As a new mother, you will be always in a constant state of worry whether you are doing things right. And of those many, many things you worry about, your baby’s bowel movements are one of them.
A baby’s poop is a sign of his/her health. Thus, you do need to know what is normal and what needs medical attention. Read on to know more about your baby’s poop.
The kind of poop depends on how you are feeding your child. If you breastfeed the baby, his/her poop will be:
Small in size—no bigger than a coin
Light in colour, usually a greenish-brown or bright yellow
Sloppy in texture
The first few weeks of breastfeeding will produce waste daily, after each feed. The frequency will diminish later, but that is not a concern, as long as the waste is easily passed and is soft.
If you are feeding your child formula, the poop will be different. You will notice that the poop is:
Yellow-ish brown or pale yellow in colour
The next worry you have is when you change your baby’s feeding routine. When you switch from breastmilk to formula, you will notice:
The poop is darker in colour.
The texture becomes thicker.
The smell also becomes stronger.
The other dramatic change you will see is when your baby starts eating solids.
What isn't Normal?
If your baby has diarrhoea, you will notice:
The poop is runny
Frequency and amount of poop is increased
And if you suspect constipation, be aware of the following signs:
Your baby finds it difficult to poop
The poop is dry and small
The tummy is hard when you touch it
There might be blood in the poop
If you're breastfeeding, green poo can be a sign that your baby is taking in too much lactose (the natural sugar found in milk). This can happen if she feeds often, but doesn't get the rich milk at the end of the feed to fill her up. Make sure your baby finishes feeding from one breast before you offer her your other one.
If you are feeding your baby formula milk, the brand you are using could be turning your baby's poo dark green. It may be worth switching to a different formula to see if that has any effect.
If the symptoms last longer than 24 hours, visit your health visitor or GP. The cause may be:
a food sensitivity
side-effects of medication
your baby's feeding routine
a stomach bug
Very pale poo:
Very pale poo can be a sign of jaundice, which is common in newborns. Jaundice causes your newborn's skin and the whites of her eyes to look yellow, and usually clears up within a couple of weeks of birth. Tell your midwife or doctor if your baby has jaundice, even if it looks like it's going away.
Also tell your midwife or doctor if your baby is passing very pale, chalky white, poos. This can be a sign of liver problems, especially where jaundice lasts beyond two weeks.