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Constipated Child? Here's a Natural and Healthy Way To Help.

Have you heard of the "I Love You" Stroke? I'm Bri- a Certified Educator of Infant Massage and I'm going to teach YOU how to help your constipated child in a healthy and natural way. (and p.s. this method works for ANY human at any age).

      How Often Should My Baby Poop?:

      You may have already noticed that newborns are pooping machines! The amount of wet and poopy diapers your newborn has is one important piece of the puzzle when determining if she's getting enough to eat at the breast. I have helped hundreds of parents along on their breastfeeding journey, and knowing what to expect with wet and poopy diapers is so helpful. So here it is:

      • 1 day old: 1 wet, 1 poopy in 24 hours
      • 2 days old: 2 wets, 2 poopy diapers in 24 hours. 
      • 3 days old: 3 wets, 3 poopy diapers in 24 hours. 
      • 4 days to 6 weeks old: 6+ wets, 3-4+ poopy diapers in 24 hours. 

      Is My Little One Constipated?:

      After 6 weeks, poopy diapers can become more irregular and not happen daily. This is not a problem unless you are also seeing some of these other issues:

      • Trouble, or straining, when trying to have a bowel movement. 
      • Painful cramps. 
      • Swollen belly of gas. 
      • Harden stool that looks like pebbles or that is wide and smushy. 

      Natural Methods Are Best:

      While laxatives, enemas, and suppositories may be an option for some, many parents don't love the harsh side effects that these bring (and please always check with your healthcare provider before trying such methods!). Certain juices and foods can also help with constipation but may not be an option if your little one is under 6 months old, or has not started solids yet. The beautiful thing about massage is that it's natural and safe to do on babies of ANY age. You can even complete these exact strokes on yourself! Any human has the same basic anatomy that the "I Love You" strokes naturally follow. #familylifehack

      Imagine the Poop Pathway:

      I want you to lay your little one in front of you, with her legs towards your body. Imagine how her little GI tract would look inside of her body. Her large intestine is the last part that her stool moves through before she poops it out and it's not comfortable when it's backed up! It starts on the bottom left corner of her stomach as you look at her (bottom right for her), then it goes up towards her ribs, over to your right-hand side (your baby's top left side of her stomach) and then it goes down and out! This poop pathway may seem weird to talk about but if you understand basic anatomy then the direction of massage quickly makes sense. 

      Clockwise Motion Massage:

      Now that you understand how your little one moves poop OUT of her body, an easy rule of thumb is to always massage bellies in a clockwise motion. That way we are naturally helping that poop to come out, and not further back things up (yikes!). The "I Love You" stroke is great because it not only follows a clockwise pattern but it is also is easy to remember. You can make this stroke fun and interactive as you do it. The easiest way for me to explain this stroke is to SHOW you. So here you go:

      Would you like to learn more? This is just ONE stroke of many that I teach in my Infant Massage with Bri Online Course. It will empower you to help your little one relax and bond while experiencing the benefits of full body massage. Your little one will be in massage heaven! (Even my school-aged kids begged to be massaged every night!).