They say that one of the most important concerns after a new mother is related to the contents of a newborn`s diaper.
Mothers watch very carefully the process and results of what their baby eliminates, asking themselves questions which sometimes may even seem ridiculous: “Do my baby poops as often as he should?”, “Is the color normal?”, “Doesn`t his poop have too much liquid?” or “Isn`t his poop to pasty?”
Most of the times the worries related to the baby`s stool don`t have a lot to do with reality, normally a baby that was exclusively breastfed has no reason to make diarrhea, with the exception when he may have been infected or contacted a virus, and he also has no reason to be constipated as long as he receives only breast milk.
But a lot of women complain about their baby being constipated after he was exclusively breastfed.
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Normal Stools at Breastfed Babies
Around the 4th day of the baby`s life, the newborn will eliminate meconium, the baby`s first stool that is mostly formed from amniotic liquid. Then the stools will become more frequent, sometimes appearing before every meal with a more watery consistency, reason for which some mothers confounding a normal stool (of milk) with diarrhea.
The color can vary even during an entire and this may happen for various reasons. For instance, a green stool could be the result of the fact that the newborn has sucked more foremilk, the one that is more watery, not consuming enough hindmilk, the one that is more consistent. Some small balls like mustard seeds are also sometimes normal in the stool of a baby who was exclusively breastfed. – Find out more!
The problem is that sometimes from the beginning, other times after a period of more frequent stools, some babies start to eliminate just once at every few days, something that offer a lot of concerns to most mothers who immediately think their baby is constipated.
However, a very important thing that most mothers should know from the start is that a baby who was exclusively breastfed is just as normal to have 10 stools during 24 hours or to have one single stool at every a few days.
Meaning of Constipation at Infants
Constipation happens when the baby`s stool has a hard consistency and it`s dry. Constipation doesn`t occur when the little one has irregular stools. A baby who is constipated may be ill, especially if he vomits often, doesn`t want to be fed, has dry mouth or shows weakness. If the baby shows these particular signs, ask for immediate medical assistance.
Babies might feel constipated from formulas based on cow`s milk or rice cereal. Babies who are exclusively breastfed get constipated rather rarely; however, as soon as other types of foods are included the stools may get firmer. The little one`s doctor may be able to find out what types of foods may be causing an issue. Talk with your doctor if you feel worried about the bowel movements of your baby.
Causes for Baby Constipation
- Dehydration – this represents the most common cause of baby constipation.
- Changes in the little one`s diet – adding solid foods, formula.
- Food allergies – sometimes, what the mother consumes can cause constipation in their baby.
- Medical conditions – contact your doctor if your baby experiences hard stools.
- Rare causes – sometimes, baby constipation might be caused by a tiny rectal opening which prevents the stool`s passage.
Symptoms of Baby Constipation
- Constipated infants will experience hard, dry stools.
- Constipated infants might begin to vomit.
- Constipated infants may experience abdominal pain.
- Constipated babies may experience bloody streaks in the stools.
- Constipated babies experience stools that are similar to little pellets.
- Constipated infants cry a lot when they strain to have a bowel movement.
Foods that Lead to Baby Constipated
- Cow`s milk.
- Apple or banana sauce.
- Squash and carrots.
- Rice cereal.
What to Avoid When a Breastfed Baby Is Constipated?
Don`t use the thermometer to “stimulate” him. This habit, although considered useful by mothers, may lead to the baby having anal burns or even bleedings, wounds or infections. This could also lead to a weakened sphincter, and if this may become a frequent used habit, a lot of babies may not be able to poop for years without this kind of stimulation.
Don`t use a glycerin suppository, mainly for the same reason. This may lead to addiction, babies used to poop using suppositories may have a faulty digestion and elimination because of the mother`s intervention when it`s not the case. – Read more similar content!
Don`t offer to your baby tea, fruit juice or other liquids with a laxative effect, firstly because of the reason that is already known, meaning that a baby who is exclusively breastfed doesn`t need anything else than breast milk.
Tea is contraindicated before the baby reaching 6 months old, especially medicinal tea which can have a laxative effect and may cause the baby bigger issues.
Fruit juices, especially citrus juices, also aren`t allowed in the baby`s diet until he`s 8 to 10 months old.
What Can I Do if My Baby Is Constipated?
A change in the mother`s diet or formula might aid prevent and combat constipation in breastfed babies. Solid foods, which are most frequently the cause of constipation, may actually consist the cure as well. There are a few fruits and vegetables, like pears or broccoli, as well as water or fruit juice, can make things better
When changing the diet doesn`t solve anything, you should have a discussion with your doctor before turning to other methods or remedies. For instance, he`ll be able to suggest rectal stimulation with the use of rectal thermometer or cotton swab. If this will work, it might take up to an hour for poop to be produced. Other options may include:
- Lactulose, a synthetic sugar that.
- Senna, a natural laxative.
- Miralax, which is a tasteless powder that can be mixed into a drink.
How Can I Help my Baby Poop?
If your little one`s diaper is filled with hard poop or he may seem strained, it`s probably safe to assume things aren`t going as they should. Fortunately, if your baby cannot poop right, there are things you can do to help him poop. – More info!
- Increase this consumption of water.
- Give him fruit juice.
- Give him foods high in fiber.
- Practice with your little one “bicycle legs.”
- Change the brand of his formula.
- Take his temperature.
- Massage his belly.
- Give your little one a warm bath.
- A glycerin suppository can be a good option.