My baby passed green poop. Should I be concerned?
Why are my exclusively breastfed baby’s poop green?
Baby poop: What is normal, what is not!
A baby goes through 360 degrees change during the first twelve months and it is a year which brings many surprises, pleasant and not so pleasant for first time parents.
Most doctors and experienced parents will tell you to keep an eye on baby’s diapers to keep track of his/her growth as well as health.
Let us decode the poop code today and see what can we expect from a baby’s diapers during first year and if green poop in babies is normal.
Sticky blackish-green stool or meconium
Newborn babies poop around 10-12 times a day. First bowel movement can be anywhere between first and third day. This is blackish in color and is called meconium. As the baby’s milk intake increases, stool starts getting more watery and yellowish.
Dark greenish poop/ stools or transitional stools
Once all the meconium has been passed, the poop turns to transitional stools which are dark green to yellowish in color. They might appear grainy or seedy.
Light yellow to mustard color poop in babies
These are normal breastfed baby’s poop. After 34 days of transitional stools, if your baby is exclusively breast-fed, s/he will have yellow to mustard or sometimes bright green coloured poop. A breast-fed baby’s poop will usually be loose, watery or seedy.
Many exclusively breastfed babies can have infrequent bowels after 1 month. They can go up to many weeks without passing motion. This is because breast milk is fully digested and there is very little waste. There is nothing to worry as long as the baby is happy and healthy and wetting diapers on a regular basis. However, if baby seems to be in any kind of discomfort or if you see that movement is hard, you should talk to baby’s doctor, as this could indicate constipation.
Light brownish to pale yellow to dark green
These are normal stools for a formula-fed babies. Stools of formula-fed babies will be soft and slightly formed.
Black to dark green stools
Iron in baby’s diet can also lead to blackish or dark green poop. Iron could come from medication drops or through formula.
After 1 month, in many babies, frequency of bowel movements decrease, though many will still continue the same frequency. Both cases are normal. Decrease in frequency of bowel movements does not mean constipation, if the the stool is soft.
What are common causes of green poop in babies?
Too much greens in food
This is true in case of older babies, who have started eating solids. If your baby has something green like spinach or peas, it may lead to green poop.
Imbalance in foremilk and hind milk may cause green diarrhoea
If your baby is feeding on too much foremilk which is thinner as compared to the thicker hindmilk, it may upset his tummy and cause occurrence of green poop. It could mean that the baby is not able to latch properly and you might need to see a lactation consultant.
Iron supplements or antibiotics
Iron supplements or antibiotics in mother’s diet or baby’s medication can lead to blackish or dark green poop.
Allergy or Sensitivity to any food
Allergy or Sensitivity to any food may also cause green poop. It may also cause some rash and you must see a doctor. If an allergy is detected then mother must avoid those things in her diet.
Your baby’s formula might not be suiting him/her leading to green poop or green diarrhoea. In such a case, you might change baby’s formula to see if it suits baby.
Viral or bacterial Infections
An infection in baby’s body could also cause occurrence of green poop.
It is also believed that in some babies teething can sometimes cause diarrhoea and occurrence of green poop.
When to worry and consult the doctor?
If the baby is happy and seems to be gaining well, there usually may not be much cause to worry even if you see green poop in your baby’s diapers. But do consult your baby’s doctor if you notice any of the following:
Frequent watery, green poop
Frequent, smelly, watery stools in babies could be diarrhoea in babies and you must see your baby’s doctor for advice.
Hard, pellet like poop
This could mean constipation in babies. You might also see red streaked poop if case of extreme constipation.
Read more about constipation in babies – symptoms, causes and treatment.
Red streaks in Stools
Red streaks in stools could be blood and might mean allergy or fissures. You must check this with your doctor immediately if you notice red streaks in baby’s poop.
Green poop with mucous
Mucousy green poop might indicate a viral or bacterial infection like a cold or stomach bug.
If you experience any of these alarming symptoms, always consult the doctor. It may not be anything but when it comes to your baby, it is best to be safe than sorry.
Hope this will answer your questions about baby’s green poop and will put your mind at rest. Do not forget to share if you like this article. Do leave a comment to ask a question or let us know your feedback. You can follow us on Facebook, twitter and pinterest.
References: What to expect the first year