Monday, November 8, 2010

Poop! … or Not… Help with Constipation!

I received the following question yesterday from a friend out of state.

Any mommy wisdom on constipation? Baby just switched to cows milk so that has
to be it. She stands there shaking and crying and afraid to poop. We already
talked to the doc, but are curious about your experience.

And my answer:

I am the expert!!! My 4-year old son has had constipation issues since he was 6-months old.
His started around the time he began eating baby food and the doctor told me to try prune juice, prunes, apple juice, but NOTHING worked. He went fairly regularly, but it was hard and small pebbles. When he was maybe 9 months, the doc had me give him milk of magnesia in his bottle. I did that for probably a year, but it still never worked great (this is all in hindsight.) He went every day but it was never easy, and it was never the right consistency (should be like mash potatoes.)
When he was about 18 months, I went out of town and when I came back about 5 days later (slacker husband), his constipation was so bad he got a fissure. I called the dr. and they were too busy too see him!! I told them he was shaking in pain, crying. etc., so they told me to buy an enema and do it myself or go to the ER. There is NO way he would let stay still for me (we had tried suppositories in the past), so I went to the ER.

While waiting in the ER lobby, he pooped a little bit in his diaper.  I thought I was a hysterical mom and shouldn't be there since he pooped. But then the ER doc did an x-ray and made me come out and look at it b/c he had never seen more poo in a kid. The ENTIRE x-ray was covered in poo (even though he went a little bit every day.) Sooo, they gave him two
huge syringes of milk of molasses (ancient medical cure!!) 
We sat there for 2 hours where he proceeded to fill up 7-8 diapers, while screaming and writhing in pain.

The doctor then told me to start Miralax and see a specialist. We did both and
the specialist said that she has seen about 5000 kids for constipation and 2
were from allergies (milk) and the rest were ALL genetic, change in diet,
personality, etc. and that they all grow out of it. That was when he was
about 2.5. He has had Miralax every day since then (he is 4 now.)

Miralax has been a miracle for us  and the experts claim that it is easy on the colon, not addictive, etc. My son was on 1-2 full caps a day and now he is down to one half cap per morning. If he doesn't have it for one day, his fissure bleeds. The dr. said to just try
to wean every few months and see if he is ready. But most kids that have constipation
to this extreme are on it for 3-4 years.
And he is a great eater now.  He eats green veggies every night at dinner, meat, chicken, fish only wheat bread, etc. I still wonder if it is something more since it comes on sooo fast, but I have to trust the doctors for now.
Sooo, my advice, if you have tried prunes, juice and added fiber (green
veggies,) then go for the Miralax. Know that it might take 2-3 days of her
having it before it kicks in (the doctors don't mention this). Of course, check with
your pediatrician first and also keep in mind that it might only be needed for a week, a month, etc. (until she is used to cow's milk.)
And finally, genetics play a big part. Are either of you constipated?  Or were you or your siblings constipated as kids?  That can play a role too.
Good luck, let me know what other questions you have!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the advice Christina! It's encouraging to know that other kids out there are in the same boat. I feel like I don't read a lot about this topic, but it's gotta be fairly common. Love the blog!