Monday, April 16, 2012

The Scoop on Poop

Before I was pregnant I would have never thought I'd be excited to see a poopy diaper. But when my baby goes a couple of days without a BM, mommy starts to worry.

Last Saturday was one of those days. Brody went two and half days with out pooping, and he was hurting because of it. His sad, quivering cries were extremely tough to watch. After Brody finally passed a hard brown nugget, Klay spent the majority of that morning massaging Brody's stomach, pushing his legs in a bicycle motion and finally inserting a vaseline-soiled q-tip in his rectum to stimulate Brody to push. Luckily, Brody obliged and we finally got some poop! Although he's gotten a little relief, he's still whimpered in pain majority of the day indicating he still had more to pass.

We've had multiple days like that since. He hasn't been pooping regularly, and it's been frustrating. The bicycling exercises and tummy massages have become a part of a daily routine, it seems. We've even added a little prune juice, and given him water, to try to help. But recently, we started giving him Karo syrup in his formula. Only putting a few drops in his bottle, and it seems to be helping. He actually started passing more than little nuggets (which is what he mostly passed the last week or so).

These are the days that make me wish I was still mostly breastfeeding or feeding him breast mik. I still have a couple of bags of frozen breast milk, and we decided to dive into the last bit of our supply. Breast milk is always my "golden" solution, and it's hard knowing our supply is slowly dwindling down.

Constipation is by far one of the worst things parents can witness. I hate that we can only use so many tactics to try and get him to go, and I worry that if we continue to use theses same tactics, eventually they will stop working.

Here's the scoop on baby poopy issues/problems, according to Similac's website:

Bowel movements

The normal range for bowel movements in babies is vast. Infant stool varies from baby to baby, and from day to day. Stool can be yellow, green, or brown and still be considered normal. Normal consistency ranges from runny applesauce to playdough.

Baby constipation

Several factors can lead to your baby becoming constipated, having difficulty passing stool, passing stool that is hard and dry, or having bowel movements less frequently than usual:

  • Eating solid foods for the first time can cause constipation. It is possible that some of the foods you feed your baby for the first time — such as rice cereal and oatmeal — don’t provide enough fiber to promote regular bowel movements.

  • Dehydration causes constipation. Her body, when not properly hydrated, absorbs fluids from whatever she eats and drinks, including fluid from the waste in her bowels.

  • Baby formulas contain palm olein oil. Breast milk contains a balanced amount of fat and protein to ensure good digestive health and development. Substitutes in baby formula, such as palm olein oil, can harden stools in some babies.

  • Illness or other medical conditions can disrupt healthy digestive functions. Some babies develop diseases, or have underlying medical conditions, that result in chronic constipation. Check with your doctor if your baby has difficulty passing stools.

How can you ease your baby's constipation?

Some doctors recommend adding 1 to 2 ounces of prune, apple, or pear juice to formula or breast milk. The sugar in these juices will help to loosen the stool. Exercise her legs to break up the hardened stools in her bowels, or gently massage her stomach if symptoms continue. Do not give your baby over-the-counter stool softeners unless advised by your pediatrician or health care professional.Ask your health care professional about switching to a formula such as Similac® Advance®, which does not contain palm olein oil, an ingredient that can harden stools in some babies.
Here's some additional info on baby diarrhea
Sorry it took so long for me to post again. I've been working on this post for over a week! Things have been busy and crazy lately...
I'll post more soon.