breastfeeding, chestfeeding

Let’s talk about poo

When I became a parent with my first child, I had no idea I’d start talking about poop so much!

Is she pooping? Is it frequently enough? Is it the right kind of poop? What does it all mean?

Well, let’s get to the bottom of this issue (pun intended!).

Frequency

Newborn babies poop a lot after the first few days! Maybe your baby is even stooling with every feeding. This is totally normal! Remember, that what’s normal for you as an adult is very different than what’s normal for your tiny, brand-new baby.

The number of poops increases day-by-day. Ideally, baby should have a minimum of 3 poops by day 2 or 3. As baby progresses through the poo-poo rainbow of colors the amount increases, too.

Once baby is a month old, they may poo less frequently but should still go at least once per day. Poo is a by-product of digestion but also serves to remove other waste products. When baby isn’t going daily, that usually means that we should pay attention.

When we look at babies in areas and cultures that haven’t had an interruption to breastfeeding (unlike the US which had decades of pervasive formula use) they poop about 3 times per day until they are 1 year old.

Color

Mustard, yellow, 1970s grandma’s couch…these are all ways I’ve described normal chestfed infant’s poo. At first, the stool is black meconium and through colostrum feeding babies pass this in a day or two. Poo then looks greenish and finally lands back on grandma’s couch until we start the wonderful world of solid foods!

Occasionally, baby may have a greenish stool which can be from a virus or even swallowing lots and lots of drool. If baby has these stools every day, we need to look into it. Don’t be alarmed though! Talked with your Lactation Consultant or provider about what might be going on.

Texture

Yep, texture. What does it look like? Seedy? Liquidy? More solid than that?

Your baby’s poo is a reflection of what they eat. If they are having your milk then their stool will be liquidy and you may see “seeds” (which are digested milk proteins).

If they have some formula or are starting baby foods, the stool will be thicker.

Frothy: baby may be swallowing lots of air or have excess gas from a microbial gut imbalance, or could be have some trouble digesting some component of their milk

Mucous or snot-like: it could be a virus or it could be a gut imbalance (especially if it’s a lot or happens frequently)

Green and a “shredded grass” texture: baby may not be getting a full feed from the breast and is not digesting the feeding well

For any of these concerns, give your friendly Lactation Consultant a call so we can observe a feed and report to your doctor.

If you want to look deeper into this issue check out this guide.

❤ Megan Dunn, IBCLC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s