Constipation in a neonate

Patient: My 2 week old grand daughter is having trouble making a bowel movement. She strains until she can’t breathe and then she cries. Her stool is normal. She can go as long as you put something in her rectum. What could be wrong with her. I keep getting told that this normal. I do not think that it is.

Doctor: Constipation in a newborn might be considered normal but certain recommendations might help. Increasing the fluid intake might be the most important one. If your baby is breastfeeding, every 4 hours must be attempted at that age.However if your baby is taking formula, this might be the cause of the constipation and I would suggest you talk to the Neonatologist for better advice. In any case the fluid intake is the key to soften the stools and decrease the strain. I wish you the best.