Try This Method to Manage Constipation in ChildrenThursday, 5 July 2018
As a parent, the most important priority is the health of the Little One. One of the indicators for the health of the Little One is their bowel movement habits. When the Little One experiences difficulties in defecation, parents often wonder whether this is normal, or should we suspect that the Little One has a health problem? The digestive tract of the Little One in the growth and development phase is certainly different from that of an adult. The digestive tract of children is still not as strong, which is why they often experience digestive tract problems. Constipation is a digestive tract problem commonly seen in children. Constipation refers to a difficulty to defecate regularly, completely, or at all. The indicators of constipation can be seen from a decrease in the frequency of defecation and hard feces. There are various causes for constipation, including lack of fiber and fluid intake, among others. The period of introduction to complementary food may also lead to constipation. Therefore, the provision of complementary food should be done with adequate knowledge. A change in fecal consistency into a more solid form is natural when parents begin serving complementary food to the Little One. This is due to the fact that the Little One no longer only consumes breast milk, which is easily digested and of liquid consistency. Normally, the frequency of defecation in the Little One remains the same, that is, once a day, with a toothpaste-like appearance. With an increase in age and maturation of the digestive tract of the Little One, the intestines are able to sustain food longer in the digestive tract. This will result in the feces being more solid than before. Early signs of constipation include absence of defecation for 3 days, fussiness, painful appearance when defecating, and small and round marble-like stools. If such conditions appear, parents should be cautious. What are the factors that can lead to constipation during introduction of complementary food? See the points mentioned below. Choice of food types When introducing complementary food, parents should note the type of food that causes constipation in the Little One. Generally, some children experience constipation following consumption of bananas, cereals, rice, or applesauce. If constipation occurs following the provision of these types of food, immediately stop serving these. Parents can replace the menu with avocado puree or pear juice to ensure a smooth defecation process. Dehydration During the period of introducing complementary food, the Little One should still be given breast milk as needed, and the frequency of breastfeeding does not need to be reduced. Reducing or stopping the provision of breast milk may potentially cause the Little One to experience dehydration and constipation. The WHO recommends that breast milk is given in accordance to the requirements of the Little One. This also applies for the duration of provision of complementary food. Parents can also give water after meals, which will ease the digestion process. There are instances where changing the type of food and increasing fluid intake may not be enough to manage constipation in the Little One. Consult the pediatrician if these two suggestions do not improve defecation, if there is blood in the feces, or if the Little One loses their appetite. In this case, the Little One may require laxatives to facilitate their bowel movements.