Causes of constipation in infants

Causes of constipation in infants


1 Constipation in infants

2 The baby’s natural excretion

3 Causes of constipation in infants

4 Indication for seeing a doctor

5 References

Constipation in infants

Infant constipation represents a decrease in the number of bowel movements to become less than normal.

Or the consistency of stools to change to solid or like small granules

And the infant has difficulty in excreting,

This is evidenced by bending the infant to his back when excreted or crying severely.

In general, a baby’s bowel movement is considered normal if it is loose and easy to pass, and it occurs frequently 4-5 times a day.

It is worth noting that infants who obtain their food through breastfeeding are less likely to suffer from constipation.

Compared to infants whose diet depends on the formula,

This is due to the fact that breast milk is very nutritious for the baby,

Sometimes the child’s body may absorb almost all of the milk, which keeps a small amount of it in the digestive system.

Constipation in infants

However, babies fed breast milk may also become constipated.

This may be the result of not getting enough breast milk.

On the other hand, a baby may become constipated as a result of the type of formula he is feeding.

In these cases, experts recommend properly preparing the dose and increasing the infant’s fluid intake.

Fortunately, most cases of constipation in infants do not represent a serious health condition.

However, parents should discover and control the causes of constipation in their children appropriately.

The normal excretion of the infant

When talking about bowel movements for infants and infants, it is noted that the nature of bowel movements and the length of time between them depend on two main factors; And they are:

  • Age
  • The nature of the food they eat

And the number of bowel movements in many newborns may reach at least one or two during a day.

By the end of the first week, the number of bowel movements may vary between 5-10 times per day.

Their number often decreases at the end of a baby’s first month

As the infant needs more milk and begins to mature,

At 3-4 weeks, the baby may not pass stools on a daily basis.

This is normal as long as the baby appears healthy and grows well.

And he does not face any difficulty in passing stool,

As mentioned earlier, the number of times the bowel movements of infants who obtain their food through breastfeeding are higher than those who depend on formula.

The normal excretion of the infant

In the context of talking about infants who depend on breastfeeding for their food

It is noteworthy that their rate of bowel movements is about three times per day throughout the first three months of the infant’s life

Each feed often follows their bowel movements.

Despite that, some of these infants only have one bowel movement per week, and this is considered normal,

When it comes to infants who depend on the formula for their diet, the number of times they have bowel movements may vary

And that depends on the type of milk that is given to the infant,

In general, their average bowel movements are two to three times per day.

The color and consistency of a baby’s bowel movement can change significantly during the first days, weeks, and months after birth.

These changes are completely normal and are not a cause for concern.

In the first days of the infant’s life, the stool is thick and sticky, and its color is dark green with a tendency to black, and it is called meconium (Meconium).

A few days later, the color of the stool changes to green, then to yellow or yellowish-brown at the end of the infant’s first week of life,

In general, the stools of infants fed on breast milk usually tend to be more yellow

Compared with formula-fed infants,

It is normal for the stool of the infant to be liquid or close to the liquid,

Especially if the infant depends on breastfeeding for his nutrition.

Causes of constipation in infants

There are many reasons that may lead to constipation in a baby,

The most prominent of them can be explained as follows:

1- Confinement of the infant’s feces:

This is due to the infant’s fear of feeling pain during defecation or passing hard stools,

Or, to avoid pain, if the baby develops a rash in the area of ​​using diapers, in what is known as a diaper rash.

2- The infant’s need for more fluids due to the hot weather:

As infants who depend on formula-fed food, they need additional fluids such as cooled boiled water between milk meals.

For infants who depend on breastfeeding, it is advised to increase the number and frequency of feeding during the day.

3- Not preparing milk correctly:

Especially if the percentage of milk is more than the percentage of water used to dissolve milk,

As this may increase the risk of constipation in infants.

4- Changing the type of formula to a different formula that does not suit the infant:

Like using cow’s milk or formula that is highly representative of cow’s milk formula (in English: Follow-on formula).

5- Providing unsuitable solid meals for the infant:

As excessive provision of meals rich in fiber and legumes such as lentils and peas are not suitable for young infants,

For this reason, the mother should choose the correct and appropriate meals for the infant’s age.

6- Infection:

Which may cause the infant to suffer from several symptoms; of between it:

  • Decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • Vomiting

This may lead to dehydration and constipation in the infant.

Causes of constipation in infants

7- Exposure of the infant to physical tension:

Like travel, or weather changes, or moving to a new environment,

This can cause stress and may affect their physical health.

This leads to a change in the number of bowel movements and an increased likelihood of constipation.

8- rare causes:

Some infants may suffer from constipation as a result of some diseases and health problems that are less frequent compared to those described earlier, and the most important of them are:

First: Hirschsprung’s Disease

This disorder is characterized by the absence of certain types of nerve cells called Ganglion cells in a part of the infant’s intestine.

This birth defect results in the loss of the ability of the intestinal muscles to move stool through the intestine and out of the body.

Second: hypothyroidism

It may occur in newborns as a result of a problem with the thyroid gland.

The infant may not show any symptoms indicating that he has hypothyroidism at the beginning of his condition.

However, over time, symptoms may appear, one of which is constipation.

Third: Cystic Fibrosis

It is one of the genetic diseases that often affect the respiratory and digestive system due to the accumulation of thick mucus in the infant’s body,

Symptoms of this condition include smelling large or greasy stools.

The infant suffers from constipation, stomach pain or bloating.

Fourth: Disturbances in the spinal cord such as:

Spinal cord tumors

Spina bifida

Tethered cord syndrome

Spinal cord deformities and lesions may affect the nerves responsible for controlling the sphincter in the intestine.

This may lead to the infant having difficulty passing stool and urination, and suffering from severe constipation.

Fifthly: Anus deformities:

It includes a narrowing of the anus or anterior displacement of the anus

It mostly affects females or Imperforate anus.

These abnormalities may cause stool to pass through the intestine, causing them to become constipated.

Sixth: Other disorders, including:

The inability of a baby’s body to absorb nutrients properly

Other digestive disorders, as may cause the infant to suffer from constipation.

The reasons for seeing a doctor

It is advisable to see the doctor if the baby suffers from constipation for two days and in conjunction with other symptoms:

  • Blood in the stool.
  • When an infant appears disturbed or upset.
  • The infant suffers from pain in the stomach area.
  • The infant does not improve despite taking necessary remedial measures to relieve constipation.

İmportant notice:

The content of the submitted articles, including all text, graphics, images, and other materials, is provided for educational purposes only.

The information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice or professional diagnosis.

Moreover, the information on this website should not be taken as final medical advice in relation to any case or individual situation.

We strongly recommend that you always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health service provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, your general health, or the health of your child.


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