Parents pay particular attention to their infant's stooling. When they have concerns about the frequency, consistency, or color, they often don’t hesitate to consult you.
Parents may become concerned after having noticed a delay in defecation, or they may become concerned when they see their infant working hard to pass stool.
According to the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) guidelines, most cases of stooling concerns are functional and are not caused by underlying medical issues. The guidelines define true constipation as1:
Of course, parents often consult a physician before 2 weeks have passed, and infants often strain when passing stool because their abdominal muscles aren’t yet fully developed.
When true constipation is present, however, NASPGHAN guidelines caution that evaluation of infants should follow these steps1:
* Fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, failure to thrive, anal stenosis, tight empty rectum, impaction, distension
When parents have concerns about stool color and consistency, it can be helpful to have a visual tool to help them understand what normal stool might look like.
For your convenience, you can download and review the Parents Guide to Stool with them.
Help transform parental concern into a positive conversation about comfortable stooling.
Download the Stool Parent Educator or ask your Mead Johnson sales representatvis for copies.
Reference: 1. Constipation Guideline Committee of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006;43:e1-e13.