Tuesday, January 12, 2010

constipation in newborn or infant

Constipation in newborn or infant although more common in formula fed babies, it may also be seen in exlusively breastfed babies. It may be related to high phosphate and protein content of feeds by baby or mother diet.
A simple way to help in addition is avoid cow or buffalo milk or goat milk if any given to child or baby. If the baby is formula fed, add intermittent water sips between feeds, or replace one feed with water for a week. stools get hard when water content of feeds or stools get lesser or the phosphate content rises.

if the child is growing well along growth charts, then this may be a concern at times if it is asociated with bulging abdomen and in addition if the child makes faces, or appears irritable during feeds or cries at times with abdominal distension, child may be given small amount glycerine suppository (1gm Hallens)  by his doctor, alternate day for a week or teo to evacuate colon of the hard stuff, simultaneously working towards making the feeds with enough volume by maing one complete feed full liquid/thin for 10 days. sometimes manual removal of feces may be done by your doctor.

constipation at times is a surgical problem due to soem congenital gut anomalies which may require prompt surgical consultation or a sonography of abdomen.
Dr kondekar is available for private consultations at Shushrusha Hospital Dadar(w) Mumbai, monday to friday 7 to 9 pm appointment by sms 9869405747 

constipation is a chronic problem in school children, formula feds and who have rich milk intake and low calcium intake.
easiest way to improve is
1. wash of stacked piles of stools by repeated bowel wash/ enema not more than 3 a week under medical supervision till tummy distenstion goes off.
2. improve water intake not to dilute stools but more to prevent bowel tendency to retain water sensing some lack of water in body. water intake may be increased to 1.5 times of prior intake, again under medical supervision.
3. avoid constipating diet like milk, pomegrande and like others, and thos e containing high proteins
4.add softening diet like ripe bananas, rice, stool softenere
5. rest all medicines dont do much help in chronic constipations.
6. its always prudent to rule out any bowel obstruction by performing a sonography or barium meal as your doctor may suggest.

Above management is true for dietary constipation, improving activity and exercises add to the good mobility of bowel.

Dr Santosh Kondekar Mumbai