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Constipation due to Gaviscon - please help!

(7 Posts)
HolidaysQueen Sat 02-Aug-08 09:39:30

My 4 mo DS has just been diagnosed with reflux and has been put on Gaviscon to try and treat it. We've had it for two days - the vomiting has really eased off and he isn't too uncomfortable after feeds which is great (I'm also keeping him more upright etc to help). However he is now terribly constipated and in addition to his night feed (usually around 3-4am at the moment) he is now waking us at 5.30-6 with his crying as he tries to poo so we are suffering from interrupted nights.

This morning I did a lot of tummy massage (learned a few tricks at baby massage class) which helped him get it all out, but he was in a lot of pain and crying a lot from 5.30-7.30 until he got it all out. All three of us then passed out until 9.15 so at least we got a bit more sleep

How can I ease his constipation while still giving him the gaviscon? At the moment he is in a whole load more pain with the constipation than he ever was with the reflux which he was more stoic about, so I'm almost tempted to stop the medicine if I can't solve it. However his weight gain has been poor and he has a persistent cough due to his sore throat, so although the constipation is more painful it might be a necessary evil for a few weeks until we try and get the reflux under control.

I should add that I'm not giving it to him at every feed - just two the first day then one yesterday at the feeds when he is normally most unhappy and most sick. I didn't want to overload him if it could help just with the bad feeds. So dropping the dosage isn't really an option as that would be the same as stopping!

iarel Sat 02-Aug-08 22:10:58

hi, my dd is 3mnths and is on gaviscon as well. she was constipated for the first few days and then it eased. it should not produce side effects though. which formula are you on? i am only using the full dose of gaviscon in the morning and then half a dose with every feed now and although there is still a lot of milk coming out, she is gaining weight. poor thing, if his weight is not great, have you thought of considering the small op? horrible to think about, but a friend of mine asked for her baby to be reffered and she is delighted with the results. otherwise i can just reccommend little bits of warm boiled water.

SalLikesCoffee Sat 02-Aug-08 22:21:55

Try adding 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to lukewarm water - it really works for us. When my ds is constipated, I usually try the following in order:
Moving his legs in a "cycling" motion
Warm bath
Lukewarm water
Above with sugar added

I stopped using Gaviscon for that exact reason - reconed the reflux upset him less (or for a shorter period anyway). Good luck!

kittypower Sat 02-Aug-08 22:29:07

My DS is now 11 months but he suffered from really bad reflux until he was about 7 months old. Gaviscon did the same for him, every time we gave it to him he would just scream in pain for ages afterwards. The doctor kept saying that it can't give side effects so keep trying but it really did with my DS. I stopped using it and the constipation and screaming stopped. I tried everything for my DS, he was on 2 different types of medicine and his weight gain was very slow. I bf until he was 6 months and then moved him onto Enfamil AR formula which was an absolute godsend and stopped the relfux within days. He is now 11 months and pretty chubby so try not to worry too much about the weight gain ( easy to say now! I was pretty obsessed by it at the time!)

SalLikesCoffee Sat 02-Aug-08 22:39:20

The paediatrician we saw (for something else) said Gaviscon was known for making babies extremely constipated. He actually suggested stopping it if not absolutely necessary, and to just try and live with the reflux. It didn't last long anyway - a couple of weeks if I remember correctly.

MERLYPUSS Sat 02-Aug-08 23:03:07

My DS was on gaviscon and had a dredeful time trying to poo. We used to have to give him lactulose once a day so he could go. I figured this was better than him writhing in agony when he brought acid up (hardly ever sicked up full feeds just stomach acid).
He is now 6 mths and cured. We dropped the gaviscon at 4 1/2 mths along with the ranitidine and dopeidon(sp?) as it made him howl. Guess he just grew out of it.

HolidaysQueen Sun 03-Aug-08 10:44:29

thank you all. that is all really helpful advice as he was getting so blocked up.

i've stopped the gaviscon for a few days as DS has a rotten cold so is in enough discomfort with that and i'm not quite sure what cries were because of the constipation versus the cold. also, he's feeding more frequently because of his cold so the thought of trying to get even more gaviscon into him doesn't appeal! i'll start again in the next couple of days once he's in a more sprightly mood and see how we get on.

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