Babies drink milk up to at least 6 months. Milk is primary watery, so why would baby be even constipated?
The medical doctors will consider a problem only when the baby or the adult is constipated for more than 10 days. Now they are right, it is not a medical problem for up to 10 days.
However if you are an adult who goes once a day or more, with a normal stool, how do you feel if you stop going for about two days or three. Would you feel pretty much full, sluggish, bloated, gassy and not wanted to smile much.
I know I would feel like that. So yes medically there is nothing wrong but in a healthy way, there is something wrong there. As I mentioned babies usually are not supposed to be constipated. Now if they are breastfeeding, ideally the mother should observe is they are drinking enough water, or if the baby had a traumatic birth, maybe they are still under the sympathetic mode and stress mode, which it means the valve that should be open when they are relaxed and eating, are closed and therefore they cannot let go of the poo.
I would also check if you are breastfeeding that you are not eating too much spicy food, broccoli, cabbage family as that increases the air and might cause a bit more gas in the baby, or dairy and wheat or gluten could be a cause of allergy for the baby and hence get constipated, also eggs in some breastfed babies could be a problem. If the mother eliminates one food at the time for a week, they should understand if that is the food that is causing the problem. The substitute milk can be oat or rice to start with. In some babies, some breastmilk contains more lactose that the baby is ready to digest and therefore giving with each feed the infant lactase might help with that digestion.
Probiotics infantis from Biocare or Bio-Kult which is free of dairy, can also help with the baby constipation. Remember that the intestinal tract of the baby needs to be filled with bacteria good or bad, and the cementing of the bacteria is essential for the baby from birth to 2 years old. That would set their intestinal tract microbiome for life and hence a life of healthy intestinal tract. If you or your baby had to take antibiotics for one reason or another, even with a natural birth, then I would suggest to give the baby and yourself the friendly bacteria to avoid the baby and child being full of the other non commensal bacteria. Friendly bacteria are the ones that would help soften the stools, make by products that the intestinal tract cells will use to repair the intestinal tract.
If the baby is only on dairy bottle feed and they are constipated, try to give a bit of sterilized water after a feed or take more of the probiotics infantis. If that does not help, try the belly massage, to help them getting that poo out. The more they are relaxed after each feed or later, the more they can poo well. In extreme cases, there is a possibility that the baby is allergic to dairy milk and they will be prescribed the alternative milk from their GP.
Craniosacral therapy for babies also helps with any possible restriction on their system, balancing their stress mode into the more relaxed calm mode, which will results in pooing much better, and sleeping more. Any possible trauma from the birth can also lead to constipation and more colic.
In very rare cases there is a physical or neurological problem that prevents the baby to poo normally everyday. That might be picked up by the medical team usually.
In adults, if they always had problems with constipation, it could be harder to resolve but easier to implement changes. Dietary changes as I mention in my other blog can make a difference with the adults, as well as probiotics and craniosacral therapy. click here to read about dietary changes for an adult.
Maria Esposito BSc (Hons) copyright www.nutritionhealth.net