You must have heard about Constipation In Breastfed Babies.
Is my baby constipated?
If yes, what led to that and how shall I deal with it?
These are some of the questions which an irritable, breastfed baby’s mother might have.
If this is what concerns you then, this is that article which might be of great help to you. Read further to know how to deal with constipation in breastfed babies.
Constipation In Breastfed Babies
It is completely normal for your breastfed baby to have some no bowel movement days. There can be some no poop days while at the same time, there can also be some completely emptying ones as well.
You need not to panic or worry unless your baby is passing out hard and dry stools and is not maintaining a healthy weight gain. There are chances that breastfed babies might suffer from constipation.
What is important is the cause behind that suffering of your child and the measures through which you can stop that from happening.
What should be the frequency of pooping in a breastfed baby?
Under normal circumstances, the breastfed babies pass out stools after every feed which makes it around 8 to 10 times in a day. The number might also come down to the count of 1 to 2 times and it is completely healthy.
The reason for this is that sometimes the breastmilk consumed by the baby gets completely absorbed. This complete absorption can lead to the baby not experiencing a bowel movement for around 5 to 6 days.
How can one come to terms with the fact that their breastfed baby is constipated?
However, it is normal for a breastfed baby not to have a bowel movement on a regular basis as all the nutrients might be absorbed completely. The bowel movement patterns in healthy babies may vary and are affected by the quality of the mother’s milk.
It is important that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of constipation in your breastfed baby to be able to deal with it in an efficient manner.
Some signs and symptoms of constipation in breastfed babies include:
Notice well if your baby is crying or seems to be in pain while passing stool. The reason for this grunting could be that the stool is hard enough to cause a painful sensation while it is pushed out from the baby’s body. A sense of strain while pooping out is a sign of constipation in breastfed babies.
Grunting Baby Syndrome: Certainly, newborn babies do not have a sense of control over their reflexes and it could also be possible that the muscles near the anus are not properly coordinated. This can lead them to apply harder pushes in the process of clearing stools.
BLOOD IN THE STOOL
Blood in the stools of a breastfed baby could be due to a sudden and slight tear because of the strain which the baby is experiencing.
The appearance of blood in the baby’s stools can also be an indicator of the presence of blood in the breastmilk consumed by the baby. This is yet another symptom of constipation in breastfed babies.
A FIRM BELLY COULD BE A SIGN OF CONSTIPATION IN BREASTFED BABIES
A taut belly can also be a sign of constipation in breastfed babies. Vomiting, discomfort, bloating and a troublesome sleep can also be a few symptoms which can act as indicators for you to get into action and pull your baby out from this situation known as constipation.
IS YOUR BABY REFUSING TO EAT?
If yes is the answer that you have in store for this question then, this might be yet another alarm that acts as an indicator of constipation in breastfed babies. Watch out!
What Causes Constipation?
The chances of constipation in breastfed babies are rare because of the nature of the breastmilk that it is easily absorbed in the baby’s body while supplying sufficient nutrition. However, there are several causes of constipation in breastfed babies which are listed below:
- An introduction to fiberless solid food
The inclusion of solid foods such as rice cereal, carrots, wheat and nuts (some of the fiber-free foods) alongside breastfeeding can cause constipation in babies. Because of the lack of fiber-rich foods, there is a shortage of roughage which in turn, leads to constipation in breastfed babies.
Health problems such as cold, cough, throat infection and teething issues can sometimes lead to dehydration in the baby. Dehydration in itself is a cause enough for constipation in breastfed babies or any other being.
- Formula milk
Sometimes, nursing mothers compensate for less breastmilk by feeding their baby with formula milk. This is a great cause of constipation in breastfed babies because of the ingredients of the formula milk. Some babies face constipation after the consumption of formula milk because of their milk protein allergy.
- Diet of the nursing mother
The bowel movements of the breastfed babies also depend upon the eating habits of the feeding mothers. An excess of iron content and a lack of fiber-rich foods in the mother’s diet can be a cause of constipation in the breastfed babies.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Effective Home Remedies for Cold and Cough for Babies
How to Relieve Constipation?
This part of the article will deal with the ways in which you can fight constipation in breastfed babies and also prevent constipation.
Immediate Constipation Relief
However, the doctor’s consultation is advised in the case of prolonged constipation in breastfed babies. Here are a few tips to act upon immediately for immediate constipation relief:
- Increase the water intake in case of constipation in breastfed babies: It is usually assumed that breastfed babies are adequately hydrated because of the liquid diet which they mainly survive. In case you notice any signs of constipation in the breastfed baby, make sure that you increase his or her water intake immediately.
2. Bicycle legs at your rescue: Movement is the key to a proper bowel movement in any human being. For babies, it is advised that they are helped with the bicycle legs movement by placing them on their back, lifting their legs and moving them in a circular motion. This will help release the abdominal pressure which he or she is fighting from while relieving constipation in breastfed babies.
3. Massage the baby’s tummy: Massaging the baby’s tummy after placing him or her on their back using your fingers in a circular motion is yet another way of releasing the pressure on the baby’s abdominal muscles. This will also aid your fight against constipation in breastfed babies.
4. A warm bath might help as well: Constipation in breastfed babies can be tiring for them and their muscles. A warm bath will help you provide relaxation by allowing the body to do away with the pain that has been held upon since the very onset of constipation in breastfed babies.
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Natural Remedies For Constipation in Breastfed Babies
Apart from the fact that a doctor’s consultation is necessary in case of constipation in breastfed babies, parents can also rely upon a number of natural remedies.
Some of the natural remedies to fight constipation in breastfed babies are listed below:
- If you are a breastfeeding mom whose baby seems to be constipated often, then, make it a point to limit yourself from consuming an excess of dairy products in your regular meals.
- Powdered flaxseeds are a great weapon against constipation in breastfed babies.
- Fennel seeds combined with water are also effective in fighting constipation.
- The consumption of lukewarm water (under parents’ guidance and concern) also proves helpful in relieving constipation.
Also Read: Top 10 best Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies
Foods to help Constipation
There are a number of foods which prove helpful for curing constipation in breastfed babies. Here is a list of foods which can prove to be of great help in fighting against constipation in breastfed babies:
The 4 Ps v/s constipation
Due to their richness in fiber and multivitamins, prunes are a wonder food when it comes to fighting against constipation. Prune fruit juice is also there at your rescue. It might take a little while to show improvement but, the results are guaranteed.
Tip: If your baby has not completed six months in this world yet, please consult a pediatrician before using prunes for your baby.
It is a fruit which is rich in fiber and Vitamin C, both of which are good for regulating the digestive system and for normalizing the bowel movements in breastfed babies.
Green peas a winter vegetable and are loaded with fiber. Boiled peas with a little bit of seasoning can improve the bowel movement of the constipated baby.
Peaches are a great source of fiber which can help in the formation of roughage which, in turn, will release the abdominal pressures and solve the problem of constipation in babies.
Also Read: Constipation in Toddlers
Have more natural home remedies for breastfed baby constipated? Please share with us how to relieve constipation in breastfed babies in the comments section below.
Wish you a very Happy and Healthy Parenting!