Katy Pediatric Associates
Pediatricians located in Houston, TX
Constipation is extremely common, especially if your baby has just started eating solid foods, but that doesn’t make it easy to cope with. At Katy Pediatric Associates in Katy, Texas, pediatricians Asmaa Fotouh, MD, Hebah Aboul-Fotouh, MD, and Tabassum Imam, MD, can help determine what’s causing your child’s constipation and how to treat it. To learn more, call Katy Pediatric Associates or schedule an appointment online.
What is constipation?
One of the most common digestive problems in the United States, constipation occurs when your body struggles to create and pass stool without pain or discomfort. Your colon’s primary role is to absorb water from the food you eat as it moves through your digestive system. The muscles near the colon ultimately push the leftover waste through the rectum.
If any part of this process is disrupted, the stool can remain in your colon and become difficult to pass. This leads to a number of problems, including gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and general discomfort.
While infant constipation is common, it can be concerning for new parents, as a stool is typically soft and easy to pass for babies. If your baby is showing signs of constipation, call the experts at Katy Pediatric Associates right away.
How can I tell if my child is constipated?
Knowing whether your child is constipated depends on their age. If your child is old enough to talk, they may complain of stomach pain or difficulties using the restroom. Since infants can’t tell you when they’re not feeling well, look out for these constipation symptoms:
- Hard bowel movements
- Pellet-like stool
- Excessive crying
- Back arching
- Swollen or distended abdomen
- Straining during bowel movements
If you suspect your child is constipated, keep track of their bowel movements and food intake. This can help the team determine what might be causing your child’s constipation.
What causes constipation in children?
The cause of your child’s constipation depends on their age. Some of the most common constipation causes in children and babies include:
- Not eating enough fiber
- Refusing to use the bathroom
- Introduction to solid foods
- Changes in formula
- Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
- Certain medications
- Life changes (traveling, starting school, etc.)
Talk to the pediatric team at Katy Pediatric Associates right away if your baby has blood in their stool, or they seem more irritable than usual.
How is constipation treated?
If your child or infant is constipated, the team may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Is your baby already eating solid foods? If so, then your pediatrician may recommend adding fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to their diet. However, if your baby isn’t old enough to eat jar baby food, they may find relief in fruit juices, particularly prune juice.
In many cases, your child is constipated because they’re dehydrated. Adding more fluids to their diet, including water and fruit juices, can help soften hard stool.
Do not try laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas unless instructed to do so by your pediatrician. While these medications can help treat constipation, they’re only recommended in severe cases.
Constipation is frustrating for babies, children, and adults. If your child is toilet training while constipated, stop and resume training once they’re no longer feeling uncomfortable.
For more information on constipation in infants and children, call Katy Pediatric Associates or schedule an appointment online.
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