on as needed?

      I’ve already got him on a probiotic, fiber gummies, buddy bear gentle lax, natural calm magnesium supplement, and just started the juice plus gummies.

  30. I find it very interesting about our positioning! Thinking back my kids as toddlers (and in diapers) and my 19 month old now, squat when they are pooping! So we are born knowing what to do but mess that up while potty training!

    • No. Your kid is not 19 months old, they are 1 year and 7 months. So, since I am 33, does that mean that I actually tell people that I am 396 months old?

      • If you knew anything about pediatrics or raising children you’d know that professionals use months instead of years for babies until they are toddlers.

  31. Hi! Just wanted to add in that the “squatty potty” also works great, but you can also make one just by nailing some boards together (looks terrible, but causes everyone to ask about it and gives the chance to inform!) that puts your feet up higher, and that seems to replicate a real squatting position even better (assuming that you are accustomed to squatting). Thanks for bringing this up! I do look forward to hearing about your opinion on period related stuff sometime, as someone else said above!


  32. Would the peppermint eo be safe to use with a toddler potty training… My 2yr old girl is doing great except when it comes to pooping… She will wait and not go because she is afraid and then she gets somewhat constipated… And then when she has to go, she says it’s hurts… I’m just wondering if that would help!

    • I know moms who have used it successfully. If you do, keep her face away from the oil as it’s strong!

    • If she has had some experience already with sitting on the toilet, try this. At bath time, put her in the tub with her toys like usual. But leave the room (leave the door partially open and stay near for safety) so that she has some privacy. The warm bath water will make her want to have a bowel movement and if she thinks no one is watching, she will get out of the tub, sit on the toilet and go. When you come back in, she will be back in the tub with a big grin on her face. Congratulate her. Don’t fret the small stuff (she didn’t wipe, didn’t flush, got wet footprints on the floor); you can address that after she builds her confidence about going.

  33. Ok Soooooooo… we eat a whole food, organic, lots of raw stuff kinda diet, lots of water, lots of exercise, etc BUT its hasn’t done my poor hubby any good, its pretty constipated down there! He’s also got an issue with his weight, he trims down to a certain point then boom! he goes up again. At the most he’s about 88kg so we’re not talking obese but I’m wondering if its related. I’m pretty onto the whole natural healing thing but I’m so stumped and he’s pretty miserable! Any suggestions??

    • Hi, On my behalf: I am a massage therapist who does a lot of abdominal and pelvic floor work. A lot of people have really tight pelvic floors which can interfere with the sphincter muscles. Also, if there is any torsion on the hips, the sphincters can be affected. Whichever side you/he stand and sit on, based on my experience with clients, the pelvic floor will be compressed and (primarily talking about ladies) your internal organs may be adhered to the pelvic wall. Also, there can be a lot of tightness in the lower abdomen, from too much sitting, that binds up the GI tract to interfere with peristalsis (movement of food/poo). I have been able to help a lot of people with similar situations as your husband. As one of my clients have stated, I am better than “botox for your butt.” (What their doctor had futilely done to them to help them poop more than ‘spaghetti’). I recommend finding someone who specializes in abdominal and pelvic floor work to see if they can help them. Just a thought if everything nutritionally isn’t working. Be well!

    • Hello. My husband had the same problem. Psyllium husk was too harsh for him. However, marshmallow root really helped. It’s very gentle. Good luck!

    • Weight gain and constipation are both very common symptoms of an underactive thyroid. If he’s experiencing any hair loss, fatigue, depression, etc.. it would behoove him to have some testing done. A functional or integrative medicine doctor is usually a better choice for ordering the right tests. Conventional medicine lets a LOT of thyroid trouble slip through undetected because they use a much wider range of “normal”.

  34. Thanks SO much- this is extremely helpful info that no one talks about!! Do you have any advice for people who have troubling “going” when they are flying/traveling? I think it may have something to do with the nervous system & the anxieties of travel but I’m not sure.

    • Yeah, I have that too. When I was working as a welder far away I’d not poop for days and then Pretty much do the poop the Trike does in Jurrasic Park.

  35. I love how every time you say ‘poop’ your voice goes up, haha 🙂

  36. I love this!!! Poop is important and how we rid toxins.

  37. Mamanatural! You are the greatest! Thanks so much for the great info! 😀 PS love your hair! You look beeauutiful! 😀

  38. Dear Mama natural, thank you for this video, from a mother who has a 9 year old son with neuro genic bowel disorder. He has suffered since birth with chronic constipation which thenables caused severed rectal nerves. People should NOT be ashamed to discuss bowel movements. Great job on getting the word out!! Parents teach your kids at a young age that pooping is normal and teach them how to do it correctly. Thank you mama natural and God bless!!! $

  39. HI Mama,
    I am 9 weeks pregnant and SUPER constipated (likely because I have food aversions right now to whole grains and most vegs and fruits– it’s pathetic). Any suggestions for supplements that I can take to keep me regular during the next 32 weeks 🙁

    • Hi,
      I’m pregnant right now too and wanted to suggest some things that help. We use a stool like she mentioned and that makes a big difference. Also take a magnesium citrate like natural calm – it’s also a natural laxative. And drink plenty of fluids of course!

    • The one thing that helped me poop when I was pregnant was smoothies with chia seeds. I did not want to eat anything in the morning because I felt nauseous, but I could do smoothies, and adding chia seeds to them helped get things moving.

    • Psyllium husk – perfectly fine for use during pregnancy, and will help keep you regular. Take 1 dessertspoonful daily.

  40. For me I like to have lots of water in the morning with lemon and that really gets things going…if you know what I mean. Also posture is HUGE for us as we have a stool we use as well.

  41. Our Bradley Method instructor actually told us about using a little step stool to help with pooping, ‘specially when pregnant and honestly, it really helped!

    • Me too

  42. Genevieve!
    what do you use during your “flow”? tampons? pads? what do you eat/don’t eat during this time?

    I would love to hear what you have to say about this!
    I love your view points and attitude!!!


  43. I love this video! No one talked to me about poop ever. When I got pregnant my nutritionist friend started talking about it with me, and I am so grateful to her for that! And grateful to you Mama Natural for this video! <3

  44. love the stool tip (pun intended!). i lived in india for a year and got used to using squatting toilets. at first was a bit strange but now i’m back in spain, i miss them! they definitely make bowel movements a lot easier, faster and more efficient.

    looking beautiful with the new hair!

    • Very helpful & relaxed. Thank you for your natural, ‘at ease’ attitude. I wish we could all feel as relaxed as you sound/read.

  45. I love this! I used to be the best pooper until i gave birth to my daughter and tore all the way… ALL THE WAY!!! Now its all just different down there. Im interesting in trying the Step and Go. Thanks for sharing.

    Adore the hair, so lovely 🙂

    • Ooh PS, I also started using magnesium spray transdermally and it has also made a really big difference and helps give me a bit more… agh… substance!

    • Aw, poor dear! I’m assuming you did lots of sitz baths to help with healing? I hope your tissue is healing well! Glad the magnesium spray is working for you. It’s a wonderful product!

  46. I have a question regarding your suggestion in #3: using a little peppermint oil. Specifically, how do you suggest using the oil?

    • Put 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil in toilet water. Sit down. Relax. And it usually stimulates the bowel and produces a movement 🙂

        1.For those who dont have a specialty stool or want to save money, it is easy to buy a bucket or sturdy waste basket at Dollar General type store and turn it upside down. Be careful to get one that’s short enough.
        2. Peppermint oil fumes can be caustic to women with especially sensitive urinary tracts. As someone with interstitial cystitis, I can tell you from experience that the fumes just from small amount of oil in water cause burning. Also, pH issues with bladder force avoidance with internal intake of many essential oil remedies and most juices. So, if you’re prone to uti’s or bladder infections approach peppermint fumes or contact with caution.

  47. Great post! Very helpful! 🙂

  48. It was only a matter of time before you went there. I’m glad you’re tackling it though, because it is such a huge part of health! Oddly enough, I never really had to think much about eliminating until I got pregnant the first time. I guess it was just a foreshadowing of becoming obsessed with poop once the baby came.

    BTW – your hair is looking fantastic!

    • I was wondering when you would venture out into muddy waters… 😉 Seriously, someone’s gotta talk about it!
      Also, I LOVE your haircut– so fresh looking 🙂

    • 🙂 It is! Oh yes, I analyze my kids poops all the time 🙂 XOXO

      • Then you should read “Running with Scissors” (Augusten Burroughs) hilarious, informative and quite real based on true story.

        The part about reading your poops like reading tea leaves to predict stuff about you day is great, funny, and likely true to some extent.

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