My baby is struggling bowel movements.

[deleted account] ( 25 moms have responded )

My 24 week preemie is now home and on fortified breast milk. We have struggled with getting her to poop and have had to give her a suppository every day. Any idea of when we can expect her to do this on her own?

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Eneri - posted on 02/25/2010

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my daugther also was having the same problem.. she was also on suppository every day my cousin is a pediatrician and told me that doing that was not helping her but making it worst because you making her colon lazy so she then called into the pharmacy (lactulose) it has no side affect and effects nothing at all you put a teaspoon in the milk and help them instantly poop

Emily - posted on 02/13/2010

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How old is she now? It is totally normal for breastfed babies to go quite awhile without pooping. My little girl only poops about once every 2 weeks. As long as the poop is soft, not hard little balls, it is NOT considered constipation and you shouldn't need suppositories. In fact, suppositories can make the situation worse because their little bodies get too used to it and will depend on the suppository to poop. If I were you I'd talk to a breastfeeding-friendly doc or a lactation consultant and maybe lay off the suppositories for awhile, unless her tummy is hard or the poop is hard balls. Otherwise, it's okay for them to not poop for awhile!
http://www.babycenter.com/404_how-many-t...

Niki - posted on 02/13/2010

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Our daughter is a 32w preemie and she tries to force a bm constantly. The doctor didn't consider it constipation, just that she was so little and young that they sphincter and other digestive muscles aren't developed enough so she's kind of "helping" them along by pushing. Now that she's 2 months and over 8lb, its gotten better, but she still strains from time to time even though she's not actually constipated.

Suzi - posted on 10/19/2013

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Lactulose will not be suitable for a newborn, Tracey.

The best deconstruction of the laxative addiction/dependency myth I've ever read is in Dr Shmuelis' book on IBS (his source being the journal American Society of Gastroenterology).
A daily suppository is actually a good idea if this problem arises. Because they only affect the rectum (and maybe the descending colon), side-effects are near-impossible (so long as you don't severely overdose!)
I've noticed that v. young children often go through a phase where, for dietary or psychological reasons, they cannot "do" without stimulation. You have to keep trying everything to get them to do, and eventually (hopefully) they just snap out of it.
Better to get the suppository habit than the constipation habit. If you have to put a suppository in her every 36-60 hours to ensure she's doing a daily dooey, so be it.

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Bethel - posted on 12/24/2017

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Babies magic tea is completely safe and helps with newborns constipation, gassiness, and reflux issues. I had the same issues with my newborns and this tea was our lifesaver!

Niki - posted on 12/28/2012

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Mine stopped when he was on Prevacid. Once we stopped taking it he was regular again.

[deleted account]

Talk to your doctor. I HIGHLY recommend seeing a pediatrician over a family practice doctor. They are more experienced with preemies. Warm water helps get things moving, you can try heating pads a small amounts of time before or after eating. Massaging the stomach in a circular motion from left to right and then down (when looking at them) prior to feedings.

Kids that are on table food...put flaxseed in their oatmeal. Works wonders! Also....brownies....hear me out. Here's a recipe for extra fiber brownies.

1 box brownie mix
1 can black beans (I know...sounds gross, but they are SO GOOD)
1/2-3/4 cup water

Blend black beans (do not drain) in blender and stir in water. Add mixture to brownie mix and bake according to box instructions.

They come out nice and gooey. They are low fat and high in fiber. =) If you are on Weight Watchers...cut them into 12 squares (in a 13x9 pan) and they are 2 points per brownie.

Katie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Oh, and prune juice mixed in the breast milk is a SURE FIRE WAY to get results, and my Dr. told me that at 4 months I could give my daughter a spoonful of prune baby food if I needed to...but she hated it, so I just hid the juice in her bottle. Just be careful how much you give her until you get it figured out, or you'll have a diaper explosion!!!

Katie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Unless your doctor told you specifically to use a suppository, don't. It stops your child from being able to make themself poop naturally. I am pretty much positive that your child isn't having bowel movements (and I suspect when she does go, it's hard and hurts her?) because of the cow's milk protiens in the fortifier. **Ask your doctor about a powder that you can add to the breastmilk that will soften her stool, I had a friend in the NICU who's daughter used the stool-softening powder, and it made it able for them to stop using suppositories. Soft stool moves better through the body, and comes out the other end a whole lot easier and more regularly.



My daughter (a twin) was born at 30 weeks, and she has low tone. I would also suspect that being born at 24 wks, that your daughter has low tone also. It makes it hard to move their stool through their intestines when their stomach muscles aren't working 100%...they can't push it through properly.



I'm sure if you asked your doctor (or even an NICU nurse), they could suggest a fortifier that is made for babies that cannot digest cow's milk. It probably won't fix the problem 100%, but it should help enough to keep her comfortable.



Just some suggestions. :) Good luck!

Toni - posted on 02/22/2010

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Often something as simple as a few drops of prune juice can get things moving quite well. They get dependent on stool softeners and suppositorys very quickly. Check with your pediatrition because every child is different, but natural things are always the best in my book. Good luck.

Erin - posted on 02/18/2010

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My son is a 30 weeker (3 years old now) and he's had issues with constipation, I think, since around the time we switched him from breastmilk to formula. When he was an infant our pediatrician recommended 1 or 2 tbs of dark Kayro syrup in his bottle two times a day. Occasionally we'd used suppositories if the Kayro wasn't working, and our pediatrician said he could not become reliant on those to go. He still has constipation issues, probably because of his typical limited toddler menu. We use Miralax once a day now and try to give him as many high fiber foods as he'll eat.

Amanda - posted on 02/18/2010

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sorry not got time to read all your replys, so apologise if some else has made this suggestion. i teach infant massage and baby yoga and there are specific strokes that would help your baby to get her bowls moving. i would recomend you contact the international association of infant massage to find your nearest certified infant massage instructor. it would also help to reduce the need for medicine. good luck i hope you give it a try. amanda

Jamie - posted on 02/16/2010

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My 23 week preemie did have this issue for awhile, after he first came home from the hospital. I never gave him suppositories though. I would help him by rubbing his tummy, or while he was on his back I would push each leg up toward his tummy, bending it at the knee, alternating legs, or bicycling his legs. The other thing I was told to try by his doctor was a qtip. Moisten the tip of a qtip with vasoline, and while holding his legs up (like you would to change the diaper) insert just an inch of the qtip. This would stimulate his bowel muscles, and he would often poop right after (once I had to grab the diaper real fast!!!!!!) I was told not to do it too often though, because the bowels can become dependant upon that stimulation. He had this problem off and on until we started solids, and then he was pooping 2-4 times a day!

Nicole - posted on 02/15/2010

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My 34 weeker had problems w/ constipation when he started fortified breastmilk. I think it has to do w/ the extra iron in preemie formula. My ped advised using a little prune juice (less than 1oz) per day and that always helped him. Once we stopped fortifying the breastmilk, the problems stopped and haven't had to use it since.

Niki - posted on 02/15/2010

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change your baby formula baby to milk to one thats helps consitpated babies and ask you own doctor. my little lad was born at 30 weeks he's now 2 and he still has constipation and is on permant laxatives.

Anna - posted on 02/14/2010

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My son was a 30 weeker. We were advised by the Home Health Nurse who visited after he came home from the NICU that it is common for babies to not go for up to 48 hours. After that you should, upon Pedi approval, give about 15ml of warm (not hot) water or a bit of prune juice. Water nearly always worked for us. But then he got bad GERD and he is now on Prilosec. At 5 months 1 week he poops about twice a day and I think it's because of the Prilosec helping his digestion.

Charmian - posted on 02/13/2010

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I am a foster mom to a 26week preemie who weighed 1kg @ birth, and he was also very constipated. As I am not allowed or able to breastfeed, I feed my babes Novalac AC, but have put this angel on Novalac IT as hit is for babes who suffer with constipation. Just remember that the Iron medication which most preemies are put on, makes them constipated. Good luck

[deleted account]

Thanks for the great advice. My little one is now 16 weeks. We were concerned that the suppository could be something she relied on but her Pediatrician said that it was her immature sphincter. In the hospital when she was just on breast milk she was a champ in the pooping area but now the combination of breastmilk mixed with the formula for extra calories makes it a long and miserable process for her. I will definitely ask the doctor at her next appts. about your ideas.

Emily - posted on 02/13/2010

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Just wanted to add, the reason breastfed babies sometimes don't poop as much is because breastmilk is so well absorbed by the body, there is little waste.

Katherine - posted on 02/13/2010

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I agree with Monicquea, because sometimes babies have problems. My son didnt have that problem but my sisters baby did she took him to the doctor and they gave her the same thing to give to her son. I think its best if you go to the doctors first to see if its ok cause all doctors and babies are different. I wish you the best of your preemie its hard to take care of them at first then it gets easier.

Kerri - posted on 02/13/2010

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My son was 28 weeks old, and is still having problems with constipation. He is 2 1/2 now. Our doctor told us to try a teaspoon of Karo syrup to his milk. It only worked once for him, but it may be a try, When he was little his doctor said no suppositories cause it can make him lose weight. Good Luck and God Bless.

Kara - posted on 02/12/2010

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My son was a 32 weeker and when he came home we had to use suppositories to get him to poop also, we were told by our pediatrician that it happens to a lot of NICU babies because their bodies get dependent on them because they get them so often in the hospital, plus our son was on breastmilk with a high calorie additive added to it and then he was put on a very high calorie formula when my breastmilk supply started to lessen so he was getting a lot of iron because of that which made it harder for him to poop. Our doctor had us put our son on a 1/2 oz of white grape/pedialyte mixture 1-2 times a day to help him and within a couple weeks he was pooping on his own, obv I would say ask your doctor first, but it worked for my little one. Hope that helps :)

Monicquea - posted on 02/12/2010

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My daughter has had problems with constipation for awhile. The neonatologist at the NICU clinic put her on Miralax and it works extremely well for her. I have tried taking her off of it a couple of times and she ends up getting constipated again, she is 13 months now. Her pediatrician said that Miralax is safe for her and that it is ok to keep her on it. You can get it over the counter. That may be an option for you to consider.

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