Constipation in Babies

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As a Mom & Nutritionist, poop is one of my favourite topics and comes up in every new consultation I have with a client, big or small. You can tell so much about the health of someone by their pooping details or lack thereof.

Constipation can be very common in babies. The definition of constipation is ‘a condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened feces’. This can mean that your baby hasn’t pooped, is straining to poo, or that the poo is incomplete.

So, how often should babies poop?

With babies, it can vary depending on if they are breastfed or formula-fed. Constipation doesn’t usually occur in breastfed babies because when they are feeding the milk is going into the stomach and stimulating the digestive system to start contracting and moving the poop out. Breastfed babies can have between 1 and 5 poos a day but sometimes they may go a few days without a movement. This is because most of the breast milk consumed is being used up in the body for all the important growing & developing your little one is doing.

Constipation can also be as a result of what the mother is eating and the only way you can resolve that situation is to eliminate the foods from the mother’s diet. There are a number of foods that often trigger constipation in babies, if you want to know more speak with your friendly Nutritionist 🙂

Formula-fed babies should be going poo every day but it is very common for them to become constipated and this is often a reaction to the ingredients in the formula they are drinking. This is something to be very aware of when transitioning baby to a new formula, if constipation occurs I suggest that you remove that particular formula and try another alternative. One ingredient to watch out for in formulas is palm olein oil, this is a fat source and has been demonstrated to increase constipation in babies.

Once solids are introduced constipation can often be an issue. This could be due to the lack of enzymes required to digest certain foods or a lack of water & fiber in the diet. The key is to find out WHY your baby is constipated in the first place. If you are concerned about your baby’s pooping, contact me to discuss and find out my recommendations to get things moving smoothly again.

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