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Hirschsprung Disease

If your new baby has only rare bowel movements, his stools are hard, and his abdomen appears bloated, your pediatrician will examine him to determine whether retained stool is swelling the abdomen while the rectum is empty. This group of symptoms can indicate Hirschsprung disease, a rare condition in which the baby lacks the nerves needed for having bowel movements.

Hirschsprung disease is treated with surgery. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications, so be sure to bring early constipation that occurs just after birth or in early infancy to your pediatrician’s attention.

Last Updated
Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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