Constipation in infants and children.

OptiStart Chiropractic
August 6, 2018

Constipation is defined as a relative decrease in comfort of bowel motions, frequency of bowel motions, and poor stool consistency.

In babies, the importance may lie in the EASE of bowel motion rather than the FREQUENCY of bowel motion. For example, a baby may be considered constipated even if they have a REGULAR bowel motion, but each motion consists of lots of STRAINING.

Also, the BEHAVIOUR of a baby in relation to bowel motions may be telling. For example -  a baby that is unsettled leading up to a bowel motion, then settles and is very happy, and has a gradual build-up of unsettled behaviour up to the next bowel motion - this cycle is an indicator of less than ideal bowel function.

These principles can also be applied to the older child, who may express moodiness, or grumpiness as part of the picture.

There are three main types of management we implement in our practice. The first is pure Chiropractic management only. It is not uncommon for pure Chiropractic management (i.e. Subluxation assessment and correction), to be the ONLY management required for constipation.

In infants or children where there are multiple causes for the problem, specific advice in additional to the pure Chiropractic management is implemented. This may include advice about diet, supplements, breastfeeding, formula choice, or referral. Lorraine Pratley (Casey Natural Healthcare) is a great resource for advanced advice in this area and co-management is a useful tool.

The third type is management is referral for further testing or medical evaluation. This isn’t required very often as we are usually able to address most issues fully with the first two options, however it is important to be aware our chiropractors are trained to recognize when referral for further testing, or other management, is required.

Whatever specific management is implemented, the goal of management is to establish normal bowel function in the infant or child.