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The Hidden Causes of Bed Wetting

expat life expat mums expat parenting expat parenting abroad Jun 23, 2020

Recently I hosted a really interesting Virtual Coffee Talk where I invited a friend to come and talk about her experience with her son’s bed wetting, and learning the cause was actually constipation.

While I recognise this is not the most glamorous of topics, I have been aware of a few mums over the past few months who have expressed their frustration at ongoing bed wetting. And in hindsight, I wished I had recorded the Coffee Talk to share, because hearing it live is always better than reading a summary. But I didn’t, so here’s the key notes and some really important links.

Firstly, as a parent, there is nothing more demoralising than a child who into their tweens and teens is still wetting their bed on a regular basis. Not only because of the logistics each day, but seeing your child’s confidence be slowly ebbed away, is quite literally heart breaking.

Laura knew there was a problem with her son, and she read a book about constipation and the impact it has. But subsequently dismissed it, thinking it didn’t apply to her son. More GP visits, more appointments with specialists, and no solution had been found. They also used bed wetting alarms, which worked briefly, but still didn’t solve the problem.

When Laura hit rock bottom and in tears talked to her mum, her mum mentioned a specialist in the states that she had found on line. Doctor Daum, based in New York, is a professional consultant with 45 years experience working with children in the space of toilet training. It was Dr Daum who suggested using laxatives, and quite heavy doses. Then slowly as the muscles of the bowel regained control, so too does the bladder. As soon as Laura’s son had regular bowel control, he also gained night control of his bladder too. Dr Daum has been a huge support to Laura and her family, he coached her family through the issues step by step.

Although it wasn’t quite that simple, it’s been a long journey of remembering to take the pills each day (which he continues to do) and ensuring he ‘sits’ regularly. In addition, Laura sought assistance from Lemon Tree, specialists in supporting and coaching kids who struggle to stay dry during the night. 

Laura and I are sharing her experience because we both know of so many parents who have struggled in this space. Yet, because it is such a delicate topic, we rarely talk about it and share our learnings. 

We hope that by sharing this with you today, you might be guided to ask some more specific questions of your GP or Specialist. Laura’s doctors were ‘half treating’ the constipation, which made it partially go away but didn’t fix the problem.

In addition, Laura wants you to know, constipation isn’t just about being blocked up, you can go regularly and still be constipated, with a bit of a backlog. The approach they now use, continuing with medication daily, ensures her son goes regularly and completely empties his bowel each time.

While Laura is not a doctor herself, through sheer desperation she is now very well researched in this space, and hopefully by sharing her son’s story we can save you years of anxiety and distress before you find the right solution for your child.

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