Help! Impacted bowel? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my breastfed baby (6 months) has not pooped in a week. He recently started solids--about a tablesppon a day (if that)--we rotate sweet potatoes, green beans, apples. This is a baby who usually goes once per day--sometimes skips a day, always soft consistancy. Never goes more than two days without a poop. At most, it is like soft peanut butter (sorry, TMI).
I know it's normal for bf'd babies to go once per week or less frequently, but he has been arching his back, grunting, waking in dicomfort through the last few nights, spitting up after every feeding, AND his little tummy has been getting harder and harder. Tonight, we read our Dr. Sears book, and gave him a glycerin suppository. He pooped a fair amount, very loudly, and screamed and cried while going. Again, soft--more like softened peanut butter. My dh, in the meantime, called our ped. We ended up getting the RN on call who told us to take him to the ER in case of an impacted bowel/obstruction.
WTF--Do I go? He filled a diaper. I know there is more to come--his tummy is a lot softer, but not completely soft...what do I do? The poor kid is also cutting 2 more teeth, and so miserable about that!
You would never believe this is my SECOND child. Advice?
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#2 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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If he went poo then i would not be worried about impaction or a blockage. I would see what happens over the next 24-48 hours and decide from how he is acting if u should take him in to see the ped or not. I would avoid the ER. Specially this time of year with all the germs out there.

 
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#3 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 11:20 PM
 
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I've never heard of that before. Sounds scary. On one had I would be so relieved he pooped and that it was soft, but on the other hand you have to wonder why did he scream and cry while pooping? That would make me worry a bit. I don't think going to the ER is a bad idea, you wouldn't be over-reacting. Having said that, I guess I would probabaly wait it out at home, keeping a close eye on his mood and bum. Sorry, I wish I could be more help. Poor thing. I have a 7 month old and I obsess about poop all the time.
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#4 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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I would think that if he was able to poop w/ the suppository, then he probably doesn't have an impacted bowel (but I'm no dr). It could have been the forcefulness of the bowel movement that made him cry. I had to give DS a suppository very early on and it came out w/ such force that he bled a teeny bit . Keep a close eye on him for the next day or so. I don't know that I would run him to the ER just yet, I guess it would depend on how uncomfortable he seems. Maybe you could get hold of your ped again tomorrow? Keep us posted...
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#5 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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I know you said you have the Dr. Sears book. Have you tried the "I love you" massage. It helps move feces out of the intestinal tract. I've done it w/ ds, a couple of times and it has worked wonders.
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#6 of 18 Old 11-19-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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I'd call the doctor tomorrow, especially if he has a fair amount of experience with bf babies. My kids always had the same kind of problem, so your experience sounds pretty similar to me. I'd try not to let it go on to long, though. We had really serious problems with the oldest and ended up at a pediatric gastroenterologist.
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#7 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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Hello,

Since he pooped a fair amount, I would wait and see how things go, unless something is happening that is worrying you. (I'm an RN too.) Often just stimulating him to go will help him to go more, so I would expect him to poop again later on. Even though the poop is soft, he probably had some cramping when he was going, and that can hurt. It sounds like his poop is nice and soft though, so that's good.

Was there anything new that you fed him recently, or over this past week? I would go back and try to figure out what he ate, and just go back to the basics for a while. Breast milk is a laxative and that will help him pass the rest of whatever has backed up.

And please don't hesitate to either go to the ER, or call the doc again if you are worried! It is never wrong to call.
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#8 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. I did gve him applesauce on Tuesday. I bet that did it. He didn't eat much, so I thought nothing of it. He hasn't pooped again, but he slept much better last night. His little belly is still firm, not hard,--but like an inflated balloon. I am going to wait a bit and then think about the ER.
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#9 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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We went through this once as well. I would avoid the ER if you can. If he already pooped alot, he should poop again, and if the suppository worked, I'd do it again teh next day if his belly is still distended. The fact that it is not hard, leads me to believe he may have some gas in there. That could be causing some pain. I agree with going back to just breatfeeding for a day and see what happens. How recently did he start solids? Has he been on any antibiotics lately? It could be that his intestinaly system has been thrown off by the solids and you may need to get some live culture bacteria into him to reastablish the fuana of his system.

 
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#10 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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race kelly -- yes on all accounts. He just finished amoxicillin for a double ear infection. He also JUST started solids in the last 2 weeks. We gave him a second glycerin suppository this morning, and voila...more poop. He then slept for 3 hours! Poor babe--nothing but breastmilk for the next week at least! I really hope this fixes itself.
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#11 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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I wish your sweet baby did not have to go through this.

That said, because of my experience with my dd who actually did have a bowel obstruction, I would take the doctor's advice and go to the a children's hospital ER and demand that you will only speak with the attending physician (no students, residents, etc.)

Actually, it sounds to me like your pediatrician is on the ball. The pediatrician on call for my dd's pediatrician totally missed the signs of bowel obstruction and we were just lucky.

Good luck, and I hope that they are just being overly cautious.

If there is any vomiting that is dark green or bright yellow, go straight to the ER, do not pass go, do not stop here for advice first.
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#12 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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This same thing happened with my babe, except he didn't poop fo up to 9 or 10 days. I did the I love you massage", a suppository a couple or times, etc. This also started the same week or two after introducing solids. He was only eating a couple of bites at time, a few times a day. But still....

I just decided he wasn't ready for solids.

Every once in awhile he gagged on foods too. Yet another sign he wasn't ready. They don't need solids this early anyways. We stopped solids for about another 3 weeks - so he was a little over 7 months - and tried again. Of course the constipation resolved after a couple of days of stopping solids. Beginning a little after 7 months, we tried again, but much more slowly. He wasn't gagging anymore and we would feed him once a day, a few bites at a time. I also made sure he had a few sips of water. You don't want to go overboard with the water- they don't need that either, but a few sips with each sitting seemed to keep things moving smoothly. He wasn't eating a full small jar (or the equivalant of something homemade) until he was 10 months. Now he's 13 months is finallly up to something like 3 tiny meals and a snack.

If you've read this far, sorry for the novel. I just wanted to emphasize, back off on the solids for a bit longer, and when you do, start even more slowly, and give a couple sips of water too. Some people here don't offer solids for a year and their babies are growing just fine.

Every baby is different. My first was eating steak by four months.
Just kidding....but really, he followed a very traditional schedule and was eating like a trucker with no issues from the beginning.
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#13 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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inezyv -- did your dd poop at all? Had you tried suppositories? Because my ds pooped with their help...and his belly finally feels soft--he's happy.

Golden --you are right. No solids for us for awhile!
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#14 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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Did you say applesauce? That is often recommended by peds. for diarrhea because it binds the baby's stool.

Good luck, I hope it is a simple solution like that.

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#15 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:35 PM
 
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My dd's case was very rare, just one in five hundred babies.

Yes, she still pooped. I don't remember what her stomach felt like, there was no constipation, I took her in for vomiting.
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#16 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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IansMommy-
Sounds like your ds will be fine. Just give it a bit more time. Glad to hear that all "came out" well!

 
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#17 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inezyv
My dd's case was very rare, just one in five hundred babies.

Yes, she still pooped. I don't remember what her stomach felt like, there was no constipation, I took her in for vomiting.

I am SO GLAD you got it diagnosed! Thank you for the info.
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#18 of 18 Old 11-20-2005, 09:54 PM
 
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I second PPs, go back to just breastfeeding for a while. And be cautious with those glycerin suppositories- only use them if they're really necessary. They work by irritating the bowel, and they tend to sting and feel unpleasant.

I'm glad your baby pooped! I went through years of constipation with my daughter and it was horrible. Thank God that's finally over.

~*Kristi*~
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