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What causes constipation in a newborn baby?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Constipation happens when the muscles at the end of the large intestine tighten, preventing the stool from passing. That slower passage allows more water to be drawn off from the stool through the bowel wall into the bloodstream, making the stool harder and more compact (and thus more painful). Relatively rare in newborns, it can occur if the baby isn't breast-feeding often enough or if Mom is dehydrated. Stool that looks like rabbit pellets tells you that too much water is being drawn off.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.