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Constipated newborn

(26 Posts)
AllSWornOut Wed 21-Aug-13 15:30:10

DC is 11 days old and hasn't done a poo for 7 days. He did loads of meconium poos in the first 3 days, then green and brown poos for the next couple of days but since then nada. He's ebf.

We had to see the GP for other reasons about 3 days in and I asked whether it was normal. She indicated that it happened but that it wasn't necessarily normal (although she confirmed his stomach is soft) and prescribed some glycerin suppositories. We tried giving DC one but couldn't get it in they're slippery fuckers and I've since read that no poo for up to 10 days is still within the norm for bf babies, and as long as it's soft when it does finally come it's not a problem.

However, I assume that this would be 10 days with the baby acting normally? DC seems to be getting more and more distressed with each day that goes past. Loads of crying, huge quantities of very smelly farts although he doesn't seem to be straining.

I'm at a total loss as to what to do. I don't want to try the suppositories again as it seemed to upset him more. Do I just wait it out? Is there any point in going back to the doctor - not sure what she can do? The baby blues are just starting to set in too so I'm just a mass of indecision and snot and tears sad

cathan Wed 21-Aug-13 17:24:10

I would have the medics check him out again. If he was otherwise okay, it mightn't be a concern, but since he seems unsettled and hasn't had a bowel movement in 7 days ... especially since you haven't been able to give the suppositories and it was 4 days since you saw the GP. With such a young baby, I think I'd be pretty anxious! After all, if everything's fine, your mind will be put at rest and, in the very unlikely event that something's up, it would be good for it to be caught early. Hope this helps.

nocarsgo Wed 21-Aug-13 17:29:50

A newborn shouldn't need a suppository. That's a bit worrying.

I'm something of an expert since my DD suffers with chronic constipation, but even then her symptoms didn't manifest until 6-8 weeks (she started Movicol at 7m, not that I'm suggesting that a newborn could be given Movicol).

One thing gastroenterologists like to rule out is Hirschsprung's disease. Don't want to alarm you, but if this persists I'd want a referral to a consultant pretty quickly.

TipsyandTom Wed 21-Aug-13 17:31:53

I'd definitely suggest going back to the doctor. If nothing else, she might pop in the suppository for you, or at least advise you how to do it. Fwiw I used them with my dd, and she was perfectly happy after the initial annoyance of it going in.

Also, given that he's unsettled, good to get him checked out again - he is still so young, it's expected for parents to want to play it safe at this age.

Hope he's better soon. Enjoy your newborn cuddles!

crikeybadger Wed 21-Aug-13 17:43:11

This is unusual for a breast fed baby at this age. It can be normal for bf babies not to poo, but only from about 6 weeks old. I'm surprised this has not been picked up by your midwife as it can indicate poor milk transfer. How is his weight doing?

AllSWornOut Wed 21-Aug-13 18:11:41

Thanks for all your thoughts. Ok, looks like we'll go back to the doctor tomorrow.

He was last weighed on Monday and his weight had plateaued, ie not losing any more after the initial weight loss after birth. Both MW and GP were both pretty unconcerned as he looks the picture of perfect health, apart from not pooing. He's alert, all other signs are good apart from the endless fussing, which has definitely got worse since the weekend.

hettienne Wed 21-Aug-13 18:14:06

Is he feeding well/frequently?

Up to 10 days is normal in slightly older ebf babies, not newborns. I would be concerned he's not getting enough milk for some reason.

AllSWornOut Wed 21-Aug-13 19:58:17

He's feeding what I feel is well. His latch isn't great but he is latching, sucking and gulping/swallowing, even though there's a lot of bobbing on and off. He's waking every couple of hours to feed (not overly sleepy) and I definitely have milk, I'm leaking everywhere.

DC1 had a very slow weight gain (after a big weight loss due to unsuccessful feeding due to undiagnosed tongue tie) and that was with mixed feeding for the first couple of months, although we did eventually get back to ebf and I've only recently stopped feeding him. I guess I don't have a good comparison for the newborn stage.

AllSWornOut Wed 21-Aug-13 20:05:54

We're going to try to get an urgent appointment with the paediatrician office at the hospital where he was born. And depending on the timing we'll pop in to the mw office to check his weight tomorrow morning as well.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and comments, what it's it about babies that turn me into a gibbering wreck, incapable of making any kind of sensible decision?

nocarsgo Wed 21-Aug-13 21:25:49

I've just re-read your OP and it actually sounds a lot like my DD in her early days - lots of foul wind but no poo.

I was failing miserably to breastfeed and she was getting nothing. But then her weight plummeted too. So it could be a lack of food in the digestive system rather than a bowel issue.

crikeybadger Wed 21-Aug-13 21:28:19

Good that you are going to see someone, Alliswornout.
Have you checked ds for tongue tie as it is often hereditary?

AllSWornOut Wed 21-Aug-13 22:28:26

Yes, he had one at birth but was snipped already.

Nocars, how was your daughter's behaviour? And did you have the impression bf was going ok or did you know it want working? I just ask as with DC1 it was obvious there was something wrong behaviour-wise while he was losing weight. Completely different to DC2, who appears to be satisfied after feeds (even if he wants to feed non-stop on occasion).

Well I cannot face pumping like I did last time so I guess if it is a lack of food then I'll have to supplement and hope I can keep my supply up.

nocarsgo Wed 21-Aug-13 23:17:55

I suspected she wasn't getting anything because she couldn't latch at all. Tried nipple shields and thought that was helping, until after a couple more days I discovered that if your nipple wasn't drawn the whole way into the shield, baby doesn't get milk. So she was sucking on the shield like a dummy but getting no food. She would cry and we thought it was wind, but with hindsight it was hunger hmm

The foul wind really was remarkable in such a young baby, but I think now it was a sign of an empty digestive system. Started her with formula and she then started pooing.

Her constipation is a separate issue, inherited from me!

milktraylady Thu 22-Aug-13 08:10:07

Hi very infrequent poos is normal for. a ebf baby don't worry. My DD seems to be very efficient at getting what she needs out of her food & only goes every other day (4m now).
We did have 15 days no poo at one point.

If your baby's weight is fine then they are probably fine.

Stinky farts is also normal.

What you can do- tummy massage in circles & cycling legs (get someone to teach you this)

Also cooled boiled water with brown sugar dissolved. Give about 2 or 3 oz from a bottle. I know some people say to keep ebf (virgin gut & all that), but if you are worried brown sugar works. It's a laxative.

Or get GP to do the suppository.

Good luck xo

tiktok Thu 22-Aug-13 08:24:22

Infrequent poos NOT normal for a newborn - they always need to be checked out. Sometimes it is ok - a few babies do poo infrequently early on - but it more often means a problem with intake of milk.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Aug-13 08:33:56

I have seen this problem posted before and it turned out fine, baby pooed eventually and then regularly from then on, but yes, definitely get it checked out.

Have you tried tummy massage and leg cycling? If I want to help my DD poo, I use baby massage oil, massage her tummy clockwise around the tummy button for ages, then cycle her legs, then massage etc. She then usually produces the goods shortly after!

AllSWornOut Thu 22-Aug-13 08:39:15

Thanks for all your inputs. We've been doing massage and leg compresses/cycling to relieve his immediate discomfort.

We've got an appointment today with the hospital paediatrician, although they didn't want to fit us in as having described the symptoms they consider it normal...

Tictok, thanks for your input, you helped me enormously with my first DC and I am always grateful for your advice. We've just (ironically) had the best feed in days, proper latch and classic Jack Newman video suck-swallow. I have been hearing him swallow during feeds (and he often spills milk out of his mouth when he pops off the boob) the problem being that his is so on and off and crying/fussing it's difficult to judge what he's really getting.

AllSWornOut Thu 22-Aug-13 08:43:26

Hi NG, x-post about the cycling, but I've also been doing some massage (never got into it with DC1 but determined to try better with this one) and all it seems to produce is me being copiously sprinkled on! grin

AllSWornOut Thu 22-Aug-13 08:45:04

Should add that I did baby massage classes for DC1, I'm not trying to give Dc2 a Swedish or Thai message or anything grin just some standard baby massage moves with lots of tummy swipes and circling to boot.

AllSWornOut Thu 22-Aug-13 15:03:38

If anyone is interested the pead was happy with DC's overall health but recommends a formula top up for the next week due to slow weight gain. DC isn't losing weight but she's concerned he's just not taking enough milk overall, as many of you suggested.

I'm also trying to be more mindful of our feeds as I think I was a bit blase due to having only finished bf my toddler 6 months ago. So far today we've had 3 really good feeds and a not so good one. Hopefully we're back on the right track now.

And of course, as soon as we got home he did a poo (a nice sloppy yellow one)...

Thanks for all your advice and reassurance, it was much appreciated.

crikeybadger Thu 22-Aug-13 20:22:13

Good to get some reassurance smile and good to be mindful of the feeds....hard when you have a toddler whizzing around but it's easy for time to slip by if the baby doesn't 'demand' milk.

AllSWornOut Thu 22-Aug-13 20:41:21

Thanks crikey (love the nn btw), I think more than forgetting feeds it was that I was sticking him on and then trying to pay as much attention as possible to DC1 while assuming DC2 would just be able to get on with it. I'm sure for some children that works fine, but mine seem to be a bit delicate hmm looks at DC1 who is busy jumping of the sofa shouting JUUUUUUMP

AllSWornOut Sun 08-Sep-13 10:03:53

A quick update for anyone that might stumble across this thread with a similar issue.

Something was still niggling me so I made an appointment with a lactation consultant to get the latch checked. She confirmed the latch was extremely shallow and after some examination of latch and DC it looks like he also has a posterior tongue tie, in addition to the front web one that was snipped after birth and the lip tie that we already knew about.

Since then I've been doing my best to force a deeper latch and I've got an appointment to see a specialist tomorrow to hopefully have the tie cut. We've been topping up in the meantime and he's now putting on lots of weight. He's also now doing better on the boob as the weight gain is sufficiently large that it's unlikely to be purely due to the additional formula (he's only taking 200ml/day on average and he now will generally not finish, or refuse completely, some of the offered top ups). I've also been working on getting my supply back up (pumping, supplements, fennel tea and hobnobs oats). We'll be starting to cut the top ups from tomorrow hopefully.

OTOH even with the formula top ups and the tremendous weight gain he's still not a very productive poo-er. 2 per day seems to be his normal production. But when they come they are rather copious <ahem>

AllSWornOut Sun 08-Sep-13 10:04:48

And i forgot to say thank you to everyone for your advice and support thanks thanks

crikeybadger Sun 08-Sep-13 22:17:47

Thanks for coming back to update and it's good
to hear that things are going in the right directionsmile

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