Constipation In Newborn: The Probable Causes

2 min read

Constipation
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Problem Of Constipation!!!

If you are the mother of a new-born, you must be having one of the most confusing moments of your life. Do not worry, you aren’t alone there, this happens to almost all new moms, especially the first time moms. While everything about them is delicate and needs proper monitoring, pooping of a new-born probably needs more attention than you think- It is often tough to understand if things are normal or not, the most common problem being constipation. 

Babies often suffer from constipation without letting anyone know. Yes, we know you certainly do not want you little one to suffer silently. We get you mommy, here is how to help your baby! 

Firstly, Is She Suffering From Constipation? 

You might be worrying for no reason! Most of the time, it is normal for a baby to go days without pooping. Usually,

  • If your baby is breastfed and less than a month old, she will usually poop at least once a day. 
  • If she’s more than a month old and only breastfed, she can go up to a week without pooping) yes this is absolutely normal!)
  • If your baby is fed with formulas, anything between 3-4 times a day to once in 3-4 days is considered normal. 

Every baby is different and may have different bowel movements. If she is happy and gaining weight, the differences in bowel movements shouldn’t be a cause of concern. 

However, if your baby has any of these symptoms, she might have constipation-

  • Hard poop on her diaper which resembles clay balls. 
  • If she is formula fed and doesn’t poop for more than 5 days. 
  • She cries while pooping( some straining is normal but if the crying persists, it may be a sign of constipation. 
  • Too much gas. 
  • Poop smells too bad. 
  • She has a hard belly. 
  • If she tries to poop for a long time but doesn’t succeed. 
  • She refuses to eat. 

Causes and Treatments

While it is tough to find the exact cause, these may be some probable reasons: 

  • A recent switch from breast milk to formula
  • First introduction to solid foods
  • Previous painful experiences
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular toilet training. 

If your little one is suffering from constipation, there shouldn’t be a delay in the treatment. While consulting a paediatrician is always a good option, you may also try these home remedies to help her: 

  • Try a different formula

One common cause of constipation in toddlers is allergies, especially protein intolerance. In such cases, switching the formulas may help to solve the problem. If a change does not seem to work, more are unlikely to work too. Do not keep changing the formulas continuously. It is recommended to consult your paediatrician before every switch.  

  • Increase the amount of fluid intake

You may increase the amount of fluid intake slightly to rule out the chances of dehydration. Remember not to overdo it. 

  • Fruits juices

If she is more than a month old, you can give her juices of fruits like pears, prunes or apples to help with the condition. The amount may vary but a two month old should be given a maximum of 2 ounces a day ,a three month old 3 and so on. 

  • A warm bath

Giving your little one a warm bath relieves the tension in her abdominal muscles, which will help her in passing poop better. Remember to have the perfect temperature which isn’t too hot or cold. 

Constipation
  • Increase fibre content

If your baby is already eating solid foods, you can try introducing foods rich in fibres.  skinless apples, broccoli, whole grains, peaches, pears and plums. 

  • Massages

You may try the following messages to relieve your little one:

  1. Make circular motions on the stomach using fingertips
  2. Walk the fingers around the navel in circular motion
  3. Hold her knees and feet together and gently push the feet towards her belly. 
  4. Stroke from the rib cage and pass the belly button using the edge of a finger. 

When to see a doctor

You should consult a doctor once you suspect constipation in your baby. If your baby has blood in his stool and has symptoms such as vomiting, fever or weakness, it may be a medical emergency and there should not be a delay on contacting the doctor. Also, if the baby is vomiting, has a distended stomach and seems dehydrated, call your doctor immediately as this can be Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis, which is the narrowing of the intestines and can be dangerous.