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Is your child avoiding pooping on the toilet?

An illustrated card to help children overcome toilet training challenges.
Did you know that we offer pelvic health care for children as well? One of the most common things that we see as pelvic health specialists when working with young kiddos is difficulty with pooping on the toilet. In many cases, we can help to better understand what is keeping the child from pooping on the toilet and help families create a plan to support their child as they learn this new skill.  When you come in with your child, you will be supported and heard. We understand that this can be very stressful for the family and will work to develop a plan to move forward. There can be a number of reasons why your child is avoiding pooping on the toilet, but one of the most common things we see is that the child is struggling with constipation.  Constipation in young kiddos can look a little different than adult constipation. Signs that your child is constipated may include:
  • Pain with pooping
  • Extremely big poops
  • Infrequent poops
  • Small firm poops
Constipation will cause discomfort and oftentimes fear associated with pooping. Our first steps with therapy will involve reducing fear, helping children better understand what is happening, finding successful ways to decrease constipation, and finding movements to promote healing of the muscles that may be stretched/irritated from the constipation Your therapist will work to ensure that your child feels safe and has fun in our clinic. We will get creative with movements and activities that help your child better understand their body and allow them to better communicate their needs with you. Our collaborative approach to toilet training aims to reduce stress for the whole family. 

Reach out today if: 

  • Your child is afraid of pooping on the toilet
  • Complaining of pain with pooping
  • Refusing to sit on the toilet to poop
  • Toilet training is stressing the family out
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"Dr. Keesha was such a blessing to our family. Our 4 years old our daughter struggled for 3 years with chronic constipation, failure to gain weight, refusal to eat and reflux. We had countless visits with a gastroenterologist and a full medical work up. We tried everything including feeding therapy, occupational therapy, suppositories and too many bowel clean outs. At 4 years old we were feeling hopeless. Keesha was the first to notice that Lydia was not engaging her abdominal muscles or using her upper body. Once we conquered those skills, she learned to use her muscles to poop and sit at the table. She stopped holding her poop, she stopped curling up in pain and vomiting, and she became one with her body. Best of all she potty trained within 6 months (at 4 1/2) and absolutely loved going to “exercise class.” We graduated therapy and are healthy, happy and growing. Sometimes finding the right person makes all the difference."
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About the Doctor

Keesha Shankle

With 8 years of experience in both pelvic health and orthopedics, Dr. Keesha works with you to develop a realistic and personalized plan centered around your goals. She finds joy in assisting various individuals, including teens seeking support in competitive sports, addressing urine leaks, helping those struggling with pelvic pain, supporting adults in reaching their fitness goals, and aiding young children with constipation or toilet training challenges.