Constipation and Infant Massage

Constipation

Constipation and difficulty going to the toilet can be really distressing for both babies and parents. As the child becomes more aware, they can begin to hold back which compounds the problem and to see a child becoming increasingly upset because they do not want to go to the toilet is difficult. Of course there are varying degrees of constipation from the newborn baby who hasn’t been for a day or two to the toddler who had developed a real fear and is in visible distress as the time for going to the toiler nears. Of course seek medical advice but be prepared for medical intervention in the more severe cases – use in conjunction with more natural alternatives to help; cooled boiled water, warm baths, water rich and high fibre foods for the weaned baby and, you guessed it, massage! Massaging the abdomen in a clockwise direction is simple and effective. Following the direction of the colon makes perfect sense and massaging quite deep into the area (watch your baby at all times for any signs of distress) can gently and effectively move food and waste products through the digestive system. The ascending, traverse and descending colon can also be traced and stimulated through reflexes on the feet, which are in a ‘goalpost’ shape on the underside of the two feet together, ending in a reflex for the rectum just on the inside edge of the left foot. I have had a 100% success rate with stimulating this point on the smallest babies to the largest grown-ups and having a ‘result’ – usually within hours if not minutes. Often the results of gently stimulating this point were instantaneous during my group baby massage classes!

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