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Lets Talk Health Q & A

Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help. Dec / Jan

Q: My potty-trained toddler is having trouble in the bathroom. What should I do?

A: It’s common for children to be embarrassed to use the bathroom when in a new setting, to be afraid to go if they experience pain during a bowel movement, or to have stress-related constipation. Children will develop their own schedule. As long as they go at least once every three days and aren’t having pain, there is no need to worry.

Here are ways you can help your child develop healthy toileting habits:

  • Keep track of their frequency and ask whether it is hard, soft or painful.

  • Have them eat plenty of fiber, the kind found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Fresh or dried fruit is usually the easiest for kids to enjoy, but you can also adjust family meals to have more fiber overall.

  • If they are constipated, limit bananas, rice and dairy.

  • Make sure they drink plenty of unsweetened water between meals.

  • Add at least two bathroom breaks into their daily routine.

  • Make your toilet child friendly, with a step stool for their feet or child-size seat.

  • Encourage active play for at least 60 minutes throughout the day.

Please reach out to your doctor for tools and support, especially if your child has chronic constipation or a painful stool that cannot pass.

— Bob Michael, MD, Pediatrician, Samaritan Lebanon Health Center

Q: I had a cesarean section three years ago with my first baby. This time I’m hoping for a more natural birthing experience. What are the main considerations to determine whether I should plan to deliver my baby vaginally?

A: This is a great question! There are a number of things you need to consider if you want to try to have your baby by VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). First, you need to make sure that you are receiving care at a hospital that offers VBAC, such as Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis. Many hospitals are not able to offer this option. Some women will transfer their prenatal care during pregnancy to an obstetrics practice that works with a hospital that offers VBAC.

Second, to have a vaginal delivery you need to ensure your pregnancy meets the criteria required of any pregnancy for vaginal birth: the baby is not breech and there are no other conditions present that would require a C-section. And finally, during your pregnancy you will need to have an in-depth conversation with your provider regarding the risks and benefits of trying for VBAC, as well as your likelihood of success.

— Emily Zeno Yeast, (she/her/hers), Certified Nurse Midwife, Samaritan Obstetrics & Gynecology – Corvallis


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Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.


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