Poo withholding - please tell me your happy endings

(38 Posts)
parched Tue 29-Jan-13 20:00:24

So I'm in tears for the umpteenth time. DS has been withholding since June last year (at which point he was two and a half). I've tried every tip ever posted on mumsnet but nothing seems to work - prune juice, blowing up balloons, blowing bubbles, swimming, treats, senokot, lactulose, loads of fruit - you name it, I've tried it.

Just before xmas things seemed to get a little better - still holding but doing a plum-size poo in his nappy most days. A few weeks ago he woke up and announced "I want to wear pants to nursery" and because withholding is all about control I went with it. Apart from the first day he's had no wee accidents, but now the poo withholding has ramped up a gear. We've told him he can poo in pull-ups but he says he doesn't want to but won't go on toilet either. The last two days he's had a meltdown at the mere suggestion of pull-ups and is now running around wimpering.

Is Movicol the answer? Please tell me how you got through this and it will end eventually (read a horror story on here earlier of a child who was still this at 13!)

Ds2 is too stubborn for rewards. He gets a jelly for sitting on the loo and a toy car if he poos on the toilet but still won't do it.... Little sod!

curlyLJ Tue 12-Feb-13 09:47:32

marking my place here as I'm close to the end of my tether with 2.11yr old DD. She has been ptty trained since 2.4 but has always had poo issues (varying degrees from month to month). She has always held it in for a while and we had a trip to the GP back in Oct/Nov time who didn't prescribe anything just advised lots of water, fruit etc. Soon after, we got to the point that she would happily sit on the potty in front of the TV and would often do huge poos! so i thought we were making progress...

Anyway, at Xmas DD was poorly and then we went away for new year. She had a poo when we first got there which was the first one in about 5-6 days (which i put down to all the calpol/nurofen she'd had and that she hadn't eaten that much) and then because we were unable to take her potty with us, she proceeded to hold in any further poo until we were back in the UK shock 7 days later. She has been withholding ever since and it's driving me mad. She keeps asking for a pull-up to poo in (which i don't mind as i would rather she go) but even then she is still only producing a 'plum' size poo each day and her belly looks bigger than it should (although not really hard or anything).

I have been giving her some lactulose which I bought over the counter in the chemist, which has made the poo softer but isn't increasing the amount she is producing iyswim? I feel that she needs a really good clear out, but don't know whether to try the GP again or not. She is happy in herself and is eating and full of energy so I don't think it's affecting her too badly - it's me who is stressing!

TheNoodlesIncident Tue 12-Feb-13 19:44:41

You all have my sympathy, it's so stressful. sad

Parched, YY to shouting & crying and crying in front of staff, etc. You are not alone!

DS is still on liquid Movicol on a daily basis, but he seems to have realised that if he doesn't poo on the toilet he really doesn't get the treats he looked forward to, like swimming and soft play. If he poos he always gets an ice-cream afterwards. He still has his activity books, but now we are saying, "We will play one game with you. If you do a poo, we will play another game in your room."

It seems to be working so far. I wouldn't like to say we're out of the woods, but I think we are getting there.

curly, if it was me I would go back to the GP and demand request Movicol. The longer it goes on the harder it will get to resolve. Lactulose is good but it looks like your DD is withholding to the degree that needs something stronger.

curlyLJ Thu 14-Feb-13 12:45:23

Thanks noodles - I was a bit unsure whether I should bother with the GP or not. They said last time that as long as she was eating OK, happy, not lethargic, and not in pain, then I should just let nature take it's course...
I don't want to put her through having to have Movicol (or any other drugs for that matter) unecessarily. She is producing 'something' each day now - although not a lot I hasten to add confused

Vivienne52 Fri 15-Feb-13 15:24:45

Firstly let me sympathise - IT IS SO STRESSFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My dd has withheld poo (and I swear to god) since she was a newborn. She is now on a sachet of movicol a day but my god we have been to hell and back. I highly recommend you get on the movicol. Ans try to stop talking about poo. I know it is hard but DON'T TALK ABOUT POO! At some points I have almost sat on my 3 year old to get her to sit on the potty. We have gone for DAYS without poos, screaming, crying, unable to leave the house incase she has a MASSIVE poo explosion, jesus it is a nightmare. Things are SO much better now. We have gone from 3 sachets of mov down to 1 now and she is in a good routine of pooing but it has been hard work. I HIGHLY recommend this book
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=constipation%20witholding%20and%20your%20child
All the very best. Things WILL get better.xxxx

Sunnymeg Fri 15-Feb-13 16:23:32

When my DS was withholding, I found www.eric.org.uk a helpful site.

Jellybellyrbest Sun 17-Feb-13 07:36:05

Hi there....not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I need some advice on how to get Movicol into my 10MO. She's had problems pooing really since weaning on & off. Got quite bad 2/52 ago and lactulose wasn't helping so GP gave her Glycerin suppositories & Movicol. CANNOT get the Movicol in, though. Any tips? Really don't want her to start withholding. She sometimes cries when she's straining & am afraid witholding will be next. Her diet's good, BTW.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Mon 18-Feb-13 20:37:16

We make up the Movicol according to the instructions (mix with water 63ml?) the add milk and chocolate Nesquik...so like a chocolate milkshake.

One really important thing to do is insist they sit on the loo for up to 10mins, after breakfast, lunch and tea. This gets them into a routine, even if they don't go. Feet on a flat surface (stool) and sitting leaning slightly forward.

DS is now 5 and we are under prof candy who is good. An xray was really useful and really helped us all to understand far more.

Jellybellyrbest Mon 18-Feb-13 22:59:00

Thk you Peach! Managed to get her to drink a whole sachet today in an Innocent Smoothie (Mango), after mixing initially with 63ml water. Result; first soft poo in days!! (Had success last week, but went backwards again Thur/Fri Sat/Sun). She's 10 months so wont be sitting on the loo for a while.

parched Tue 19-Feb-13 15:04:16

Thought I'd post an update: they day after my last post, DH had to collect DS from nursery as he was so upset and in pain. It was day 5 of Movicol with no result, so DH sat him on the toilet and explained that his tummy was full of poo and that's why it hurt; the only way to stop it hurting was to push out the poo but he would stay with him and hold his hand. Eventually, he did one (though was very upset) to much jubilation, cheers and treats. The next couple of days he did lots of poos, but they started to get runny, so I dropped the dose down to two sachets.

First day back at nursery after the previous week's trauma and he did 4 poos in his pants and also a couple of wees. We were despondent that we were going backwards but I tried to keep some perspective and thought I'd rather have poos in pants than no poos at all. The next day we had a couple of poos in pants and a couple on the toilet and the next day, two poos in toilet and no dirty or wet pants.

His poos later in the day were getting a bit runny, so he now has one sachet in the morning and one in the evening and we seem to have reached a good level, with a couple of poos a day of good size and consistency and - most importantly - no fuss smile.

It's not been a magic fix in that he's still trying to hold in poo, or at least put off going to the toilet, but with some gentle reminders he does go and sit on the toilet and happily tell me a poo is coming. So far the doctor is only prescribing 30 sachets a time, so I'm having to go back every fortnight. If he thinks this'll be fixed in a couple of weeks, he's much mistaken! Hopefully he'll soon get sick of me and give me a bigger prescription. It's made such a difference, I'm determined not to be fobbed off.

Anyway, wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted with advice, and for anyone else going through this, don't be scared off by some of the horror stories about Movicol. Give it a try as it really can make all the difference.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Tue 19-Feb-13 22:03:36

parched be really careful about this: "The next couple of days he did lots of poos, but they started to get runny, so I dropped the dose down to two sachets".
This is just what you should NOT do. You need a few DAYS of runny poo to be sure they are really cleared out, otherwise you go back to leaky poo in the pants again which is really impacted poo leaking out around the impaction. I know its grim, but a week at home is often needed and expect mess. It will then gets better from there xx

^what she said

The first few days of it kicking in are grim.... My gp described it as 'the inspiration for the chocolate river in Charlie and the chocolate factory' [eww]

Once they're only producing a normal amount of poo on the higher dose you can try dropping the dose gradually until you hit the minimum dose that will keep them regular but you absolutely have to get through the floods of runny poo first.

My DS1 has been on movicol for several years now. I honestly don't know how long he will need to be on it, but it has been a lifesaver for him! Nothing else worked! I think his longest hold was 18 dayssad the GP told me that he felt my DS1 had a small fissure which meant it hurt to poo and so he began a with holding cycle! I'm not sure I entirely agree, I always felt that he behaved like he had piles and was aways told that small children don't get piles! Guess what?? DS2 has piles in spite of a very healthy diet with plenty of fruit and veg....

Either way! Go for the movicol, but if it turns to diarrhoea drop the amount, going the other way can be horrendous too! Good luck!

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