Becoming a mother is a wonderful experience, one that opens the door to a multitude of new experiences. Just like birth education classes before the big day, it is helpful to have information about common issues before they arise.
One problem any mother is sure to face is diarrhea. Trying to find resources about it wouldn’t be that difficult if we could only remember how to spell it. Not to worry, here you will learn all the basic information you will need to successfully treat your average case of diarrhea. This article is part of a series of informative articles about lessons that can benefit every mother.
Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery stool. Newborn babies, especially those that are breastfed, naturally have watery stool so this condition is not a problem if the baby’s elimination habits have not changed significantly. When a child is having watery bowel movements several times a day, much more frequently than usual, it is likely diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be caused by a virus or other health issue or it could be as simple as an adverse reaction to something he ate or drank. It could even be brought on by stress. While these instructions will help you to treat diarrhea at home, if your child has diarrhea with or without vomiting for three days or more, you need to be in touch with your healthcare provider. In addition, if your child shows signs of dehydration you should seek medical care immediately. The common signs include sunken eyes or facial features or if when you pinch some loose skin on his arm, it takes time to go back to normal when you release it.
The first thing you should do is start keeping track of what’s happening. Keep track of the time and condition of the child’s elimination habits as well as any food or drink he has, including the quantity and time. If the diarrhea is brought on by illness, he may also have a fever, which should be documented as well. Sometimes you can isolate the cause by identifying food or drink items that are ingested shortly before an instance of diarrhea. It is important to note that this could also be caused by foods or drinks ingested by a breastfeeding mother. If the child is also vomiting or has other health-related symptoms, it is most likely due to a virus or bacterial infection. In this case, it would be best to get in touch with your healthcare provider during regular hours.
The reason we need to keep close track of the ins and outs of children with diarrhea is because an excessive loss of fluids could result in dehydration which could lead to hospitalization. The best way to avoid this situation is to encourage the child to take in fluids, but not just any fluids, it needs to be the right fluids. You want to encourage drinks like: breast milk or formula, soy milk, water, orange juice and Pedialyte. These are drinks that have some substance to them and do not contain elements that promote further elimination. Drinks to avoid, for both the child and a breastfeeding mom, are: clear juices such as apple, pear, grape juice, boiled skim milk, Kool Aid, coffee, soda, herbal teas and any other sugary drinks.
While hydration is the first concern, we also want to help our children get back to a normal diet. In addition to controlling the fluids, we also need to be careful about which foods we offer. The foods that will help eliminate diarrhea include starchy foods such as rice cereal, oatmeal, bread, pasta, pretzels, crackers, mashed potatoes, apples and applesauce, bananas, white rice, carrots and squash. Unlike during normal conditions it is best to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables and beans.
This information was compiled from trusted resources and is considered effective for most cases. It is advisable for you to discuss this topic with your healthcare provider to get more detailed information that applies to your situation. The most important thing you can do to prevent diarrhea is to wash your hands frequently and instill this habit in your children as well, particularly before and after meals and after using the restroom.