Constipation In Babies
Your baby might have constipation if he has a hard or pellet like bowel movement. This may cause your baby to be in pain when trying to have a bowel movement or not have bowel movement as often.
A breastfed baby is rarely constipated because breast milk is easily digestible. These babies have several types of helpful bacteria in the large intestines that are capable of breaking down the otherwise indigestible proteins , fats and carbohydrates found in milk. This makes stool softer and makes bowel movements easier.
Babies on formula on the other hand suffer from constipation because milk is harder for the baby to digest . These babies get limited amount of fluid which leads to dehydration and cause constipation.
Formula fed babies have less bowel movement that breastfed babies, stool are a lot thicker and have a more greenish color.
Introduction to solids can make your baby mildly constipated. This is because rice cereal which is usually the first solid introduced is low in fiber.
Rarely, constipation in babies may be the cause of an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis or Hirschsprung’s disease.
What are some of the ways to ease constipation in babies ?
Here are some useful tips for easing constipation in babies.
- if your baby is being bottle fed, try a different brand of formula after discussing with your doctor
- put your baby on his back and move his leg in a cycling motion.
- massage your baby’s tummy starting from the belly button and then massage outwards in circles in a clockwise direction
- you can add a little prune or pear juice to your baby’s formula. If your baby is older than 4 months, you can just give extra water ( no more than 1 – 2 ounces per week )
- ask your doctor about using over the counter stool softeners such as glycerin suppository. You should never give your baby a laxative without consulting your doctor.
- if your baby is on solids, cut down on foods that cause constipation such as rice, banana and cooked carrots.You should include more apples and prunes which are rich in fiber to prevent constipation.
You should note that most babies who have occasional bowel movement may not be constipated and need nothing to be done.
When should I call my doctor ?
Contact your doctor if the hard stools are causing pain and discomfort in the baby.
Your Baby’s Bowels and Constipation. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/diapering-a-baby-13/baby-constipation. Accessed November 17, 2014
Baby constipation. Net doctor. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/babyconstipation.htm . Accessed November 17, 2014