Constipation is usually defined as having infrequent bowel movements that is hard or painful. Colic, gassiness, straining are all signs that there is some difficulty evacuation the bowels. Anything that is sitting in the gut for longer than it is supposed to, especially waste material, can cause irritation to the lining of the gut. Over time the irritation can allow for substances to leak through the gut triggering allergic like responses from the body. What is normally harmless then becomes a trigger for a hypersensitivity reaction such as skin concerns (eczema) or even frequent colds/illness.
Keeping this in mind, here are a few ways to maintain healthy bowel movements in kids.
Breastfeeding infants as much as possible helps deliver the necessary nutrients and can help the body not react to undigestible foods.
Encourage veggies and fruits in the diet and mix them in/puree them to incorporate them into the meat patties, if we have picky eaters to please! Fruits and veggies are high in Vitamin C and Magnesium, which are both natural laxatives!!
Hydrate! Drinking adequate amounts of fluid is crucial to having bowel movements that aren’t hard to pass.
Castor oil abdominal rubs – In the direction of the colon, applying a dime sized amount of castor oil just before bed helps the colon activate the gut movement for evacuation. Castor oil is a strong oral laxative, but for kids the gentle massage is enough to encourage healthy bowel movements.
Probiotics are a great way to get the right bacteria in the gut to help digest the foods. It is known that babies born vaginally and babies born via C-section have exposure to very different microflora. This may change the bacteria present in the gut, and affect elimination. Ensuring adequate intake in intervals of probiotics by both mom and baby, as well as kids is helpful!!
These are just a few of the ways to avoid constipation! For more information, contact the RHNC at (905) 237- 8521.
In good health,
Dr. Sharlini, ND