Online ISSN: 2515-8260

Keywords : Pseudo constipation

Pseudo constipation: Prevalence and impact on exclusive breastfeeding practice in 0-6 months infants

Salma Shaziya, Divyarani DC, Sowmya D, Pradeep Senapathi, Purushotham DR

European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2022, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 410-417

Objective: Knowledge of pseudo constipation behaviour in exclusively breastfed infant’s 0-6-month age
is sparse. This benign temporary condition creates anxiety among parents and health care providers so as
infants are put to diagnostic tests and treatments not required. Mothers self-introduce early add on feeds
as of anxiety which may hinder the optimal infant feeding. The study aimed to:
1. To determine prevalence of pseudo constipation or infrequent stools in 0-6 months healthy
breastfeeding infants.
2. To draw correlation of pseudo constipation and its impact on exclusive breastfeeding.
Methods: 100 mothers fitting into inclusion criteria were put to a set of questionnaire. Babies born with
normal birth weight, passed meconium within 48 hours and predominantly breastfed, having satisfactory
weight gain and no illness history in past 6 months were included. Babies with functional constipation,
infant dyschezia, history suggesting of organic causes of constipation, failure to thrive, congenital
anomalies or associated illness were excluded.
Results: The prevalence of pseudo constipation in 0-6months predominantly breastfed infants was 42%.
All these infants had mean peak time duration of defecation ≥2days and mean duration the symptom
lasted in weeks was 5.43 weeks (SD-4.52, median-5). All infants had reduction in frequency of stools in
second month of life (median-45 days). Among the infants who had pseudo constipation behaviour
64.3% of mothers had started early complimentary feeds <6month age. The comparison between the
cases and control group showed to be highly significant with χ 2 =21.23, df =1, p <0.001.
Conclusion: Prevalence of pseudo obstruction behavior in exclusive breastfed infants is as high as 42%.
Nearly 64.3% of mothers intervened this by adding complimentary feeds early <6-month age. We would
like stress that knowledge of this temporary condition requiring no interventions would be a great benefit
for pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, nurses and parents.