Baby strains and cries to pass stool but it comes out soft or not at all. Functional gastrointestinal disorder thought to occur in 0.9 – 5% of infants under 6 months (Rome IV criteria).
Due to poor co-ordination of pelvic floor muscles with increased intra-abdominal pressure generated during stooling. Seen in babies up to 9 months.
Studies have reported symptoms of discomfort around passing normal stool in up to 18% of babies, not all of these children will strictly meet the diagnostic criteria for dyschezia.
Differentiating from true constipation etc requires a clinical history and a normal clinical examination, with the key difference being that the stool is not hard in dyschezia.
No medication (or any form of rectal stimulation) required, can be expected to resolve spontaneously.