My Symptoms

Constipated baby: the advice of the specialist doctor

Interview with Dr. Georges Picherot, medical specialist, head of the pediatric department, Nantes University Hospital.

What advice could you give to worried parents?

First, do not panic. And most importantly, avoid aggressive gestures such as enemas or all anal manipulations. There are many reasons for this advice. As you know, the anal area is very fragile, especially for very small children.

Enemas, suppositories can cause irritation of the anus. They can also cause an anal fissure, very painful for the child and which can, in turn, induce constipation. This is understandable. The child has difficulty with defecation and he restrains himself.

The anal area is also a fragile area on a psychological level. It is therefore not recommended, especially to the mother, to have repeated actions at this place. Especially since accustoming your child to enemas or suppositories can lead to a Pavlovian reflex. The child will associate the gesture with the defecation and, if it returns too often, it will be able to defecate only after having undergone the gesture in question, enema or suppository.

And at the purely physiological level, enemas can induce electrolytic disorders. It must always be exceptional gestures, for short periods and always on medical advice.

It is therefore not recommended that the mother, anxious by the constipation of her baby, do more gestures in this region.
In the case where the doctor still prescribes enemas or suppositories, it is advisable to let a medical staff take charge of the action.

What role can parents play during constipation of their child?

Again, do not panic. They say there are constipated families, that may be true. We do not know anything about it. What is true is that there are families particularly worried about their transit. Where the subject is a real daily concern. A source of concern These parents will tend to watch with too much anxiety, the stool of their baby. The child can feel it and become stressed in turn.

It must be known that diseases related to constipation are very rare. An episode of constipation in a baby is most often commonplace, as in adults. We must therefore play down these episodes. And do not be afraid to consult your doctor when the anxiety is too great. In most cases, he will give the necessary dietary advice and will reassure the parents.

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