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How To Help A Constipated Baby
Constipation is a common problem among young babies. This article is going to define ( How to help a constipated baby) constipation, highlight its signs and explain the causes of constipation. It shall also provide how to relieve constipation in babies.
What Is Constipation?
Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements occur less often making the faeces to dry and hardened making defecation difficult and painful. This condition can occur to anybody at any age. In most cases, constipation occurs to an individual when he or she defies the urge of bowel movement whenever triggered by the body.
Sometimes we resist moving the bowel because we are in a public place and we may feel embarrassed by offensive sounds it often makes. Constipation in children can result in chronic constipation, obstruction of the bowel, hernia among others.
When Can I Tell If My Baby Is Constipated?
My baby is constipated when he or she passes out hard and dry, clay-ball faeces instead of the normal liquid or pasty stools. The baby experiences difficulties in defecating. Mums have known when their babies defecate which is usually after meals therefore if after feeding your baby and does not pass out faeces he or she could be constipating.
When a baby is born and takes more than five days without poop it signals chances of constipation by the child. A constipating baby could also refuse to eat because of discomfort caused by unfrequented movement of the bowel.
Signs Of Constipation In Babies
The following signs will give you a clue when your baby is constipated;
- Foul smell from the baby’s faeces
- Refusal to eat
- Bleeding of the rectum
- Bloating Hard belly
- Less than three bowel movements in a week
- Dry, hard and clay-ball like faeces
- Obstruction of the bowel
- The baby feels pain when defecating marked by crying.
What Is Causing Constipation?
Constipation is attributed to a number of factors. Among them are;
- Over reliance on exclusive feeding program made of formula. The formula could easily firm up faeces making it hard and difficult to pass out.
- Solid food.
- Intolerance to milk protein by the baby’s digestive system.
- Mums milk can also cause firming up of the faeces due to its thickness especially colostrum. Other thickened milk products such as cheese and yogurt equally contributes to constipation.
- Lack of exercise by your baby. Exercise gives a chance the baby to realise more bowel movements which greatly reduces chances of constipation.
- Taking a diet that lacks significant amounts of fibre. Some of the common food that causes constipation when fed to your baby includes bananas, beans, apple sauces and cereals.
- Medical conditions or illness for example hypothyroidism.
- Side effects of certain drugs such as aspirin and antihistamines have been found to cause constipation among young babies.
- Disorders related to metabolism.
Stress. Stress is known to interfere with digestive system whose one of the effects is constipation.
How To Relieve Your Baby From Constipation
Several new mom wondering: how to help a constipated baby?
Here is what to do when your baby is constipated:
- Gently massage his or her belly with little constant pressure for up to three minutes.
- Encourage your baby to do some exercise. If the baby is too young to carry on the exercise, try pumping her hands and legs. Also try to help her walk while holding the hands.
- Use some little juice such as prune, apple or pear juice. You can add the juice into the baby’s formula in case you are using. However, do not use a lot of juice for a young baby (below four months) as this is not advisable.
- Bath your baby with warm water to help him or her relaxes. Relaxation will trigger bowel movements.
- Consider calling a doctor if the condition persists or is too serious (that is, if the baby is not eating, significant weight loss or passing out stool with blood).
How To Avoid Baby’s Constipation
- Constipation is very rare in babies breastfed
- Avoiding feeding your baby with low fibre food such as bananas, cereals and applesauce as they easily firm up faeces leading to constipation.
- Avoid including dairy products like cheese and yogurt in your baby’s diet.
- Ensure that the diet of your baby is a all-liquid one. Liquids are easily digested and absorbed into the body.
- Help your baby do exercises especially after feeding to help in bowel movements. This greatly reduces chances of constipation.
- Minimize the use of formula in the baby’s diet while still young.
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