Breastfeeding and baby constipation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-12-2009, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there something that I can eat that will help my baby with her constipation?

I am breastfeeding.

I don't like prunes.

THank you:
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#2 of 6 Old 08-12-2009, 07:04 PM
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How young is she?
How constipated is she?
Any other symptoms?

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#3 of 6 Old 08-12-2009, 09:25 PM
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What makes you think the baby is constipated? How often are her bowel movements and what consistency are they when they do occur? Is the baby eating anything other than breastmilk right now?

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#4 of 6 Old 08-12-2009, 09:46 PM
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If baby is only breastfeeding, and not taking any formula or solid foods, it's very unlikely baby is constipated. It's quite common for breastfed babies past a month or two old to only poop once a week or even less. As long as the stool is not hard and dry when it does come, baby isn't constipated. Breastmilk is digested so well that often there's very little left over to be passed as stool. It's also quite normal for a baby to strain and turn red and pass a lot of gas and fuss, while trying to poop. That's because of immature muscle coordination, not constipation. It gets better with time, and baby will sometimes be helped if you carry baby face outward with baby's knees pulled up, or cycle baby's legs while baby is lying down.

If a baby on only breastmilk IS having hard, dry stools, inadequate hydration would be the first thing to look at. Baby may need to nurse more often. If baby exhibits blood in the stool or dark green or black stools, baby's intestine may be irritated, and you might consider an intolerance to casein, which means eliminating all dairy sources in your diet. But really, what you eat is unlikely to be a culprit, and adding something like prunes to your diet wouldn't help baby. What YOU eat isn't going to add any bulk to baby's stool or stimulate baby's intestine at all since it stays in your digestive system. All baby gets is the products of digestion that wind up in your blood stream, and thus in your milk, like simple sugars and amino acids.

If baby is on solids, you can try backing off on the solids, especially on stuff like bananas and cereal-based foods. You can also offer water, once baby is eating solid foods.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-12-2009, 10:37 PM
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The only time I've heard of constipation in an exclusively breastfed baby (dry, hard poop, like the PPs described) baby had a significant dairy intolerance (soy too, they found out).
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#6 of 6 Old 08-15-2009, 12:15 PM
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With all do respect, I have to disagree with some of the things I have read above. Those are the same exact things I was told when I struggled w/ my exclusively breastfed infant who was constipated. (Normal to only go once a week, poor muscle coordination, if it's not dry and hard it's not really constipation, etc...) I was told to relax, not worry about it. It only got worse. With the help of 2 very different but excellent N.D.s they told me that it doesn't have to do with WHAT you eat, such as consuming prunes, but that it was b/c my own liver was not functioning as it should and therefore I was not breaking down the foods I ate in my own body and therefore my baby did not receive the nutrients properlly processed. Which was leading to constipation. For her that consisted of soft stools passed only once a week (with difficulty), sometimes not for 10 days...which, as I said, got worse the older she got, especially when she started consuming solids. Both of my drs told me that regardless of what others said to make me feel better, that it may be "normal" but it is not healthy and that it was right of me not to settle for those answers.

I normally don't particpate in these forums but I remember feeling so desperate that I want to offer you anything I can to help. The good news though, is that ultimately, my daughter is fine. Before I got pregnant again, I did a liver cleanse, and coincidentally my second child had no problem.
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