Posted by: Shaveh | 2010/06/11


6 1/2 month old struggling with constipation - breastfed though?

Dear Paed

MY baby has been struggling with her stools since she was born. obviously when she was still only breastfed it was just irregular and was only happening every 10-12 days. now that I''ve started solids it has become even more difficult for her to poo.
I stopped giving her rice cereal and am now giving her oats that I have ground down to be a fine powder and then cook for her. she is also having vegies and fruit.
I am still breastfeeding, but thought that more liquid intake would help and have given her 3 extra 125ml bottles of goats milk? I tried 1/4tsp honey in 125ml water but she didn''t take to it.
This morning she passed a stool and it had a little streak of blood in it and I am now very concerned. her stools still vary, but lately they have been really hard and she screams when she poo''s. but otherwise she is a very happy baby.

Please let me know if I should go to my paediatrician or if there is something that I can eat/drink to help, or something that I can give her.

thank you
Shaveh (mother of 2 - 2yr8months &  6 1/2months)

Expert's Reply



Goats milk can definitely aggravate constipation in a baby with this tendency so this should be stopped immediately.It is always unusual for a baby who is being breast fed to be constipated and the cause needs to be looked for. In particular there is a condition called Hirschsprungs which should be excluded as a possible cause. Please ask your paediatrician to see her.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2010/06/14

Your baby is too young for porridge like oats, they can only have that from around 8 months.
Cereal is not an ideal food for baby becuase of constipation as it has iron added to it (along with other nutrients as it doesn''t have any nutrients on its own).

Breastmilk has a laxative effect, so your baby shouldn''t be constipated when breastfed, so please go and see your peadiatrician.

Babies under a year should not be given honey as it contains botulism spores and your baby''s system can''t deal with them.

Try feeding your child fresh fruit and veg which you have mashed to a fine paste and mixed with expressed breast milk.

I''d suggest you see a dietician for some advice on feeding your child or buy yourself an Annabel Karmel book for some sound advice. The la leche league can also help you with good advie on feeding solids.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Shaveh | 2010/06/11

thanks for the advice ''Hiedi'' - didn''t know that about the honey - thank goodness that she didn''t like it.
your suggestion about the lacson made me realise that I have some duphalac in my medicine cupboard that I bought for my first born ages ago and never used it. Thanks so much for reminding of that  )
will try it and let you know how it goes.

Reply to Shaveh
Posted by: heidi | 2010/06/11

hey shaveh

please don''t give your baby honey, not before she''s turned 1 anyway. got this from the net to explain why not.

Honey may contain spores of Clostridium Botulinum, a form of botulism. In older children and adults, the amounts are so microscopic and are generally harmless. For babies though, infant botulism caused by eating honey may cause lasting damage. Botulism is an illness caused by the botulin toxin. The toxin blocks nerve function, eventually leading to skeletal and respiratory paralysis. Botulin is also incredibly powerful  as little as one microgram can kill a human. Fortunately, botulism is extremely rare. One of the main uses for the toxin is for botox injections. Infant botulism was first recognized as a condition in 1976. It affects roughly one hundred children each year in the U.S. Of those, the majority is aged under six months. Symptoms of infant botulism usually develop within 18 to 36 hours of eating contaminated honey, and can include weakness, vomiting, and an inability to control head movements. Since the toxin targets the nervous system, a baby may seem abnormally floppy. If it is not treated, infant botulism can cause paralysis or, in the worst cases, death.

as for you baby''s constipation, go to the pharmacy and get some lacson syrup, (generic of duphalac) you can give your baby 5ml a day, maybe start off with 3ml and see what her tummy does first. the cereal these days contain lots of iron which just makes the constipation worse. lacson is not habit forming and can be given regularly.

Reply to heidi

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