I was talking the other day to a friend of mine whose child suffers from constipation. A few days later, another mom approached me about the same subject. Occasional constipation is very common in children, so I thought that a post about it would be useful to some of you as you might find some ideas that you could apply at home and help your child go to the bathroom regularly.
Constipation is usually characterized by rare bowel movements (less than three bowel movements a week) or hard, lumpy, and dry stools. Constipation is not an easy thing to live with for the child and it is definitely not an easy thing for their parents either.
Did you ever wonder: “What if my child does not have a bowel movement every day? Is that a problem? Can other health problems be triggered?” The answer is yes. Daily bowel movements are important and there is a problem if they are missing. Ideally your child (and you too) should have a bowel movement once or twice a day.
Unfortunately, constipation can have long-lasting damaging effects on your child’s body and health. Some of these effects are:
1. Delayed potty training.
2. Pain when having a bowel movement. This may make the child delay going to the bathroom to poop next time as they might associate poop with pain and not want to go to the bathroom.
3. Abdominal cramps and pains.
4. Development of hemorrhoids.
Here are my top 4 tips to mitigate constipation. They can help your child have at least one easy bowel movement a day.
No matter whether the children play outside or inside, they should be active for at least 45 minutes in the morning and at least 45 minutes in the afternoon. Kids need to move. Their bodies are full of energy that needs to be burned daily. Moving their body keeps them happy. Their bowels will be happy too.
We all need water so that our bodies function optimally. Children need water too. The amount of water that your child needs depends on their activity level, age, temperature of their environment, and many other factors. Chances are that if your child suffers from constipation, then they do not drink enough water. Read here and here if you would like a little help on how to help your child drink more water.
3. Fresh fruits and vegetables
Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your child’s daily meals and snacks as they contain water and fiber that help relieve constipation.
4. Fermented foods – yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, etc.
These foods should be included at least once a day in your child’s meals. Sometimes the gut is deficient in friendly bacteria and fermented foods load the gut with these useful bacteria that help the digestion and elimination processes.
Do not forget to check with your doctor to find out whether your child has an underlying pathology that makes them prone to constipation and that should be addressed first and foremost.
Does your child need help to poop every day? Do you have questions about this and would like some answers? Are you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed? We can talk about the many ways to get rid of constipation and together we can come up with a personalized plan that will help your child go to the bathroom regularly in no time. It is easier than you think. Together we can do this. Check out the “Constipation 101 – How to help your child poop” program. It could be the right program for you and your child.
Sources: www.pubmed.com www.mayoclinic.org www.emedicinehealth.com
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