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Management of Infantile Constipation

Constipation can be defined as ‘difficult or rare defecation lasting for at least 2 weeks. Hard stools are often seen with change from breastmilk to infant formula to solids.1

9.2% of formula-fed infants ˂ 4 months old experience harder stools and between 0.7% - 29.6% of infants worldwide experience constipation.1,2

Symptoms of constipation include:1

  • Painful defecation
  • Abdominal pain / distension
  • Failure to thrive
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • No meconium ˂ 24 hours
  • Intermittent diarrhoea

maps 04

Fig. 3. Management of infant constipation.

PEG: polyethylene glycol; pHF: Partially hydrolysed formula; eHF:: Extensively hydrolysed formula; CMPA: cow's milk protein allergy; suppo: suppository; Ped GI: pediatric gastroenterologist.