Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ladies,

Please. Help. Me! (Sorry in advance for the super long post)....

I really am at the end of my rope here. My son is 10.5 months old, and has been constipated for several months or longer. I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of and spent lots of money trying to resolve this issue, and I just can't think of anything else being the culprit except ECing. I have tried every diet change under the sun for him and myself with no change in his bowel movements. I've tried taking my son to the chiropractor, the naturopath, and the homeopath. He's been on multiple probiotics. I've tried daily massages, water, oil, etc. He's only ever had breast milk (no formula). Nothing has made a difference. This has been so incredibly frustrating, and heartbreaking. I hate seeing my son in pain.

I've been doing EC with my son since he was about 4 months old. I've always done it as a no pressure thing. I just thought I'd try catching some pees and that it would help him to potty train sooner. He loved sitting on the potty right from the start, and within several weeks he would try to go whenever I sat him on the potty and cued him in (mostly pee).
Eventually he started surprising me and pooping on the potty! He'd go poo every 3rd day or so. I can't even remember when, but his frequency in poops decreased a lot over time, but everyone assured me that was normal in breastfed babies. I didn't start getting worried until around 7 months when I introduced solid foods. That's when I knew he was constipated. He would cry and strain, and although I backed off on the solids and we introduced them really slowly, every time he went poo he seemed uncomfortable. He also mainly only had fruits and vegetables, and not much! It seemed odd to me that he would be constipated just from those foods (and I stayed away from all the constipated fruits and vegetables).
Around 8 months his poo just went completely solid, dry, and had streaks of blood in it. After 5 days of that I just went back to breastfeeding him. Since then I keep going back and forth between about 5 days of exclusively breastfeeding to slowly trying to add back solids. Going back to exclusively breastfeeding is the only thing that softens his poo.
I'm wondering if ECing is the culprit of all this. He's never really had pellet poo.......it's always been more just dry and hard. I'm wondering if he is holding his poo in. In the earlier days of ECing with him, I'd notice that he'd try to poo every time I put him on the potty and cued him. At some point it seems like he stopped doing that. I'm wondering if perhaps that's when he may have started holding his poo? Or maybe when we started solids and it felt different going, it scared him? Anyhow....
What do I do now?! He has had a few poops in his diapers in the last month, which kind of encouraged me. It made me think that if he really has to go....he'll go when he needs to. I really don't care if he goes in his diapers! I never have. I just want my baby to poo and for it to be good poo! I put him on the potty when he wakes up, every time I change his diaper at home, and before baths, etc. He pees happily on the potty. Sometimes he fusses when I put him on it, but I can usually get him to be happy on it within seconds. And he often sits on his potty for 5 minutes or more, reading a book, smiling and talking with me.....
If he is holding it in, he's doing a really job of hiding it! He's a happy kid most of the time. He doesn't get fussy until the day he really needs to poo (it seems), and then he'll be fussy all day and then finally go on the potty. He poops about once or twice a week. Whenever I go back to just breastfeeding him, he poops less frequently, but more easily. As soon as I start any kind of solids, by the first or second poo it's already hard and dry.

So, does this sound like an EC issue? Please help me! Do I just stop putting him on the potty for a while? I have no answers and no brain power left to try and figure this out at the moment. I'm at my wits end.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. TIA!

From an exasperated mother :crying:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,405 Posts
That absolutely does NOT sound like anything to do with EC; of the many hundreds of ECers I've known for the last 14+ years, the only time there was a pooping problem, it was caused by diet or another factor. It's actually not normal to have no poops for 3 days (even with BFed babes) and it sounds like he might have a serious food sensitivity or other gastric issue. I would go to a very restricted diet for you of the 5 least allergenic foods and see if that helps him. I've had so many friends discover their kid's (and their own) potty issues were from food allergies and it can be super hard to track down the culprits but has made such a good difference in their lives.

You might want to check out the Food Lab yahoo group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/foodlab/info It was started by some moms who needed support in expanding their cooking repertoire when dealing with limited food choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,746 Posts
We EC'd our kids. It doesn't sound EC related. It does sound like food sensitivities. I'd definitely recommend researching that. Our daughter was the opposite. She had diarrhea 4 times a day until I finally figured out her sensitive foods. The pediatric gastroenterologist said she'd outgrow it by 5 and never even suggested it could be food related. Once I figured out all the foods she had solid poops within three days. So, start researching and keep a food journal for yourself and your son.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies ladies.

I should say..... the natuopath put me on an anti inflammatory diet and we were heading in the direction of an elimination diet. I was on it for a week and a half, and then I saw the homeopathic doctor, and he said I didn't need to change my diet. So I just went back to eating like I usually do. Oh but i was off dairy foruch longer. I know a week and a half probably isn't enough to see a difference with the diet stuff. The homeopathic doctor also practices natuopathy and has been practicing for 25 plus years. He's helped my family a ton in the past and was wayyyy cheaper than the other naturopath. And his advice was way easier! But now that you ladies are mentioning the diet stuff again, maybe I should reconsider going back to the other natuopath and doing the elimination diet. I'll ask the homeopathic doctor anyhow Just to see what he says. Because his remedies sure aren't helping this time.

I always get confused about how often breastfed babies should poo. The natuopath that wanted to change my diet did say that my son should have been pooping every day, but all the breastfeeding moms I talk to say otherwise.

I guess I'm just not really sure what the cause of the constipation is, and it's driving me nuts! I'm skeptical that he has food sensitivities....

Was your baby who had the food sensitivities colicky at all? Because my son has been such a happy, healthy baby in every other way either than the poop thing. And when we first started solids he was okay.....it seemed like he was more uncomfortable getting used to pooping more firmer poops than anything. Maybe that change in poop consistency could have started him wanting to hold it in? But yeah, I guess that wouldn't be EC related then.

I also saw zero change in my son's poop when he was on the high quality probiotics, (and I was on some too). The natuopath said it usually starts helping within days, so I was pretty discouraged when nothing changed.

It would be nice if the dietary changes didn't take so long to make a difference. I didn't want to pay $400 for an allergy test....hence the elimination diet. I'll do the diet if I have to. How soon did it take to see a difference with your baby who had the diarrhea? Even though I am as only on the anti inflammatory diet for a week and a half, I was hoping to see at least a bit of improvement! I was off wheat, dairy, sugar, anything preserved or "white".

Another long post....sorry! Thinking as I write. Thanks again for your responses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh Sundaycrepes. .... I see you wrote that it only took 3 days and her poop got harder! Maybe I should just dive into the elimination diet....your story gives me hope!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh and about the food sensitivities...

Sundaycrepes, did YOU change your diet? We're you breastfeeding? Or did you just change your daughter's diet? Because I'll breastfeed my son exclusively for 5 days or so, and whatever food I start him back on doesn't make a difference.....prunes, pear, spinach, sweet potato, avacado. They all end up hard in his poo. So does that mean he's probably sensitive to something in my milk?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
182 Posts
People are going to hate this but the only thing that has helped my breastfed child stay regular is allowing him to drink some diluted juice each day. It seems like the constipation we dealt with for years was always just a dehydration thing. It's been an issue ever since introducing solids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Macy,

I don't hate your suggestion at all! I'm totally open to try almost anything! I'm desperate. I would just want to avoid using laxatives and suppositories.

Thank you for your reply, Macy. I have tried prune juice diluted in my milk before, but I'm going to try apple juice in water. Give it another go and see what happens. I have wondered if it was just a hydration issue, since my son's poo was not pellety, but more dry.

Keep the suggestions coming, please! This is helpful hearing from other moms!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
182 Posts
There have many, many days where my whole life seemed to revolve around waiting for my child to poop so I totally get being open to anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Macy,
What ratio of juice to water did you do? And how many ounces of extra fluid should I be aiming for each day? (What amount seemed to help your baby?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,405 Posts
You don't need to go through a doctor to start an elimination diet (unless you are already ill), and if your babe is willing to only have breastmilk while you work this out - you only need to pay attention to what you are eating. The easiest thing is to do it go to a super simple diet for a week or so to clear out anything reactive (different foods take different times to get out of your systems), then start adding back items one at a time and look for reactions (again, some things take longer to show a reaction, especially if you've been eating them a long time and have some tolerance for the effect). Nearly all my friends who've done this discovered that THEY had pretty significant reactions in addition to their babe's sensitivities.

good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Rubelin!
Yeah I guess I don't need to go back to the natuopath! She even gave me a print out of how to do the elimination diet. I will definitely do it if I need to, but I'm going to try the diluted juice first.
I already gave my LO two 5ml bottles today with warm water and just 1.5oz of apple juice in each one. He drank all of it both times, and went poo immediately after the second bottle! The poo was still on the hard side, but I'm sure it's from the impacted stool that's been sitting in there for days. It was softer already at the end though, and not near as bad as yesterday . I hope this isn't just coincidence! I guess I'll find out soon enough.
I'm seriously going to have a celebration if my baby starts pooing normally again! Oh the drama of poop....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh dear.....I just started looking for more information and I wonder if that was too much extra fluids that I gave my LO today. I'll cut it down tomorrow a bit.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
182 Posts
I am sorry, I don't remember how much but not more than a cup per day. Basically, it's just been trial and error and a lot of trying juice, seeing it worked and then stopping because I didn't want to give my child juice if I didn't have to and thought it wasn't necessary and the constipation was not an issue any more. Right now it's about 25-50% juice/8 oz a day for my 4 year old but I don't remember how much helped a few years ago. I've only recently accepted that each time I stop giving juice the constipation comes back.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
182 Posts
I'm glad he pooped today! That is great news! I know what a relief it is when they finally go after being constipated for a long time. I'd just test out different amounts of diluted juice and then give the smallest volume/percent that keeps him regular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Ok thanks for the feedback, Macy. It's day 4 of trying the diluted juice and he hasn't pooped again since Saturday. I've been giving him about 3oz of apple juice a day, diluted woth lots of water. Maybe tomorrow I'll try more juice and less water. Like you were saying, I don't really want to give my baby juice either. But if it helps, I'll do it. I was hoping it would've been helping more already, but we'll see. Maybe I will have to do the elimination diet after all. I also started giving him some coconut oil today to try and help loosen his stools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Well I was dreading my son's next bowel movement, since he hadn't gone since Saturday and I had been giving him solid food every day. But he went today, and I couldn't believe it.....his poop was healthy and soft! This has NEVER happened! Whenever he has solid food and goes for days without pooping it would always be hard and dry. I think he was scared to go today,.but he only pushed for 10 seconds and there it was!
I am so ecstatic! I'll keep up with the diluted juice and coconut oil. I also gave him a homeopathic remedy last night.. nux vomica. So maybe that helped as well. I think he definitely needed more fluids though.
Macy, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the suggestion of diluted juice!!!! I'll play around with it to see how much he can really needs to stay regular, But for now im just so thankful something is working, and I really don't mind if it's juice!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
This is a little old - but a couple of tips for constipation - from a mum who has an 8mo with serious constipation issues (she was born with Hirschsprung's Disease and had surgery to remove a little over 1/2 her colon but still can get seriously constipated if I'm not super vigilant). I'm also wondering about starting ec'ing with my baby but don't want the slightest risk of it causing constipation issues!

Apples - and apple juice are binding/ constipating. Bananas also are constipating, as are carrots and rice. Warm water with prune/pear juice should work better. It's amazing how sensitive little babies are! Alternative to prunes/pears is to soak 10 raisins overnight in water and squeeze them slightly and give the soaking water only to the baby. Or puree soaked prunes and raisins and feed him a couple of tablespoons?

Dairy - cow or goat can be constipating to the baby if they eat it. I do give my baby ghee - it doesn't contain milk proteins and really helps keep her regular. Coconut/flax/hemp oil might also help.

Tummy massage, bicycle legs - these occasionally work. One more massage - Very lightly (barely touching) stroke the outsides of the legs and hands - from feet to hip and index finger to shoulder. This stimulates the nerves for large intestine. Stroke ten times on each hand and leg and then 15 times down the middle of her front from collar bone to just below the belly button. Keep repeating twice a day until he poops! (hopefully)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top