The twins have dealt with constipation for most of their life. The pediatric gastroenterologist attributes it to genetics which I have to agree with because they have a very good diet. My tummy has always been, shall we say, “moody”, so it really isn’t all that unbelievable to point a finger at genetics. So what can I do about this and why can’t they just poop rainbows?
My twins have been on Miralax for a LONG time. I’m sad about how long it has been. We have tried to ween them off many times only resulting in painful constipation returning again and again for my dear sweet “babies” (now 3 1/2 year old “babies – wow!)
Having most recently tried a dairy free diet and then both dairy and gluten free diet, I was at a loss.
Constipation solutions that we have tried that may work for you but did not solve our problem:
-Prunes (Any “P” fruit in general should help get things moving)
-Plenty of fruits and vegetables in general
-Probiotics (Ask your doctor about a reliable probiotic. Many probiotics do not deliver the amount of live cultures they suggest.)
-Hydration (Dehydration is a common cause for constipation.)
-Teaching the kids to chew their food well and not swallow large chunks of food that are harder for the stomach to break down.
-Flax oil & Fish oil (mercury free)
-Eliminating commonly constipating foods like rice, cheese, apples, peanuts, and decreasing bread.
-Switching from cow milk to goat milk and then to almond milk.
Many of these things were tried in combination but Miralax was the only solution that consistently produced easy to pass stool for my kiddos. So, how do we get them off of Miralax? After meeting with a pediatric gastroenterologist for the second time (Both he and my pediatrician encouraged the use of Miralax because it is not a typical laxative that is habit forming. It doesn’t chemically stimulate the bowels, it draws water into the large intestine, preventing hard stools.) he suggested that the twins have different forms of constipation.
DS doesn’t actively hold his movements. He just has a hard time passing them. He was on VERY little (1/4 cap or less daily). Our protocol for him is as follows:
Stop Miralax. Give prunes, fiber and a yogurt (Activia was suggested) daily. I am not a fan of giving Activia due to it’s sugar content (and the alternative version is sweetened with aspartame which I don’t allow in our foods). Instead, I give the kids either a Kiefer drink and/or plain yogurt daily. Lastly, we give additional fiber. The pediatric gastroenterologist suggested Benefiber due to its odorless and flavorless nature, however we have chosen to add fiber with daily doses of flax seed powder, chia seeds, and oats. I have mixed this into applesauce, yogurt and have even baked them into cookies sweetened with Stevia. This has been working for DS and we are very pleased so far!
DD is a bit more complicated. She has become afraid of passing stool and withholds movements. As you can immagine this only results in larger harder stools, perpetuating the problem. To help her out of this vicious cycle, the pediatric gastroenterologist has us taking it step by step.
First, we increase her Miralax so that she continuously has very soft stools that she is not afraid to pass. Once she consistently has movements for 6 weeks without witholding or fighting a movement, we will then start to decrease her Miralax and start the same regimen her brother is on.
I was concerned that DD would have accidents in her underwear with an increase in Miralax because this had happened previously. I found that there were a few tiny accidents that happened while she was running to the bathroom. This did not continue more than a few times because she quickly understood that it no longer hurt to go poo and has started having 1-3 movements a day instead of holding back until she HAD to go.
I can’t tell you what a battle this has been and what a relief it is to understand how to get over this “crappy” issue!
Once I get my recipe for fiber cookies down pat I will surely share. They are too crumbly right now and I’m looking for a fix for my next batch!
Do you have a similar experience or problem with your little one? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!