Does spinach and sweet potato cause constipation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 8 month old child seems to be getting constipated. He has had spinach and sweet potato recently. His bowel movements are solid (they can roll out of the diaper . .sorry for TMI) and it looks like there is spinach in them. I gave him a 1/2 glass of prune juice this morning and have only been BF since thursday night. How long does it take for the purne juice to work? Kamie

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#2 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Mmmm sounds good! I wouldn't think either of those are particularly constipating. Encourage drinking liquids.
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#3 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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We have the same experience with spinach. I usually give him applesauce when I give him spinach and it seems to counteract it. Haven't done the prune thing yet.
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#4 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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It's probably the spinach, it's high in iron. Sweet potato has a lot of fibre so should be fine.

How long it takes to work out? Depends on the baby I think.
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#5 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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I would think it's not the specific foods in this case, but just too many solids and not enough breast milk. Breastmilk should be the nutrition the whole first year- solids are just for fun. I would cut back on solids, only giving him chunks to self feed- no spoon feeding. Make sure you always nurse before solids. Increase your water and offer him a bit of water with solids.

If you need prune juice, then it's too much in the way of solids.

Hope he feels better soon!

-Angela
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#6 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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If you don't give a baby water with his/her solid food, they will probably get constipated. Even purees are way more solid that BM, so any solid food intake should be accompanied by plain water. My DD regularly eats spinach and similar veggies and has never been constipated, because she drinks a lot of water with every meal. (She also went through a very messy phase of spitting out as much water as she took in, just for fun, but that's another thread...)

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#7 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 09:12 PM
 
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Why do you say he's constipated? Just because the bms are solid doesn't necessarily mean he's having a problem--as long as they're not hard and dry, and as long as he's not struggling to pass them, and seems happy in other ways, I wouldn't worry. It's normal, too, to see traces of spinach (and carrots, whatever) in their stools. I would save the water and prune juice for times when it's really an issue, and rather nurse for liquid. They typically work very quickly, though.

Applesauce, btw, is definitely constipating. That's why it's part of the BRAT diet for diarrhea (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).

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#8 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is crying when he is trying to go and yesterday his stools where dry and hard. Today after the prune juice it is still very firm but no longer hard. I thought for sure the prunes would clean out his system but it just seemed to soften his stools a bit. I didn't do solids today and I probably won't tomorrow. Is it normal that the entire stool is green? He has been eating solids for a while and this is the first time this has happened. I am becoming more convinced it was the iron in the spinach and my husband reminded me that he also had broccoli for the first time. I think broccoli may be high in iron also. He nursed every 2 hours last night I think he is used to getting the solids and he was hungary. I am going to wait until his BM becomes yellow before I restart teh solids. Do you think that is a good idea?

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#9 of 14 Old 08-26-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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I think it is a good idea, Kamie. Remember: liquids! You didn't mention that in this post and I think it's mega-important. You drink at least a gallon of water a day and see what happens. Also, give him a little water and more if he's eating solids.
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#10 of 14 Old 08-27-2006, 03:34 AM
 
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Nurse nurse nurse! And when you go back to the solids, let him self-feed instead of spoon feeding him, that way he can better regulate his intake. Nurse before solids and offer water with.

good luck!

-Angela
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#11 of 14 Old 08-27-2006, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He still nurses very frequently 5-6 times during the day and 3-4 times at night. I don't usually offer water but I think I will add that to his meals. I have tried self feeding but do be honest it scares me. He has 6 teeth and can bite off peices of food and then he starts coughing. What foods do you do self feeding with that are safe?

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#12 of 14 Old 08-27-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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Banana. Spaghetti. Cheerios. We almost never ever fed our dd (spoon feeding) unless it was soup. Obviously, purees don't work for this!
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#13 of 14 Old 08-27-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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Babies figure out self feeding very quickly- soft fruits and soft steamed veggies work great. Cereals that disolve- rice puffs, cheerios etc.

-Angela
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#14 of 14 Old 08-27-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Go easy on the puffed or otherwise extruded cereals - the manufacturing methods to make these use very high temperatures which denature proteins in the grains and result in toxic compounds. There was a fairly cruel but nevertheless interesting rat study that showed that a diet of high-temperature processed cereal caused rats to die sooner than rats fed a diet of the cardboard box that the cereal came in. (Here's a link with some info: http://www.nourished.com.au/articles...ld-we-eat-them)

Back to the topic at hand, I think some babies' gag reflex are more easily triggered than others. And some freak out more with the gagging than others, too. My baby self-feeds much of the time and does occasionally bite off more than she can chew, but gags effectively and just goes on munching. Other babies panic when they gag and are more at risk for choking, I think. I have no real evidence to back this up, just listening to other moms' anecdotes of feeding. So maybe self-feeding doesn't work for every baby?

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