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This one is about: Post-Surgical Constipation in Babies

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by Amy Beth Hilton

Regarding constipation after surgery, it is a combination of narcotics (codeine, morphine, demerol, and the like -- Tylenol or Motrin alone do not have that effect) and dehydration. This is one situation where a breast-milk fed baby could get constipated. Prune juice, apple juice, or any sugary fluid will draw water into the bowel, softening the stool and encouraging movement along the GI tract. DO NOT GIVE A BABY MINERAL OIL BY MOUTH!  If it is sucked into the lungs by a struggling baby it can cause a serious inflammation of the lungs, and in the GI tract it absorbs fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E). Glycerin sticks are okay for using once or twice in this kind of situation. I firmly believe (based on medical scientific evidence) that one should rarely if ever need any artificial intervention for constipation. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet should be adequate, perhaps using prune juice to get "started" again if one has not been eating enough fruits & veggies and drinking enough fluid. Laxatives, enemas, and suppositories used more than rarely train the bowel to rely on outside help. In children chronic constipation (defined as hard BM's which are difficult to pass, _not_ just infrequent BM's) can be a sign of an anatomical problem where parts of the bowel do not have the nerves that promote movement through that section, and so the child's pediatrician should be aware of the problem.

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