Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD will not poo. She is in pain, what should I do?

(65 Posts)
HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 20:31:50

She did a painful poo at preschool last Friday. She has refused to poo since. She cries and refuses to push, she says it hurts. I don't think it is constipation as the poo seems to arrive, only she holds on to it. Her powers of retention seem considerable! She normally goes about three times a day and she has continued to eat so is now in considerable pain.

We gave her movical on Monday which caused to to have a small, involuntary poo. Nothing since, despite continuing to treat with Movical. Today she has been in a lot of pain so we switched to lactulose and used a glycerin suppository. No result.

We have been getting her to drink much more, eat a lot of dried fruit, upped her veg and brown rice intake. What else should we do?

Let her sit in a warm bath for as long as possible to relax her tummy muscles, that often helps. Also Linseed or Flax is fantastic, cured my dd's encopresis where movicol and lactulose failed. Hope she feels better soon!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 21:55:20

thanks for the advice

she is crying in pain in bed, but still will not try and push out a poo. So frustrating and upsetting.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 21:55:43

Will do the linseed, I have some here.

HolyFocaccia Thu 02-May-13 22:01:30

I am reliably informed that I did this at a similar age. I vaguely remember having a frightening experience (to me as a child) on the toilet and I held onto my bowel movements for a week at a time.
Warm baths, fibre, and hand holding and reassurance will help. She may just be frightened to even try to push. You may spend an awful long time next to her but she will get there. Hope she feels much better soon smile

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:08:56

thanks - I have been watching her make a pushing face but she is not actually pushing. She is definitely frightened to push. I have spent all week kneeling by the loo, holding her hands. I had to stay in preschool today as I didn't think it was fair to leave the staff with this situation to deal with (she is in obvious discomfort) and I will not send her in tomorrow as she is in agony now sad

Pendipidy Thu 02-May-13 22:13:12

Sit next to her when she is on the toilet, reassure her it Will hurt a little bit when i comes out but it Will stop her having tummy ache . She may need to sit there a while with a book and you really praise her when she lets a little bit out.

Google a book you can print out online, you have to look hard for the link that works cos some don't , called i think, Mr poo goes to happy poo land!, sounds crazy, but a good little leaflet to read to her about how poos knock on your tummy or your bottom when they want to come out and how they love to go down the toilet to happy poo land!

Hope it goes well

HolyFocaccia Thu 02-May-13 22:18:09

Didn't have happy poo land in my day..I feel I have missed out! grin

Jokes aside, I feel for you both..its both frustrating and upsetting. You're doing everything right.

Syrup of Figs really helped our dd - she sounded much the same as yours and no amount of lactulose was helping.

Also try holding her over potty/toilet and bringing her knees up as close to her chest as possible. This may help.

I feel your pain having spent many hours kneeling on the floor trying to help dd poo.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:20:40

Poo goes to pooland! We have this, you can google it. We have had many conversations about what pooland is like, what you can eat in pooland, whether or not her parents will be waiting in pooland to see their baby poo....

Thanks for the messages

starfishmummy Thu 02-May-13 22:31:18

I'm not sure about the syrup of figs - as she is refusing to g, anything like this is only going to make her tummy ache worse.

Springforward Thu 02-May-13 22:35:05

DS has chronic constipation and sometimes withholds, which of course makes it worse. Agree with lots of tempting drinks, fruit and veg and weetabix/ similar, also warm baths (sometimes poking in the bath, though not exactly something to encourage, at least broke the cycle) and lots of exercise. Movicol is the medication which seems to suit him best. But - in a fit of desperation recently I tried outright bribery, and it was enough to encourage him to be brave enough to try. Has been working well for a couple of weeks though.

My only regret was that the bribe was 15 mins on Angry Birds every time he had a poo!

Beamur Thu 02-May-13 22:35:07

Lactulose takes a few days to work, keep giving it to her though as it will help - I think it draws extra fluid into the stool so it is softer and not so painful to push out.
Have you given her any pain relief for her discomfort?

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:35:08

I will bear that in mind.

Where does this stop? What happens if she just refuses to go? Would a doctor be able to help/offer any advice other than that I have received here?

I have taught lots of children with fecal impaction, it is really grim and often needs medicating for years sad I am terrified this is what will happen to dd.

Also, on a selfish note, we are all supposed to be going away for my fortieth birthday this weekend and I can see us having to cancel. Which is a more trivial concern but still aggravating.

Springforward Thu 02-May-13 22:35:50

Pooing, not poking....

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:36:09

we have given her calpol today

I have tried bribery already blush may have to up the stakes

usualsuspect Thu 02-May-13 22:36:15

Have you any bubbles, get her to blow bubbles on the loo.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:37:52

I will do that - cheers

it will certainly be a lot more fun than reading a hello kitty comic to her

Beamur Thu 02-May-13 22:39:29

Could you ring your doctors for an advice call? I'd try bribery too - my DD had a real fear of pooing in the potty or toilet and stayed in nappies a very long time, I promised her a scooter once she started using the toilet. It worked, in the end.

usualsuspect Thu 02-May-13 22:41:08

Blowing bubbles relaxes the muscles.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:42:48

I thought it might be that, I will try it first thing. luckily I have some bubbles to hand.

onedev Thu 02-May-13 22:50:31

Movicol or similar to keep the poo soft & then I used to sit by the toilet & massage my DS's feet to help him relax. It did used to take ages just sitting there but after a few times, when he realised it wouldn't hurt, then things got better. Good luck!

Surprised the suppository didn't work, I'd try again. The poo probably IS hard and painful if she's been withholding for a week, but the glycerin should, er, lubricate the exit.

MrsPoglesWood Thu 02-May-13 22:55:20

DS had a serious illness when he was 8 and medication resulted in him becoming very constipated. His impacted poo even showed up on an MRI scan. He was prescribed suppositories which although they weren't pleasant to administer - it's never nice to put something into your DC's bottom and we had to buy KY Jelly to make it as easy as possible - they worked brilliantly.

The suppositories loosened and softened the poo and let his body expel it quickly. I seriously recommend them so please give them a try. I remember a nurse on the ward saying that children on whatever medication it was - I can't remember - produce what looks like elephant poo. And it really did. You can buy the suppositories over the counter in any chemist. It isn't nice sticking a bullet shaped jelly thing up your child's bum but it works, it really does.

Try the suppositories and then look at food and diet going forward.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:58:31

We have used a suppository - one tiny flake of poo came out. Perhaps it will work later - it was a couple of hours ago? She is wearing a night nappy anyway. I will try again in the morning, although i fear DD may not be that enthralled by the idea..

Glad you DS is better MrsPogle.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 22:59:14

Thanks for all the advice, I am really grateful

Suppositories are usually fast acting, but you need to let them dissolve in order to stimulate the bowel. Maybe the flake of poo you saw was actually the suppository coming out?

Oh, the joys of parenthood grin

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 23:04:33

yes, this is a conversation I never thought I would have on the world wide web grin

FannyFifer Thu 02-May-13 23:04:40

Could you feel poo when putting suppository in? How long ago did I give it?

Passthesaltdear Thu 02-May-13 23:05:35

We went through this recently with DS and it was so upsetting hmm keep increasing the movicol dose until she clears it It can take to to six or seven sachets a day shockbut it does work Also when she is ready to go get her to put her feet on something to raise her hips slightly while she sits as this helps a lot and bath to lubricate as its coming out as it will be painfulhmm

notapizzaeater Thu 02-May-13 23:06:21

I'm an expert on poo !! We used to sit ds on loo and give him a balloon to blow up - they push at the same time without realising it.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 23:06:22

couldn't feel a poo, just popped it in. Should I have pushed it in a little? <wince> It was at about 8.30.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 23:07:13

balloons here. Will add to the bubbles. Mumsnet is fab.

Yeah, it needs to go as far in as possible. Not way up, but beyond the sphincter so it doesn't pop straight out again!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 02-May-13 23:09:30

Ok, thanks <steels self>

It's grim. And she won't like it. But the relief will be immense once she goes.

FannyFifer Thu 02-May-13 23:11:27

I would usually try to get supps up a bit higher or it will prob just melt & come out.
If you put if in correctly you can feel if there is poo there and try to get it at least along side the blockage so to speak.

FannyFifer Thu 02-May-13 23:12:29

Lie her on left side to do it.

MrsPoglesWood Thu 02-May-13 23:14:21

Thanks Humphrey it's a long time ago now but I still remember the horrors of trying to deal with the constipation and impacted poo.

The suppositories usually work within about an hour. I would try another one in the morning and if that doesn't work you need to go back to your GP. Your poor DD must feel utterly miserable and no doubt you are worried sick.

roundtower Thu 02-May-13 23:18:07

Can you get baby lax or micro lax? I used micro lax when I had terrible constipation in pregnancy. It works very quickly and it would be impossible to withhold after using.

Springforward Thu 02-May-13 23:18:57

Forgot to mention - it's hard to poo with dangling feet, if she can't reach the floor a step would help.

snickers251 Thu 02-May-13 23:19:49

No advice that hasn't already been offered but lots and lots of sympathy, I have a 'withholder'

I found the lactulose did nothing, nor did the suppositories, ds is just so stubborn!

movicol is the one thing that is helping us. After the initial 'clear out ' he is down to half a sachet a day then if he doesn't poo, I increase it until he does

Just need to get him over the fear bit now but he's playing up and being stubborn since his little sister arrived 6 weeks ago confused

Hunn1e Thu 02-May-13 23:23:59

Appleteiser is a great one for getting it soft and explosive so there's no holding on.

There is a method called "rock and pop" that I was told to use by an old yoga teacher - you need to make sure her knees are elevated (put her feet up on a stool or up-turned bucket) then get her to cross her arms across her lower tummy whilst balling her fists. She should then rock back and forth so that her fists are effectively massaging her colon.

another yoga related one is to get her on all fours and then get her to arch her back as hard as she can and then do the opposite by sucking up her tummy so she's got an inverted arch - keep doing that and it gets things moving.

If she's finding that the poo is so hard it makes it feel like it's gritty and tearing her, some aloe vera gel smeared around her bottom will help too. In fact aloe vera is great taken orally for any problems with the gut - tastes really nasty though.

Hope the poor thing gets through it soon - the worst thing I have ever been through is watching my little girl endure an enema due to constipation......think I cried more than she did.

outtolunchagain Thu 02-May-13 23:24:15

Swimming , we battled for years with constipation and retention.The one practically guaranteed way to get him to go was swimming,apparently it gets the abdominal muscles working , within 5 mins he would have to get out to go !

Beware too much fibre like brown rice as it bulks up the poo and then there is more to get rid off.Sorry TMI.Also try a little Vaseline around the anus , it helps to stop any stinging.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 03-May-13 11:12:39

Thank you so much for all your help. I really appreciate it.

FannyFifer Fri 03-May-13 15:22:38

How's things?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 03-May-13 16:05:07

The eagle has landed! The suppository, correctly administered (thanks squalorvictoria) did the trick, along with blowing up the balloon, moving her into the correct position and watching Sarah and Duck on iplayer.

You have all saved my weekend! And DD is also very grateful.

usualsuspect Fri 03-May-13 16:27:16

What a relief.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 03-May-13 16:29:19


thanks for the balloon tip

EskSmith Fri 03-May-13 16:36:04

Well done your dd! Now keep on with the movicol. You need to keep everything soft and moving for a good while so that she can't hold on to it. I'm afraid you can expect accidents too.

Been there, got the tshirt ;)

Hope you have a great birthday weekend smile

starfishmummy Fri 03-May-13 16:37:35

Phew. I am glad to hear that, Humphrey.

notapizzaeater Fri 03-May-13 18:41:53

Glad it worked ! Got funny looks from friends with the pack of balloons we kept in the loo but hey oh it works and I didn't care !

Just read this with interest as DD is in the same position but is only 19mo. I'm pretty certain she's holding it in. She spends hours every day straining with no result-it's now been 5 days and no poo despite a sachet of movicol every morning, masses of water, fruit and veg etc. It's been going on for a couple of months now, on and off, and the GP just keeps saying it's normal and will pass-but she's clearly in pain! I hate it sad

She's not potty trained which doesn't help matters.

My daughter is also 19m and has been on Movicol since 7m for chronic constipation. Has the GP not suggested increasing the dose? DD is on 1.5 sachets daily, increasing to two sachets if she goes a day without pooing. In bad cases of constipation one sachet just ain't going to cut it. Two or three would probably be better. Just steel yourself for the explosion!

Glad your DD is better Humphrey.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 03-May-13 20:03:49

She is bouncing around all over the place, the difference is remarkable smile

She has also had movicol, we will keep it for a while

Beamur Fri 03-May-13 20:06:03

grin amazing the difference a good poo makes!

Glad she's better OP!

Squalor he seemed reluctant because she's not yet 2, and I think it's meant for 2yrs+ technically. If we have no poo over the weekend I'm going to up the dose though. We can't carry on with this sad

Well, like I said, DD has been on it daily since she was 7m, and gets reviewed by a consultant who's very good at letting me up the dose if I think it's necessary. Guess that's the difference between a consultant and a GP though - a GP is always going to be more cautious re. dosage. Do ask for a referral if you think you need one.

onedev Fri 03-May-13 22:41:50

Yay for a good poo! grin

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 03-May-13 23:13:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Springforward Sat 04-May-13 00:22:07

Have to say, I've been giving DS a probiotic yoghurt every day recently and I did wonder if it was helping, might try yakult just to let him have a choice now and then. Do they taste nice? Never bought them before.

squalor do you give more than one sachet at once or spread them out? DD will only drink it in milk (well, in water and then mixed into milk) and she only has milk in the morning and then last thing at bed. Don't know whether it would be advisable to give a double dose in her morning milk or split it over both bottles. If we split it I'm scared she'll have a poo explosion overnight!

Weegiemum Sat 04-May-13 10:16:28

My ds (he'd hate to know I told you all this, he's 11 now) had chronic constipation as a toddler, and we gave him (my dh is a doctor and spoke to a paediatrician friend) a spoonful of senokot every morning - ds called it "bottom Medicine". It worked a treat!

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