There could be many reasons for a newborn baby having an intestinal obstruction – it could be the failure to pass meconium, a malformation of the intestine walls, or a condition called atresia, where the small intestine is separated into sections.
Older babies could have intestinal obstruction due to inflammation in the intestines, inguinal hernia, of the blockage due to the swallowing of some object.
This can be a very serious problem for babies since it can prevent absorption of food and water into the system, leading to dehydration.
Also in some cases, the blood supply to the intestine may cease, and this could cause the section of the intestine to turn gangrenous and also lead to a dangerous condition called peritonitis.
Symptoms of intestinal obstruction could include –
- Pain and abdominal cramps
- Vomiting that could be persistent and projectile vomiting where the vomit is projected with force from the baby’s mouth, up to a foot or more from the child’s mouth
- A swollen or distended abdomen caused by a buildup of gasses
- Chronic constipation and/or diarrhea
- Bloody, hard or pellet like stools