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Infrequent bowel movement, painful, regular breastfeeding and urination. Reason?

my 6 weeks old baby been having very difficult times to pass stools .he has very infrequent bowel movement and has to force hard with loud noises suggesting pain just to release wind and pass stools. i breastfeed him and he feed on very regularly, pee regularly but pass stools very infrequent.last time he didnot do so for 5 days n now it has been 2 days and still no sign of him.what is wrong with him?
Asked On : Wed, 18 Apr 2012
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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases 's  Response
Welcome to Healthcare magic forum.
The number of bowel movements a young baby has varies considerably and what is 'normal' may range from a bowel movement several times a day to as little as once a week.
In rare cases, there can be up to three weeks between bowel movements.
A young baby should only be given a laxative if he is bothered by the long intervals between bowel movements or appears to have difficulty or pain passing stools.
Though a breastfed baby very rarely get constipation because breast milk is more easily digested, it is not impossible.The usual causes are dehydration, any food allergies or a developmental anomaly however it can be seen in absolutely normal healthy infants for the first 3_5 months of life.
Once constipation occurs, it can start a vicious cycle.
When a baby first becomes constipated, it can be persistent.
This is because your baby may find it painful to pass the large hard stools that have gathered in the intestine. Cracks around the anus may appear. These may start to bleed and cause more pain.
To avoid the pain, your baby may subconsciously start holding back stools, which makes the food stay longer in the large intestine.
As a result, your baby's body will absorb more water from the stools and make the stools even harder. This can cause your baby to remain constipated.
In your baby , I would advise you first get him evaluated by his pediatrician to rule out any significant cause of the constipation.If he has some functional constipation but his apetite, weight gain and development remain appropriate then there is no need to worry and he will soon outgrow it.
Meanwhile you should ensure frequent on demand breastfeeding, adequate sleep and activity time for your baby to prevent constipation and colic.
Your doctor might precribe anti colic and digestive drops to help him have regular bowel movements.
Hope this information is helpful to you.
Wishing your child good health.

Answered: Wed, 18 Apr 2012
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