When you have a new baby you soon learn all about poo. It can be alarming to see the quantity, smell and colour of your baby’s dirty nappies and in our visual gallery we show you what’s normal and what’s not.
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Pale or white poo
If your baby has pale or white stools take her (along with a dirty nappy) along to see your GP immediately as there is a rare condition called biliary atresia when babies develop jaundice but are not unwell and have white or pale poo due to obstruction in the bile flow. This can be serious so must be reported immediately.
Green poo in a breastfed baby
Green poo can be completely normal for new babies. It’s more common in babies with colds as the mucus speeds up movement through the gut (which is the reason poo can be green). If your baby is growing well and the poo is the normal, soft texture there is probably nothing to worry about.
However, if your baby has other symptoms such as reflux or eczema and the green poo is persistent speak to your doctor. If your baby is having a reaction to dairy proteins you might expect to see that the poo is not only green but also contains a lot of mucous and has an unusual texture.
A lot of new mums worry that if their baby has green poos it means their milk isn’t fatty enough or that their baby is getting too much ‘foremilk’ – however, this would be reflected in low weight gain. So if you are worried monitor your baby’s weight gain with regular measurements at your local well baby clinic. Also look out for green poo that is also frothy (with bubbles), contains mucous and may even have flecks of blood.
If your newborn baby is producing green poo and seems very unsettled it is important to make sure that your baby is latched on at the breast and feeding well. Visit your local drop in NHS breastfeeding clinic so they can watch you feed your baby.
It is also worth getting unusual green poo checked out to rule out other more serious problems such as a problem or blockage in your baby’s gut.
Breastfed baby poo is generally yellow coloured (like mustard) with a sweet, not unpleasant smell whereas babies who are formula fed have a browner more peanut butter like poo.
Meconium is the black tar like poo that your baby passes at first, paediatricians often want to know that a baby has successfully pooed meconium before they can be discharged after the birth. It is important to see the poo change to digested milk poo; either breastmilk or formula milk.
Questions the Baby Poo Colour section in the Care & Development DVD helps to answer:
- What is meconium?
- Why is my baby’s poo black and sticky?
- Is green poo okay in a baby?
- Is my baby constipated?
- Has my baby got diarrhoea?
- What should I do if there is blood in my baby’s poo?
- How can I cure constipation?