20 answers

7 Week Old Baby Struggling with Bowel Movements

I have a friend whose baby has struggled ever since he was born. He is breastfed. He's 7 weeks now. He screams, holds his breath, pushes, grunts, his face turns red, he cries whenever he needs to fill his diaper. Sometimes he does this for hours until finally he has his bowel movement. Then he is so relieved and exhausted. His stools are not hard or constipated, they look regular, but I really think that something is going on!
Her doctor and her family tell her that his little system is so new that he's just trying to figure things out. But I've seen him, and it looks extremely painful. I think she should see a specialist. But am I just overreacting? Have any of you seen this or experienced this? My babies had no problems pooping. No struggles. Some gas pains here and there, but nothing like this baby. Thanks for any advice...

Update.. she went to the doctor today and he just said it is gas. But she's given her baby mylecon drops and gripe water, but doesn't see a difference. I know when my babies had gas, mylecon worked wonders. She also gives him warm baths, a warm rice pack on his tummy, changes his positions, massages, and does the "bicycle." Still she was just told today that she's over reacting (in a kind way, but still..)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

my sister has found that mylcon drops if used a lot constipate her babies. I like Gripe Water. I works wonders for my gassy baby (I know that's not the problem) I would suggest she really watch her diet and drink tons of water 3+ quarts a day. If it doesn't resolve I think I would consider a specialist or a second opinion. For the gripe water you can find it at health food stores or find recipes online for it... that is much cheaper!

My nice had the same problem and finally after talin her to the dr. 8 times they found that her butthole was smaler than normal. They had to use supostories to help strech it. After a few days she ws all better.

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Hi N.. I would recommend she visit a specialist just to be sure. It could be gas- gas can be very painful, but that doesn't sound normal to me. I have a friend who's son had similar trouble having bowel movements and there was actually an abnormality with his anus. He would push and push, turn red, and sometimes would actually push so hard he would vomit. Somehow his anus was smaller than usual and wasn't stretching so he underwent a surgery to correct the problem. It did the trick.

He screams for hours? Like more so in the evening? My daughter had extreme colic and she did the same things without the bowel movement. If this only happens when he needs a BM discard this response :)My daughter turned all kinds of colors screaming and looking like she was in pain. I was breast feeding and got tired of trying to cut out all kinds of things from my diet so I switched to formula and nothing changed. We tried gripe water which I think made it less severe but she had colic and screaming. Mylcon didn't work at all. She finally out grew it between five and six months. Good luck!

You did not state whether the baby is breast fed or formula fed. A breast fed baby can get constipation, but it can be fixed by the mother checking out her diet and eating foods that promote regularity (i.e. yogurt, apples, prunes, etc). A formula fed baby has higher likelihood of constipation because formula is harder to digest. If the baby is formula fed, changing formulas is an option, but needs to be done with precaution. As I am a breastfeeding mom, I can help more in that area. I am not well-versed on formulas that are easier on the tummy. Check out kellymom.com for more tips. I hope that helps some.

Have a GREAT day!

My baby had trouble with bowel movements as well. His stools were a little hard though. My doctor said that his sphincter was too small. He gave me rubber gloves and told me to stretch it a couple times a day. This wasn't fun, and my baby cried, but it did the job in a week or two, and he didn't have problems after that. I don't know if this is the problem or not where her baby's stools are not hard. Maybe it is worth a try though!

my sister has found that mylcon drops if used a lot constipate her babies. I like Gripe Water. I works wonders for my gassy baby (I know that's not the problem) I would suggest she really watch her diet and drink tons of water 3+ quarts a day. If it doesn't resolve I think I would consider a specialist or a second opinion. For the gripe water you can find it at health food stores or find recipes online for it... that is much cheaper!

My nice had the same problem and finally after talin her to the dr. 8 times they found that her butthole was smaler than normal. They had to use supostories to help strech it. After a few days she ws all better.

My first baby went through exactly the same thing. We, too, tried everything we could think of to help him. Then I asked our pediatrician and I was surprised by what he said. He said that sometimes a baby's rectum and anal opening are so tight (particularly if it is a small baby) that when their stool starts to thicken a little bit (at around 6 weeks of age), they can't push it out. He then used his finger to gently stretch out his little opening and it worked. It was a little uncomfortable for the baby for a few minutes, but it was worth it.
The Dr. also told me to use a rectal thermometer to help stimulate a bowel movement if he should appear to be straining. We did that a few times, and before long things were moving along just fine.

One more thing - before we took our baby into the Dr., one thing that seemed to help him was to put him in a warm bath when he was pushing and straining to have a B.M. The warm water help to relax those little muscles and let things stretch enough to allow things to move out.

My little girl had the same problem. I also thought there must be something wrong! The Dr. told me the same thing, Mylicon drops, warm bath... She was born two weeks early and the GI Dr (we eventually visited) said babies have to learn to poop. Like potty training they have to find the right muscles to make things move. The best advise I got, which we used a lot! Is the Q-Tip trick. Lube up a regular Q-tip (not the safety baby ones). Insert the cotton end of the Q-Tip and turn it a half turn, wait a few seconds and turn again. You'll see the baby push and squirm a little trying to "get it out". You're helping them find the right muscles. You can hold it there untill they poop. I still use this on my 13 month old when she gets constipated.

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