Managing Diaper Rash

The bowel movements immediately following the colostomy closure are usually frequent and loose. This can be caused by the fact that the colon hasn’t been used for several months and by antibiotics that your baby received. Your baby’s skin is sensitive, it has never felt stool before, and the diarrhea can cause severe diaper rash. Your medical team will help the manage diaper rash while your baby is in the hospital, and thereafter. 

Your baby’s stools will likely still be loose when you return home from the hospital, and you will need to protect against diaper rash as well. The best way to prevent diaper rash is to prevent stool from touching the skin. Change the diapers as often as possible. As soon as you notice feces in the diaper, remove the diaper, sit the baby in soap and water, and then rinse the bottom with clean water. Do not rub the skin, because that can make the diaper rash worse.

Sometimes it is even better for your baby to go without a diaper; the exposure to the air will keep the skin dry, and parents can also see exactly when stool is in contact with the skin. Using ointments to create barrier between the skin and the feces is important. Sometimes we even recommend a small enema given twice per day, to allow for dry periods between enemas.  

The baby may have so many bowel movements that the parents get concerned. It is important to remember it is a temporary situation. Within several weeks the stool becomes formed – which creates an entirely new challenge for parents: constipation.