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Thread: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

  1. #1

    Default Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    Hi ladies, I am new here but didn't know where else to turn. I have a 6 week old son that is exclusively breastfed and today we were having issues.

    As of today he had not had a bowel movement in 4 days which I understand is completely normal. He was also straining to pass gas, which I know is also common. What concerned me was that he would scream out and cry hysterically for quite a while after attempting to have a BM. I called the doctor and the nurse told me that if his fussiness and lack of BM continued for another day or two to give him either a suppository or baby Apple juice. Well, all day today I massaged his tummy, bicycled his legs, gave him a warm bath, and tried to stimulate his rectum to assist him in passing a stool. None of those worked and tonight he became absolutely inconsolable and cried for over two hours hysterically. I called my mom, and in a panic allowed her to give him a suppository. He went almost instantly. It was a thick, sludge-like consistency and smelled "off" - not rotten, but not normal either. He stopped crying shortly afterward and only started fussing if he was passing more stool.

    I am now concerned that we didn't do the right thing and he wasn't truly constipated. What do you think? What would cause a breast fed baby to become constipated? I am also concerned that I may have robbed him of nutrients. Would he eventually have passed the thick stool? Have any of you had similar experiences? Sorry, I am a worrying first time mom.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    I wouldn't give a 6 week old a suppository. Only because you didn't need to. What you are describing IS completely normal and NOT cause for alarm. Somewhere between 4& 6 weeks there digestive tract matures and they are able to hold it and not go every time they eat. It is strange because you become used to your baby going every day and maybe several time a day and you can't imagine that all of sudden they aren't doing it. But its true. And yes the color and consistency also changes. It goes from the bright yellow mustardy seedy poop to the color and consistency of Peanut Butter. This is NOT constipation. And yes it smells different because it's been up there for days. But nothing is wrong. Constipated poop is very dark and pellet like. Because it lacks moisture. You will know you are dealing with constipation when it looks like rabbit poop. And you will not have it while your child is EBF. You may well see it when you start to introduce solids.
    So just relax. As soon as you accept that it IS OK for your baby not to poop every day, you will not project the idea that he is uncomfortable and in pain. He may cry. Babies do. But it's NOT because he uncomfortable from not pooping. I was near hysterics on Day 5. And when I called the doctor and said "When SHOULD I get worried?" They said "Don't even call us back until it's been NINE DAYS. And even then we are going to tell you not to call us back for another 3." I have seen EBF kids here that have gone as long as 14. And nothing is wrong. It's just another benefit of Breastfeeding. Sometime you don't have to change poopy diapers everyday. YES, when this occurs, the gas IS stinkier. That is because it's passing the poop! Don't worry. Nothing is wrong. Let the baby go on his own. No need to put him through having something in is little bum. It WILL come out eventually. It's only milk.

    Way too lazy for formula

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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    You used a suppository designed for an infant, right? Don't sweat it. Don't beat yourself over it. I would have done the same thing and imo its better than giving applejuice to an infant.
    human milk is high enough in water content that babies don't get CONSTIPATED per say, but babies need time to learn how to use their sphincter muscles. Soon enough he will be showering you with massive pooo explosions.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    with the PP. I just want to add that giving your baby a suppository did not rob him of nutrients. By the time waste is down in the colon, it's waste, not food. Whatever nutritional value it had to your child is pretty much gone.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*esthervegan View Post
    You used a suppository designed for an infant, right? Don't sweat it. Don't beat yourself over it. I would have done the same thing and imo its better than giving applejuice to an infant.
    human milk is high enough in water content that babies don't get CONSTIPATED per say, but babies need time to learn how to use their sphincter muscles. Soon enough he will be showering you with massive pooo explosions.
    I am not suggesting that she "sweat it". Just that I have never seen a baby happy about getting one. And there is no need. You aren't helping them work their sphincter muscles by doing it. And what it produces the child will eventually do on their own. And in the mean time, there is nothing to worry about.

    Way too lazy for formula

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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    I totally know how you feel. I went through the same thing and did the same thing you did. My little guy also immediately stopped crying afterwards, and the smell and texture were the same as yours too. I have to admit, I did it twice. I just couldn't watch him suffer any more.

    I am happy to say though, that he now poops once and sometimes even twice a day. He wets a thousand diapers a day, but usually only has one bm. I have gotten used to it, and accept that he is just not a very poopy baby. Make peace with it now or every time your baby cries, you are going to think he needs to poop.
    Wifey to Patricio 6/19/10
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ktdlp View Post
    I totally know how you feel. I went through the same thing and did the same thing you did. My little guy also immediately stopped crying afterwards, and the smell and texture were the same as yours too. I have to admit, I did it twice. I just couldn't watch him suffer any more.

    I am happy to say though, that he now poops once and sometimes even twice a day. He wets a thousand diapers a day, but usually only has one bm. I have gotten used to it, and accept that he is just not a very poopy baby. Make peace with it now or every time your baby cries, you are going to think he needs to poop.
    Same situation I had, too! Except now, my DS is pooping like 5 times a day. Ugh, I kind of wish for the no-poop days to come back! :-P
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    With my middle son he had problems pooping but we were also supplementing with formula. Our pedi suggested suppositories if he hadn't gone for 3 days. They worked to make explosive poopies but made me super sad to give them. I learned that if I drank a cup of coffee every other day it did the same trick

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Possibly constipated? Did I do the right thing?

    Don't worry! I did nearly the same thing, only it wasn't a suppository. My mom recommended 1 tablespoon of Karo syrup in a 4 oz bottle of water that of course he didn't drink very much of. It worked though. I was so panicked because my first little guy pooped everyday even after 6 weeks. Gavyn went 3 days between poops after 6 weeks until we started him on solids at 6 months. The doctor did tell me that they can go up to 10 days without pooping and not to worry.

    With Gavyn we figured it was mainly gas. Is your little one pretty gassy?
    Jessie

    DH Mike 3/15/03

    Riley Patrik 10/30/06

    Gavyn Oliver 12/1/10


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