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4 week baby on ar formula for acid reflux and constipation. Alternate ways to treat constipation?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
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I just started my 4 week old son on AR formula for acid reflux and it has worked great but now he is constipated... Does that mean I have to find a different formula or is there a way to treat the constipation and continue with the current formula?
Posted Wed, 29 Aug 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
AR( anti regurgitation) formula has a thickener: cornstarch, carob bean, or rice flour. The thickening agents differ in their action; but the theory behind all is that the thicker stomach contents are harder to regurgitate and there is a reduction in the symptoms of reflux.
Generally if formula is made correctly according to manufacturer’s instructions constipation is not likely. The infant may take some time to adjust to a new feeding type and stools will differ in consistency to a fully breastfed baby. Some infants suffering from gastric reflux have a problem with gut motility and this can lead to constipation as well as reflux symptoms.
The answer to your query would be that there are various methods to deal with such constipation like switching to a different brand of AR formula, trying a lactose free formula, Home made remedies like prune juice , pears or medications like laxatives ( lactulose , miralax etc) or finally glycerine suppositories to use in severe case.
Now considering you have just started the formula and the constipation is not severe , it would be advisable to continue the same for a couple of weeks more to watch for improvement . In case the constipation worsens or there is no improvement your doctor might advise a change of brand preferably lactose free ( if required like Similac alimentum). In case there is not much constipation and his regurgitation is well controlled then the doctor might add a laxative or prescribe suppositories for occasional use.
In Most of the cases time is the best predictor and many newborns outgrow both reflux and constipation by 6 months of age or so.
So please do not worry and do get your child reevaluated if problem persists or worsens .
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries .
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 4 week baby on ar formula for acid reflux and constipation. Alternate ways to treat constipation? 1 hour later
Thank you for your response. My little man finally went poop but it was very hard and there was a little bit of blood in one of the pieces of stool. I just started this formula friday afternoon. I will continue with it but is the blood in the stool something to be concerned about?
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 6 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.
Yes the blood tinged stool is due to the hard stool difficult to pass .Its usually seen in constipated babies.It does indicate that he is significantly constipated however its still likely that his gut will get accustomed to the next few days . However if the hard pellet like stools continue to be blood tinged then it's better to try an alternative .
Sometimes just adding a little more water than recomended in 1-2 bottles per day does the trick especially if the constipation is due to the inadequate hydration . But don't overdo it because then he might get diluted feeds and his reflux might return.
So all the best and hope your little one feels better soon.
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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