How long can a baby  go without pooping?

Monday September 28 2020
health04pix
By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

What can I give my constipated two-month-old baby?  I tried inserting soap in the bum and it worked but the problem resurfaced. Mercy

Dear Mercy,
Stool in adults is mainly made from undigested food, worn-out digestive tract cells and small organisms such as bacteria and digestive juices.

Breastfeeding babies may almost completely digest and absorb the breast milk and without much to pass as stool, may take a few days or even a week or two without passing stool.

 So, if an exclusively breastfeeding baby takes a day or two without passing stool and eventually passes soft stool and is breastfeeding or playing well, this may be normal. Breastfeeding babies rarely get constipated but they may.

Using soap enema on babies may harm their health since inserting it may hurt the baby’s delicate rectum apart from the fact that soap is made up of chemicals, which can easily be absorbed into the body by the tender baby’s rectum.

If the baby is irritable, straining, has a firm belly or failing to breast feed and miserable,  they should be taken to a paediatrician who may want to check out medical conditions that may lead to constipation.

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Meanwhile, you should breast feed the baby even more because sometimes when babies are not feeding enough, they may seem to be constipated, whereas not.
Exercising the legs by pumping can be more helpful than massaging the tummy which is already sore. 

A mothers diet is more likely to lead to diarrhoea than constipation in an exclusively breastfeeding baby. 

What is the cause of my wife’s recurring UTIs?

My wife keeps getting Urinary Tract infections. Every time she tests positive, they ask me to also test but my results always come back negative. Is she cheating? –Erasmus
Dear Erasmus,
A urinary tract infection (UTI) affects the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra) and is largely caused by bacteria from the anus.
Much as it can affect anybody, women usually suffer most from UTIs.

 This is due to their female anatomy with a short urethra, which is located closer to the anus. Here, there is lots of bacteria that may easily gain access to the urethra and cause Urinary Tract Infections.

 This kind of urethra requires flushing more often before germs take a foot hold but without clean public toilets, women avoid urinating and taking fluids, hence risking infections. 

Also, women’s hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy (including blockage of urine drainage during pregnancy) may increase the likelihood of the same infections.

A UTI, much as its occurrence increases with a woman’s increased sexual activity is not considered a sexually transmitted condition and, not surprisingly, when you are checked together with your wife, you are found to be normal.

UTIs in men increase with prostate problems because of reduced urinary stream to flush germs out of the urethra when they try to invade it and cause UTIs.
When one keeps getting UTIs, she may require to improve prevention practices including taking lots of fluids, not holding urine and passing urine after sexual intercourse, among others.

Also, doctors may have to do culture and sensitivity on her urine so that more effective drugs can be given since resistance to a number of antibiotics is common. 

A clean catch urine sample where the middle urine is collected may also be necessary to reduce vaginal fluid contaminated urine, which may falsely indicate the presence of a UTI, whereas not. 

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