Serious constipation issues - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD has only had BMs about every 10 days or so since she was 6 months old or so - and that is with use of a laxative (Miralax). Now, after a round of abx in May : she hasn't gone on her own at all. I have had to use suppositories every 10 days or so when she is crying because it hurts her so much. Her stool is hard and big. I don't know what to do for her. She is still about 80% BF and pretty much doesn't take in any liquid other than BM, so adding any juice or anything like that just isn't feasible.
In your guys' experience, does this sound like a serious medical condition?? I don't generally take her to the docs because I don't usually like what they say or listen to them anyway... but, of course I will if I need to. Any ideas??

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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How old is your daughter? Do you think she has any food allergies? Do you think she is unable to go or does it seem like she is holding it in (standing up against a wall, holding one foot in the air or another squeezing posture)? Chronic constipation could lead to medical problems, it's hard to say.

My DS had a few bouts of painful consiptation (probably related to his diet) and then he started withholding because he remembered how painful it was and didn't want it to hurt. He's doing better now. We were using Miralax and it didn't work for him at all. We moved on to probiotics that helped a bit and then totally overhauled his diet, which was the key along with getting through some emotional issues. It ended up being a complicated issue for us to untangle, but we got through it.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:52 AM
 
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Yes, I would take her to the doctor. Chronic constipation can cause internal damage over time, and it's just not normal to have to use a suppository every 10 days. Really bad constipation can also cause complications like preventing her from peeing, which is really serious.

We found that it took 6 months on Miralax daily as well as lactolose (sp?) once a week or so to get DD regular. But she still has trouble sometimes. She has no known food allergies and we've not found a diet that really touches it. I'm told she inherited her bowels of steel from the maternal line...

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How old is your daughter? Do you think she has any food allergies? Do you think she is unable to go or does it seem like she is holding it in (standing up against a wall, holding one foot in the air or another squeezing posture)? Chronic constipation could lead to medical problems, it's hard to say.

My DS had a few bouts of painful consiptation (probably related to his diet) and then he started withholding because he remembered how painful it was and didn't want it to hurt. He's doing better now. We were using Miralax and it didn't work for him at all. We moved on to probiotics that helped a bit and then totally overhauled his diet, which was the key along with getting through some emotional issues. It ended up being a complicated issue for us to untangle, but we got through it.
DD is 17 months. She has been RAST tested for the common allergies and everything came back normal. We have been dairy and gluten-free since she was 3 months or so because she was definitely intolerant of both. Last week she had a couple of days where she would push really hard and get nothing. In those instances, I used a suppository. One time it worked and she got out a large hard brick, and the other time nothing happened. I gave her a whole glycerin suppository and got absolutely nothing. She is obviously uncomfortable, and I just don't know what to do. It seems like the only way I can get her to go is to use a liquid glycerin supp. I'm not sure how often I should use them. I can't get any probiotics in her because she refuses to drink anything. I am so frustrated...
She is a really crappy sleeper - still waking every 2 hours to nurse - and the longer it is from the last time she had a BM, the worse it gets.
I already feel so limited by her diet restrictions. She also doesn't eat much - maybe 6-8 small bites a day?? I'm not sure how I can overhaul her diet when she doesn't really eat anything to begin with. I thought maybe she was eating too many starches, so I have been offering only fruit, veggies and meats for the last few day. Today makes 4 days without a BM and the discomfort is beginning...

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I would take her to the doctor. Chronic constipation can cause internal damage over time, and it's just not normal to have to use a suppository every 10 days. Really bad constipation can also cause complications like preventing her from peeing, which is really serious.

We found that it took 6 months on Miralax daily as well as lactolose (sp?) once a week or so to get DD regular. But she still has trouble sometimes. She has no known food allergies and we've not found a diet that really touches it. I'm told she inherited her bowels of steel from the maternal line...
I was diagnosed in my early 20s with a slow colon in which the lining of my intestinal tract doesn't work correctly. I assumed DD might have some of my issues, but this is really bad. DD seems to be lactose intolerant, so I'm not sure if Lactulose would be okay with her. Is it prescription or OTC? We just moved and I haven't chosen a pedi yet... I want to take her in though, so I will do that tomorrow!

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Old 07-23-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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17 mo ds has had constipation issues since he was 14 months old, going usually once a week and crying and straining as if he is in labor when he goes. It's a major ordeal. Right now, I give him suppositories, too.

I've added fiber to his diet with no success, but eliminating dairy from my own diet (I'm still breastfeeding him) has helped make his stools softer. Giving him probiotics (Baby's Jarro-Dophilus) has also seemed to help. Now I'm putting both of us on a wheat elimination diet as well, to see if that further improves things.

The problem with constipation is that it becomes self-perpetuating. The kid holds it in because they're afraid it will hurt. But the longer they hold it, the harder and dryer it gets. It also stretches and weakens their intestinal wall, which makes it harder for them to poop.

I can tell you from my own experience what the doctor will say. Actually, it will probably be the nurse practitioner. They will tell you to give your kid prune juice. They will tell you to give your kid more fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If that doesn't work, they will tell you to give your kid Miralax (which you are already doing without success).

I hope you are able to resolve this. I have been in forums where people said their kid has been on Miralax for years. Once kids are on it so long, they lose the ability to poop. There is a Miralax group on Yahoo that you may find helpful. It's a forum full of people trying to get their kids off Miralax.

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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I can tell you from my own experience what the doctor will say. Actually, it will probably be the nurse practitioner. They will tell you to give your kid prune juice. They will tell you to give your kid more fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If that doesn't work, they will tell you to give your kid Miralax (which you are already doing without success).
Exactly this. I've taken my son to the doctor who then referred us to a specialist, who sent us to a dietician and to another specialist. All they say is increase fibre, increase liquid and put him on a Lactulose or some other laxative. They did test him for celiacs which he does not have. None of this has helped him.
He poops regularly but it is ginormous and tears him causing bleeding.
Our next step is taking him to the naturopath to see if they can come up with something for us.
I would definitely get her in to see someone. The more full their colon is the more stretched out is gets and because it is a muscle if it is constantly stretched it will lose it's ability to work affectively.
I hope you find a resolution soon.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Last week she had a couple of days where she would push really hard and get nothing
FWIW my son had constipation issues since he was very young. For a long time I thought that he was trying to push to get it out and nothing would come. He made grunting noises and everything. I'd feel so badly. Once he was more verbal and I was able to have a mini conversation with him -- he was telling me he didn't want the poop to come out. He said he didn't want it to hurt. Poor thing.

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I can't get any probiotics in her because she refuses to drink anything.
I read somewhere the probiotics pass through breastmilk, since you are nursing her so often I'd take some probiotics to pass along to her if I were you.

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I am so frustrated...
Hang in there mama, this is very frustrating and challenging. In the height of it with my DS it consumed every minute of my thoughts. Hugs to you!

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Today makes 4 days without a BM and the discomfort is beginning...
I know the exact feeling. Hugs again

I think suppositories aren't really supposed to be used too often, but I'm not sure. Also, you may want to take her to the Dr. and let them know you've adjusted her diet, miralax, etc. and see what they say -- maybe we are missing something. You don't have to take the Doctor's advice -- it's just advice. They would know, however, how to tell if there was something truly medically wrong and you can take it from there...

Good luck to you!
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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just wanted to suggest adding the probiotic to a baby oatmeal cereal, if you think she would eat that. i was on abx recently, and was worried about the effects on my bf'd son, so i mixed the probiotic powder in water, then mixed it into oatmeal.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just wanted to suggest adding the probiotic to a baby oatmeal cereal, if you think she would eat that. i was on abx recently, and was worried about the effects on my bf'd son, so i mixed the probiotic powder in water, then mixed it into oatmeal.
Unfortunately, oatmeal is on our "can't eat" list, and other cereals seem to make the problem worse. Thanks for the suggestion anyway

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read somewhere the probiotics pass through breastmilk, since you are nursing her so often I'd take some probiotics to pass along to her if I were you.
Her pedi told me that for it to be effective I would have to take 10x the dosage... so, he didn't recommend it, it isn't worth it.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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You can give DD probiotics straight without anything.

Studies have shown that probiotics help with intestinal motility in patients with chronic constipation.

We like Nature's Way Primadophilus. Its a powder that dissolves in water. When I give it to DD, I just give it to her on a spoon and she sucks it off. No need to offer other liquids, especially given your DD doesn't take any.

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You can give DD probiotics straight without anything.

Studies have shown that probiotics help with intestinal motility in patients with chronic constipation.

We like Nature's Way Primadophilus. Its a powder that dissolves in water. When I give it to DD, I just give it to her on a spoon and she sucks it off. No need to offer other liquids, especially given your DD doesn't take any.
Is it a liquid itself, or powder? How does it taste? Because she doesn't eat much, I'm afraid to give her anything that tastes bad... I know, I'm a mess...

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:45 PM
 
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Is it a liquid itself, or powder? How does it taste? Because she doesn't eat much, I'm afraid to give her anything that tastes bad... I know, I'm a mess...
Its a powder and has a slightly sweet taste to it. DD looooooves it and always asks for more. She's a nut.

I'd try it out. You can even sprinkle it on fruits and veggies if you need to, or put it on your nipples before you nurse once or twice a day.

I think Amazon has it on sale right now...

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I just saw a show on Mystery Diagnosis the other night which kind of sounds like yours........kid only pooped once a week and then when they turned 3 maybe, didn't go for a month and got pretty sick.....it's wasn't until they went to the ER and did MRI? or X-ray and could see and it was a problem with the colon and muscles didn't develop so the child couldn't push it out on it's own. The kid had a few surgeries to fix it........there was a name for the disease, I don't remember what......but you can google something like Sphinxter muscles not developed or something like that.
I'm not saying its that, but I would go right to a GI specialist and skip a regular ped.....because they will just say to keep doing what you've been doing.....I wondered when I watched the show what took them so long to do an xray. If you think something is wrong, just keep looking til you find a dr you like and trust and get some answers.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just saw a show on Mystery Diagnosis the other night which kind of sounds like yours........kid only pooped once a week and then when they turned 3 maybe, didn't go for a month and got pretty sick.....it's wasn't until they went to the ER and did MRI? or X-ray and could see and it was a problem with the colon and muscles didn't develop so the child couldn't push it out on it's own. The kid had a few surgeries to fix it........there was a name for the disease, I don't remember what......but you can google something like Sphinxter muscles not developed or something like that.
I'm not saying its that, but I would go right to a GI specialist and skip a regular ped.....because they will just say to keep doing what you've been doing.....I wondered when I watched the show what took them so long to do an xray. If you think something is wrong, just keep looking til you find a dr you like and trust and get some answers.
Thank you for your input. I get so scared watching that show sometimes, I'm surprised I didn't see that one! We went to the ped today and of course he just said to do what we have been doing, but we have a GI referral, so we will hopefully know more soon! Thanks again!

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Its a powder and has a slightly sweet taste to it. DD looooooves it and always asks for more. She's a nut.

I'd try it out. You can even sprinkle it on fruits and veggies if you need to, or put it on your nipples before you nurse once or twice a day.

I think Amazon has it on sale right now...
Sorry so many questions but, do you have any idea if it is gluten free and dairy free?? I am purchasing it right now if it is!!

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Sorry so many questions but, do you have any idea if it is gluten free and dairy free?? I am purchasing it right now if it is!!

It has rice maltodextrin in it, which is gluten-free.

There are no dairy ingredients added but according to the label, it "may contain a minimal residual amount of milk or soy protein."

Here's the label. And the company product page.

DD is pretty sensitive to dairy, it inflames her eczema and we've never had a problem.

I really, really think its worth a try. Maybe call the company and express your concerns about the potential dairy and they can set your mind at ease by what they mean by "minimal residual." It may be the just have to put that on the label for allergen reasons if there are other things manufactured/packaged in the same facility. You know?

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:27 AM
 
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I support all of the probiotic suggestions, we take a powder that has ground dried apricots in it and DS loves it! He asks for more too.

We were in the same boat as you, constipation started at about 6 mo., dairy and egg intolerance that caused me to eliminate them from my diet in early nursing. And then the food allergy questions began, in the end we never did find anything else that was a problem.

It is a horrible thing to go through for everyone, we would all be in tears by the time DS was done pooping, especially if a suppository was involved. He would be sweating and exhausted and just cuddle me for a long time. So sad.

The things that helped a little were:

-probiotic powder on a spoon
-flax oil in food, we squirted a little in anything we could
-fiber from fruits and veggies NOT grains, pears are great, pear juice popsicles are easy this time of year. I let him eat much more fruit than I might allow another child. The other day he had a peach and a half, half a pint of raspberries and a couple of small plums throughout the day. It helps!

Now that DS is going on the potty instead of his diaper, I can see that he has very large stool, which is next to impossible to pass while he is standing and trying to go in a diaper. As soon as we see him straining we bring his potty to him and gently undress him and have him sit down. Initially we would read him books to get him to sit still and in desperate times have him watch a DVD. Now he goes in minutes. If we're out he strains and struggle and cries and doesn't get anywhere. As soon as we get him to a potty he can usually poop. : DH and I still sigh with relief every time he goes. I don't think that he is a poop everyday kind of person, but now that he actually goes when he has the urge he isn't getting constipated like he used to.

Does your daughter seem like she would try sitting on a potty?
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does your daughter seem like she would try sitting on a potty?
You have some great suggestions, thank you! How old is your DS? DD has a potty and likes to sit on it when I am using the restroom, so perhaps she would fair better that way. I noticed that today while "dry pushing" she would crouch a little bit, so I think we should give your suggestion a try.
DD recently began liking pears a lot, so I have been pushing them. She will only eat the canned ones... but at least it is something, right?? I also ordered the probiotic suggested by another poster - we have been adding another probiotic to her smoothies every morning, but I've never thought of finding a tasty one and getting her to eat it off a spoon. I am excited to try it

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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How old is your DS?
DS is 2.5 so its been a long haul. I'm so glad he's getting through it now!

Our probiotic brand is pharmax it was recommended by our naturopath, we actually buy it from him. I know you can buy the brand on Amazon but I'm not sure about this particular product since it needs to be refrigerated. We use the HLC high potency powder, it has freeze dried apricots in it which makes it yummy. It might be worth trying to find it in your area.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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Great suggestions by Jenine.

Something not yet in the discussion is adding Epsom salt baths. The magnesium that is absorbed through the skin can help soften the stools. I would not do ONLY Epsom salt baths, but they might be a helpful addition to your plan.

And can YOU take a liquid calcium-magnesium supplement (at night is best)? She may get some benefit through breastmilk.

And add fats to YOUR diet, to help make your milk more fatty. Coconut oil, flax oil, fish oil...

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Most of these things have already been said, but since I have been dealing with this for the past month with my 2 year old dd I thought I would add my input. Flax oil - you can mix it into a smoothie or buy a flavored variety that your dd might take. I can get my dd to take the "special potion" from a medicine dropper as long as she gets a popsicle after. I would add magnesium and calcium to your diet since you are still breast feeding. Take both to bowl tolerance (for you) which should in turn help dd. Warm baths. And I love the epsom salt bath idea. I have not tried that, but it is going in my tool bag.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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My son takes CLO with a chaser of 2 chocolate chips. There may be a better chaser, but this is easier than, say, balancing a spoon of CLO and a spoon of apricot jam...

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so her sleep was HORRIBLE last night (I think I slept only 2 hours broken up), so this morning we went for a suppository... NOTHING happened. She screamed and tensed up really bad, but nothing happened. It was traumatic and completely worthless.
I picked up Epsom salt at Target just now and have drawn a bath with it. We will try it in hopes that it will soften her stool as well as help with her tension. It is so sad to see her cry whenever I say the word poop . She is definitely scared, so I think maybe she is withholding.
I am headed to the health food store and will pick up some CLO and flax oil and give it all a go.
I certainly hope something helps soon. :

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Old 07-24-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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And can YOU take a liquid calcium-magnesium supplement (at night is best)? She may get some benefit through breastmilk.

And add fats to YOUR diet, to help make your milk more fatty. Coconut oil, flax oil, fish oil...
I second both of ASusans above suggestions. I added powdered magnesium to my diet, also a little to DS's diet too. I ate as many avocados as I could, put coconut oil on my toast in the morning and took 4 fish/flax/borage oil suppliments per day. I just added as much good fat (non-dairy) to my diet as possible.

I hope things are getting better today, if you can just get through this round of constipation maybe all of these suggestions will help in the days to come.

Hang in there!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:06 PM
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When dd was dealing with major constipation we took her to our Naturopath. She gave us some probiotics in powder form that I would put on my nipple before breastfeeding....she would also suck it off my finger. Probiotics helped a ton. Plus, I started eating tons and tons of fruit which seemed to help. We use flax oil now every day and both kids are very regular (I don't know at what age flax oil is OK to give, but you could ingest it).

I would also give a call or stop in to your doctors office to see what they say.

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Old 07-25-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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To me, not pooping after a suppository seems very worrisome and would merit a call to the pediatrician or nurses' hotline. s, mama
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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I had the Baby Jarro-Dophilus that a pp suggested and the directions say that you can dab the powder directly on your nipple when you BF
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of the responses ladies! She seems to be having a little easier time yesterday and today she had successful bowel movements that didn't hurt her. She becomes very worried and signs for help when she is about to poop, so I am thinking that she was withholding for a while due to it hurting.
We have significantly decreased her starches and increased her fruit/juice/water intake and have given her three Epsom salt baths. I also realized that I still had a jar of Jarrodophilus in the fridge and gave her a few large doses.
Thank you everyone for your help!

Wife & Momma to Echo 2/20/08 and HP 6/11/13
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:10 AM
 
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just wanted to add that we had this problem yesterday and i went and bought prunes and probiotics and wow! everything is working marvelously today. i also upped her water intake (well she did it herself!).

Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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