There may be times when breastfeeding is challenging. Never ignore any issues you may have – talk to your health visitor, midwife, GP or breastfeeding specialist as soon as possible, they will be able to help you sort it out quickly.
Here are some common breastfeeding issues, and tips on what to do.
Constipation makes it more difficult for your baby to have a poo. It's often caused by their diet and is easy to treat from home.
The symptoms of constipation in your baby can include:
Other signs of constipation can include your baby lacking energy and being a bit grizzly.
There's no 'normal' when it comes to how often babies poo – breastfed babies will sometimes go several days, or even a week without having a poo (this is more common in babies aged 6 weeks or older). You'll quickly get used to your baby's bowel movements, so you'll be able to tell what's normal for them.
Change in diet: It's quite common for your baby to become constipated when they start taking first infant formula (which is harder to digest than breast milk), or eating processed foods. That's just because their body is learning how to cope with digesting new things.
Dehydration: Constipation can be caused by a lack of fluids. There are various reasons why your baby may not be getting enough fluids – they may be teething and finding it uncomfortable, it could be down to illness (a cold, a throat or ear infection, etc), or if they are older, not drinking enough fluids with their food. Lack of fluids can make your baby's poo harder and more difficult to push out.
Lack of fibre: In older babies, it can also be caused by not getting enough fibre, (such as fruit, vegetables and cereals) in their diet.
If your baby's constipation is caused by a lack of fibre or dehydration, then it should be fairly straightforward to relieve. Here are some tips on helping relieve constipation at home:
It may take a few days to get things moving again, but if things don't improve, speak to your health visitor or doctor. Your doctor may prescribe a laxative, or want to double check that it's not being caused by any underlying medical conditions.