What The Poop Is Going On? My baby can't sleep



Baby Can't Sleep! If their cute butts aren't pooping during the day they might have trouble falling and staying asleep at night.

Skipping One Day Without A Number Two

Children and babies can't sleep for many reasons. They might be teething, fussy, "high needs", have bad dreams, anxious OR maybe they aren't pooping enough. Close your eyes for a moment and think back to a time when you were constipated. Do you recall how your abdomen felt bloated and full, maybe even painful? Do you remember how gassy and irritated you felt? Maybe you had a rough time sleeping too.

Chinese medicine has a very different medical opinion and treatment approach to baby and child constipation. In our opinion, chronic constipation is not normal. If food goes in, waste should come out on the same day. Here is a common scenario we have both experienced ourselves as new parents and from some of our clients:

We told our pediatrician that our child is stopped up and the doctor said that there is nothing wrong with that. The doctor told us that skipping a day or two or even three without a bowel movement is normal and nothing to worry about. The doctor also mentioned if we were worried or the constipation lasts more than three days at a time then we could get a prescription for Miralax.

Miralax Is Not FDA Approved For Pediatric Use

Your baby can't sleep. You can't sleep. Losing ZZZ's is painful for everyone! Before you knew acupuncture and Chinese medicine was an option, you didn't want to give your kid a drug to make them go but you weren't sure what else to do! We totally get it and have had many sleepless nights as parents. Here is some important information about a drug that is commonly prescribed off-label for kids.

Covered by the New York Times back in 2012, babies, infants, toddlers and young children are not "small adults" and should not be dosed as such. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Miralax, a.k.a. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) 3350, is a laxative that the Drug Safety Oversight Board has some issues with and the following is listed on the fda.gov website:

Some of the issues highlighted by the Board are:

  1. PEG is a long-chain polymer of ethylene oxide commercially available in molecular weights of 300 g/mole to 10,000,000 g/mole. Many products contain an average molecular weight of 3350 g/mole and thus are given the name PEG-3350. PEG-3350 products exist in a stable powder form. Approved products instruct patients to dissolve the PEG-3350 powder in a liquid and use immediately. The approved products have been tested under these conditions and are stable. It is unknown if prolonged duration in solution would change the chemical properties of PEG-3350, and what the actual content of ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol or other low molecular weight PEG would be under such conditions.

  2. PEG products that are available over-the-counter can be used without medical oversight.

  3. There is a perception that PEG is safe because it is minimally absorbed from the stomach and intestines. However, little is known about whether absorption in children differs from adults, especially in children who are constipated, have underlying intestinal disease, or are very young.

  4. Children are receiving adult doses of PEG in some cases.

  5. Children may be more susceptible to variations in PEG product quality.

  6. Effects of large doses of PEG given over a long duration (e.g weeks or longer) is not known.

How can TCM & Acupuncture help?

Chinese medicine seeks to heal the root cause of disharmony in the body so remedies are rarely used to only treat symptoms. We help flush out the excess by supporting the body and re-educating the body about how it should be processing and eliminating waste. In Chinese medicine the spleen qi is responsible for the transformation and transportation of food.  Babies are not born with completely formed spleen qi. It forms as the baby grows. If it does not form well enough as they grow into a child they can have constipation (or diarrhea). The liver and large intestine qi is needed to move the waste out and there must be enough fluids in the body for softer stool.

Garden Acupuncture's approach is to help flush out the excess by supporting the body and re-educating the body about how it should be processing and eliminating waste.

A Chinese medical practitioner will assess what organ systems are out of balance and then treat those organ systems with acupuncture or needle-free acupuncture techniques, pediatric medical massage, food therapy and gentle herbs. Usually, after just one to two treatments, babies & children will have a full bowel movement.  The  bowels will tend to re-regulate after a course of about 8 treatments. For older kids, we usually recommend two courses of treatment to completely clear up the problem. When the bowels regulate, sleep tends to regulate, which means that you and your child can finally get a good night’s sleep! Ahhh, sweet relief!



Learn More About Garden Acupuncture’s Pediatric Treatments. Click Here.

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