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Old 07-03-2004, 07:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 326
happymom2b HB User
Question Newborn with painful gas/constipation.. need advice

Hi all, my son is five and a half weeks old and he really seems to have a hard time passing gas via the bum. He cries a LOT when trying to do it and you can hear little toots as he is straining. Then, when he does poop, it is tacky instead of loose and soft. Then a few days will go by and he is fine, then right back at it again. He just screams and screams when this happens. Ovol does not work, (same thing as that anti-gas medicine you guys have that starts with the letter "M") Gripe water does not soothe him either. Is there anything I can do or give him to help him through these painful times??? Thanks!!
Ethan James born May 26th, 2004 at 3:55 p.m. weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces.

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Old 07-03-2004, 07:54 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 53
usedtobefrosty HB User
Re: Newborn with painful gas/constipation.. need advice

First, is he breastfed or formula fed? For a breastfed baby I would go and see his pediatritan, and in the meantime cut all of the gassy foods in your diet. I had something similar happen with my daughter, only she was projectile vomiting as well. It took the docs about 4 months to figure out what the problem was. The valve in her stomach leading to her intestines wasn't working properly. The milk would sit in her stomach for about 4 hours (normal time is 30 mins) before it would move on the her intestines. So the milk would start to digest in her stomach, which can be very bad. It makes more stomach acid, and some things, like milk, will start to ferment(causing gas). They put her on a low-dose medication and after a year she outgrew it.

If he's on formula you could first try putting a tablespoon of prune juice in his bottle twice a day. He will barely notice the taste, and even if he does he'll get used to it quickly. That should solve the constipation, and possibly the gas as well.

Also try keeping him semi-upright (put a flat pillow under his shoulders and head so it's more of a slope, or put him in a front carrier if you have one) for 30 mins after he feeds.

Good luck!
Steph, mum of Emma- March 14, 2003

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Old 07-03-2004, 08:04 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 326
happymom2b HB User
Re: Newborn with painful gas/constipation.. need advice

Thank ou for the advice. Ethan is bottle fed. Is it safe to put prune juice in his bottle when he is only 5 weeks old? Can his stomach handle the digestion?
Ethan James born May 26th, 2004 at 3:55 p.m. weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces.

Old 07-09-2004, 05:02 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
wendyk33 HB Userwendyk33 HB User
Re: Newborn with painful gas/constipation.. need advice

Hi there. I Thought I would answer your question because I had a similiar thing happen with my baby. He would cry ALOT too. He has a disease called hirschsprungs disease which is a rare disease of the bowels. It usually shows up at birth with the failure to pass the first bowel movement. Did your son pass his meconium without problem? I don't want you to think your son has this because it is rare but if things don't improve with treatment offered by the dr you may want to ask about this. My last baby was very constipated too but he didn't have hirschsprungs disease, which was a worry for us. Take care and good luck getting him to go.


Old 07-09-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 560
MandyAnne26 HB User
Re: Newborn with painful gas/constipation.. need advice

Few suggestions, is he on a soy formula? unless he is alergic to regular formlua than he shouldn't be on soy. Is his formula iron fortified....most healthy full term babies do not need the extra iron unltill 3-4 months....which is when cereal is introduced, so unless your baby needs the extra iron than i would try switching to a regular formula. Both of these types are known to cause constipation in infants. If neither of these things apply you can massage his tummy...which you can do anyways.

Put a bit of baby oil or baby lotion on his tummy and rub it clockwise with your whole hand just to warm his tummy up.
Then with your fingertips (lightly) start massaging in a downward motion starting on his lower left side moving up towards the top of his tummy, always keeping the pushing moving downwards (i find it's easiest to push down and lightly drag my figers up).
After you've done that a few times start at his upper left tummy (where you ended up after the left side) and do the same thing except keeping the pressure towards the left side but moving your hands towards his right side.
After doing that a few times start at where you finished off on the top right hand side and use an upword motion moving your hands down towards his right lower tummy. Rub his tummy in a circular motion as you started off with to finish.
You can do this a few times a day when he's in a quiet mood,always always keep the motion in a clockwise motion, this is the natural direction that digestion takes so if you do it the other way (counter clockwise) than you could actualy cause constipation. If my instructions don't make much sense to you look into infant massage classes where someone will show you how to do it. This is also called the I L U massage (I Love U) Just because of the letters you are forming when massaging, start with the I, then an upside down L then an upside down U. YOu can try doing a search for it to see what shows up.
It is not normal for a baby of that age to be constipated so if it doesn't improve you may want to give the doctor a call to see what you can do to help him out. Sometimes it's just a case of the muscles aren't strong yet. I know with all of my kids they grunted and made lots of noise when passing gas or stool. It should be fairly runny though, not thick and sticky.

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