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Children's Health

Bowel movements

06/29/2009

Question:

My daughter is a healthy 5yr old...she has a bowel movement almost everytime she eats...she does not comlpain of a belly ache but does at least 4 bowel movements a day ...is this cause for concern

Answer:

I am happy to reassure you that having a bowel movement after most meals is absolutely normal. It reflects a normal gastrocolonic reflex. When food enters our mouths and we swallow it, rhythmic movements are triggered in the esophagus or food tube, the stomach, the small and large intestines. This moves stool along from the large intestine into the rectum and triggers the urge to have a bowel movement. Happily your daughter experiences no discomfort with bowel movements that often contributes to constipation from holding stool in. I hope this is helpful information!

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University