We've Got the Scoop on Your Baby's Poop!
What should baby poop look like? How often should they poop? When do we call our doctor about their poop?
Poop. Poop. Poop. That's what we are talking about today, BABY POOP!
I just had a conversation with a first time mom about her baby not going as regular as baby had been just about every day for the last 6 months. Needless to say, what gets left behind in your baby's diaper is going to be brought up and talked about way more than you probably expected.
So what can you expect?
In the first few days of your baby's life outside the womb, their poop will be a greenish-black, often described as a tarry or sticky substance. You may see this a little while after birth or immediately upon your baby being placed in your arms! This is called meconium and can be passed from baby while still in utero. In that case, you will be given information from your OBGYN or midwife about what happens next.
If your baby is breastfed their poop will start to transition to a lighter green as your milk matures and moves passed the colostrum phase and then eventually to a yellow, mustardy look. You might be surprised that their poop doesn't have as rank a smell as one would expect.
The texture has changed a lot too! From the thick tar substance to now a thinner, runnier consistency with what looks like seeds mixed in. Think sesame seeds. As far as frequency, expect 3-4 dirty diapers by 4 days old. Count it as a dirty diaper if the size is equivalent (or bigger) of a US quarter.
Because babies are excellent round-the-clock sharters.
If your baby is formula fed their poop will typically be a shade of brown or even yellow with a thicker consistency. I've read it described as peanut butter consistency before. Do with that what you will!
Babies who are formula fed may give you less dirty diapers but have more of it. The odor will be different as well!
What about green, is that normal? If baby is given an iron supplement or at the age they are eating solids that are green, you may see some green stool. Not to be alarmed, it's totally normal.
Okay, okay, green is normal, yellow...totally cool, even peanut butter thickness apparently. But what about orange? Surely that's out there...right? I mean who has orange poop?!
Your baby can...and it's also normal. This simply means that there was more of a pigment (or less) that was picked up while being processed through the digestive system.
It can be a scary moment (and that's why we are writing this blog!) if you see some flecks or specs of black blood in your baby's poo. In this case, if baby is breastfeeding it could be that they ingested some blood while nursing because they were nursing from dry and cracked, bleeding nipples.
We encourage you to still contact baby's pediatrician to rule out anything more serious as well as getting in touch with an IBCLC. We highly recommend the team at The Milky Mermaid!
It is important to call your baby's doctor if you do see that their poop looks anything like the following:
Whether green, yellow or brown, runny stool could indicate an allergy to something or infection and if not treated for a period of time, it can lead to dehydration. This is outside of the normal runny consistency of that of breastfed baby poop.
Chalky or grey baby poop can mean that your baby is not digesting their food efficiently due to an insufficiency of bile the liver needs to produce for digestion.
Mucous in Stool-
Seeing streaks of slimy poop indicates mucous is present. It could be because baby is drooling but could also be infection and having your doctor rule that out would be the route to go.
Sometimes baby becomes constipated when starting solid foods or this could mean they are sensitive to something in breast milk or formula. Their poop looks more like pebbles or little balls.
Red blood in Stool-
It could be red due to something they ate, but if it looks like blood is present it could be something such as a bacterial infection (if present in diarrhea) or even a milk protein allergen if red blood is in normal poop consistency.
So there you have it! What to expect with your baby's poop changes over their first year(ish) of life.
If you desire help through the first few weeks or even first couple days of bringing your baby home, talk to one of our Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas. They'll help you navigate what's normal for newborns, when to call your doc, infant sleep, your recovery from birth and more. They know where you came from giving birth and what to expect through postpartum recovery.