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While the news of a new member in the family makes everyone happy, it also calls for caution and careful behaviour. An expecting woman’s eating habits are monitored, childproof accessories are installed, and exercise is mandated. However, one simple function to which people do not give much thought is excretion of bodily waste. Nowadays, most of us have western style bathrooms in our house for comfort. And even if there is an Indian-style toilet in your home, a pregnant lady is not allowed to use it. But is it really harmful to use an Indian toilet during pregnancy? Here is everything you need to know about squatting while expecting.
Is It Safe to Use an Indian Toilet While Pregnant?
Contrary to popular belief, using an Indian or squat toilet while one is pregnant is not just safe but also good for the mother and child. There are no known ill-effects of using the Indian toilet when pregnant.
Benefits of Using an Indian-style Toilet During Pregnancy
A pregnant woman can benefit from using an Indian toilet during pregnancy. Following are the benefits one may derive from squatting.
- Squatting reduces the chance of pelvic prolapse.
- When a pregnant woman squats, it helps her build necessary pressure on the colon to eliminate waste completely.
- It avoids any unsanitary contact between the to-be-mothers body and the toilet surface.
- It strengthens the woman’s thighs and pelvic area and prepares her for the delivery of the baby.
- It is also considered an ideal position in the time of labour as it opens up the birth canal and helps the child descend naturally.
Precautions to Be Taken While Using an Indian Toilet
While using Indian toilets is benign for a pregnant woman, one should be careful of the settings and make sure everything caters to the need of the mother. Here are a few things to keep in mind while using an Indian-style toilet:
- Make sure the toilet area is dry and clean to avoid any slipping and falling accidents from occurring.
- In order to help a pregnant woman balance while squatting, install handles on each side of the bathroom so that she has better grip and will not fall backwards (In a survey, it was revealed that one out of three women could not squat since they are habituated to a western-style seating).
- Make sure water or toilet paper to clean up later is available readily and within arms-length to avoid unnecessary stretching by the mother-to-be.
- Consult with an obstetrician about the kind of toilet you should be using, according to the needs of your body. Also, consult your doctor in case you are not used to using an Indian toilet. This will avoid further unwanted complications in the pregnancy.
- Make sure the bathroom is well-lit and ventilated. This will prevent the likelihood of claustrophobia and suffocation for the woman and suit her comfort.
- Avoid trying to strain yourself while passing motion, this can cause too much pressure on your colon and pelvic area, leading to prolapse.
- Keep your back straight while trying to squat (this may be slightly tough in the beginning but will be easier with time). This will help maintain balance and avoid any falls or aches.
- Wear a pair of bathroom footwear with tough grip to avoid slipping on the bathroom floor.
- Make sure you do not try and squat on a Western-style toilet. Trying to squat on height can increase your chance of a fall.
- A person should always be within earshot of the pregnant woman to cater to her needs upon a call. This is necessary in case the woman feels uncomfortable, light-headed, or experiences pain of any kind.
An Indian style or squatting toilet is better for a pregnant woman for various health reasons. It not only helps a woman defecate better, but also prepares her mind and body for labour. However, as beneficial as squatting might be for a pregnant woman, we must take precautionary measures in order to ensure a safe environment for a woman.
Also Read: Frequent Urination During Pregnancy