It can be so difficult when you newborn baby doesn’t poop easily and some newborn babies struggle with constipation. It often results in grunting, squirming and pain in your little one but what is regarded as natural and when is it classed as constipation?
Grunting Baby Syndrome
Does your baby grunt, squirm, cry and go red faced whilstpooping? This is known as Grunting Baby Syndrome or to give it it’s medicalname, Infant Dyschezia. This is a normal part of development. It doesn’t meanthat they are in pain, especially when they do pass their stools it’s nice andsoft.
We take it for granted when we sit on the toilet and just ‘go’. But actually it takes a lot of coordination between our brain, muscles and pelvic floor. Babies need to learn to poop efficiently and they will get there as their digestive system matures and works efficiently. In the meantime, rest assured it’s perfectly normal for your newborn baby to find it difficult to poop. Offer a comforting touch and a reassuring smile. Try to refrain from anal stimulation as you will be delaying their learning process.
What is normal for one baby, is not for another. A baby’spooping schedule is as individual as your baby herself. You may have noticedthat a breastfed baby only empties her bowels once a week which is not uncommonbecause there is little wastage in breastmilk. A formula fed baby may poop onceor twice a day or even three times a day. It is important for you to know yourbaby’s schedule and act when you notice when it’s not your baby’s norm. If yourbaby has a firm or bloated tummy, whilst passing infrequent stools, then thiscould be an indicator of constipation.
The consistency of baby poop is often determined by how theyare fed. A breastfed baby usually has mustard coloured loose stools (watch outfor those poonamis) and a formula fed baby has harder, darker stools.
When your baby passes clay-like hard stools, then it could be an indicator that your newborn baby is constipated, especially if your baby is straining too. This poop is harder to pass so may result in squirming, fussiness and crying too.
What causes newborn constipation?
A baby is born with an immature digestive system sosometimes their bowels are slow to get moving as it requires brain to body communicationto work effectively.
If your baby is formula fed then check that you are notadding too much formula powder to the feed as this can cause constipation. Alsoif you have recently changed from breastmilk to formula milk then this can alsoaffect your baby’s bowels.
Constipation can be an indicator of a cows milk protein allergy but it is rarely the only symptom. Other symptoms of CMPA include a skin rash, blood in stools and a consistently disgruntled baby.
Thickened milk such as anti-reflux formulas contain a thickenerso it harder for your baby to digest.
Reflux medications such as Infant Gaviscon thickens from theinside as it creates a layer in the tummy so again it slows digestion which canresult in constipation
How to help a newborn baby poop easier.
Baby massage is a natural way of helping yourconstipated baby. Massaging your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction helpsmove stools through the gut. It can also help to break down the stools, makingit easier for your baby to pass. Baby massage also helps your baby mature theirdigestive system too, aiding better brain to body communication.
Baby yoga movements such as marching the legs and bicycling the legs places pressure on your baby’s tummy, which can help stimulate the bowel.
For more information on baby massage and baby yoga techniques then check out http://www.happysleepybaby.com for more information.
Reflexology is another way of helping newborn constipation. There are certain pressure points on the foot that stimulate and soothe organs and there are specific points on the foot that help the digestive system and stimulate the bowel.
It is often recommended by health professionals togive your baby some cool, boiled water if your baby is formula fed in betweenfeeds to help aid constipation.
Finally a nice warm bath can help your baby as it relaxes the abdominal muscles, making it easier for your baby to pass stools.
If your baby is struggling with colic or you are have a newborn baby in the fourth trimester then see how I can help you and your family here; https://colicsos.com/colic-services/ or book your free 15 minute call.