Your baby’s poop is definitely one of the high points of worry for new parents. This is more so when you are first time parents. You are probably losing sleeping over a hundred thousand questions related to your baby’s poop. One of the top most question on every new parents’ list is about the color and consistency of the baby’s poop.
So what do the different colors and consistencies of your baby’s poop indicate? Is the breastfeeding going correctly? What color and consistency of poop should be cause of genuine worry? Here we look at one of the most common questions asked by new parents – why is my baby’s poop green. Is green poop of your baby something to worry about? Let us have a look.
What is considered to be the normal color and consistency of baby poop?
Your baby’s very first stools are likely to be the black and tarry meconium that was in her gut at birth. When yourbreastfeeding is going good after few days your baby should move on to “transitional stool”. This is usually darkish green in color. After about five days it should go on to become yellow. The consistency, from now until your baby starts having something other than breast milk, should ideally be liquid with seedy bits in it.
Should I be worried about my baby’s green poop?
The occasional case of green poop is not uncommon in babies who are breastfed. Consistently green stools, however, are not normal for the breastfed baby. Most doctors don’t seem to recognize this as a potential problem
Despite what you may have heard and read, green and brown are in the normal range of baby poop colors. They are not a reason to worry if your baby seems well and is gaining weight.
So what causes green poop in my baby?
Before you become worried, remember that an occasional case of green poop in breastfed babies is absolutely normal. However, if your baby has been consistently having green poop, it could indicate underlying health concerns. Here are a few possible causes of green poop in your baby.
- Imbalance of foremilk / hindmilk: This term was first coined in an 1988 journal article (Lancet. 1988 Aug 13;2(8607):382-4) that talked about theexperiences of a few mothers who breastfed by the clock, switching breasts after 10 minutes even though baby hadn’t finished on that side. This has been known to cause frothy green stool in breastfed babies. However, many newer research has called into question the conclusions drawn by this articles. In fact many doctors even debate the very existence of this phenomenon.
- Sensitivity: Your baby’s green poop could be an early indication of him or her being sensitive to something in your diet. This can be cow’s milk or anything else. You can try eliminating senstitive items from your diet to see improvement in your baby’s poop color and consistency.
- When a sensitive or allergic baby reacts to a drug you’re taking, something in your diet, or something baby consumes directly, this may turn her poops green or mucusy. You may even see bits of blood in it, which is not considered serious.
- Underlying Infection: Consistent green poop of your baby can indicate an underlying illness in him or her. It could indicate an intestinal virus or even a simple cold. Any illness is likely to result in your baby having green, mucusy stools. Keep breastfeeding! It’s the best way to help your baby recover.
- Teething: Teething can also bring about green stools due to increased saliva. The excess saliva produced during the teething phase can lead to stomach upsets. Stomach upsets are known to cause green poop in babies.
- Mom’s Diet: Lots of green vegetables or preparations with green food coloring present in your diet can also cause your baby’s poop to be green. This may not be a concern unless your baby is also upset and fussy or seems to have tummy ache. Monitor what you are having to ensure that your breastfed baby’s stools are of the right color and consistency. In case your baby is exhibiting any signs of discomfort, talk to your doctor about your diet and the changes you may need to make.
- Something Green in your Baby’s diet: An older baby who is not dependent on your breast milk can also have green poop. This may be due to certain foods that he or she eats themselves. For example, grape flavored drinks are seen to turn your baby’s poop bright green. Also if your baby is taking iron supplements they are more likely to have darker green stools.
- Change in Diet: When your baby moves on from breastmilk and other liquids to solids – the change can also trigger change in color of his or her poop. This is normal and not a cause for worry. With a change in the diet of your baby you are likely to notice a change in the color and consistency of his or her poop.
If you are still worried about your baby’s poop not being of the right color or consistency, then consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor is the best person to guide and advice you on your baby as he or she knows your baby’s specific medical history. Do not rely on facts and information gathered from the internet, family or friends.
In most cases, green poop is nothing to be concerned about. But it helps to know what’s normal, possible causes, and some of the common myths about this experience. If your breastfeeding baby is healthy and thriving, that’s the most important thing you need to know.