The stool is ejected by contractions of the bowel and suppressing the contents of the intestines to the colon. In approximately one in every 5,000 infants, the lower parts of the large intestine, including the colon, have no nerves to control the contractions, and since these parts do not function normally, they are narrow and rigid and allow passage of only a small amount of excretions.
The child has a strong constipation. Apart from the fact that the stools are irregular and hard, a mother or a doctor will notice that the baby’s stomach is swollen and tense.
In some cases vomiting begins several hours after birth. The vomit is green and may eventually contain blood (see intestinal atresia and stenosis article).
Diagnosis is confirmed by X-ray and a biopsy of the large intestine.
What to do?
If the newborn has fewer stools than usual, and especially if it starts to vomit, contact your doctor immediately.
With a surgical procedure, a diseased part of the intestine is removed, and the normal parts are stitched with each other. Surgical treatment is very successful, and long-term prospects are good.