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Baby’s stools while breastfeeding and on formula

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One indicator of the health of a newborn baby is the contents of the diaper. But up to 90% of parents are concerned about the stools of newborns and older children. Not all of them are aware of the norms and pathologies and the differences in the physiological movements of breastfed children or those who receive artificial nutrition (adapted formula).

Often worried mothers or fathers go to the doctor, mistaking constipation in a baby for a quite physiological phenomenon – rare stools of infants. Let’s discuss in detail the stool norms of babies.

Infant stools during breastfeeding

Infant stools when breastfeeding

It is important to understand that at the very beginning of life, a baby who is exclusively breastfed can have all kinds of stools in his diaper. If he is not feverish, eats well, sleeps and is happy with his life, develops fully and puts on weight, this is his norm.

During the first months of life, the nature of the stool (volume, color and frequency of defecation) will vary greatly, and it is quite natural. The digestive tract is maturing, enzymes are activated, microflora is taking root – all this has a certain impact on the nature of the diaper contents.

Breastfeeding itself, if the baby receives nothing but mother’s milk, has the most favorable effect on digestive health. Even boiled water supplementation, medications, and colic teas have a significant effect on the stool of a naturally-fed baby. It is important to remember this, seeing the changes.

The introduction of formula, if it is partially mixed feeding, also significantly changes the color and consistency of the feces.

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Establishment of intestinal function in a baby

For the first two days after birth, the baby’s meconium is excreted. Its color can significantly frighten an inexperienced mother – it is green-black, looks like putty, and does not wash well off the skin and diapers. Firstborn feces comes out up to 2-4 times, gradually changing to a yellowish and liquid mass, which is formed due to the digestion of the first portions of colostrum and intermediate milk.

During the first week, the baby empties his bowels about as many times as he has been in the world for days. After the arrival of milk and the establishment of breastfeeding, when the weight of the newborn changes from loss to gain, the number of defecations also becomes more frequent.

Some babies empty their bowels about as many times as they eat during the first month. Gradually, the baby begins to empty less often and the volume of diaper contents increases.

For a baby under 6 weeks of age, a single volume of stool reaches 1-2 tablespoons or less, has a liquid or mushy consistency. The color of the stools is greenish to bright yellow, with a sour odor.

Admissible specks of clotted milk, which indirectly indicates that the child receives milk, even in excess. The feces may be heterogeneous, with water when gassed.

Constipation or not?

Breastfed infants, if they do not receive any other food besides breast milk, may have physiologically infrequent stools after 6 weeks of age. Inexperienced mothers often mistake it for constipation, making unreasonable “treatment” measures.

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In such a condition, defecation may occur from once a day to once every 4-5 days. In this case, there are no signs of constipation, the feces are soft and come out at once in large volumes, the child is not disturbed and feels quite well.

It is important to emphasize that this phenomenon is typical only for infants, children on artificial nutrition should have stools every day, maximum once every 1.5-2 days.

Feeding is digested differently from breast milk, there is more “waste”, and the baby will empty his bowels more often. If a formula feeder does not go poop for more than 2 days – it is constipation, you need to take measures to relieve the condition of the baby.

Changing the color of the baby’s stool: causes

Changing color of baby's stool: causes

It is typical for a baby to excrete unchanged bilirubin with the stool, which gives the feces, especially those that have lain in the air, a greenish tint. If the diaper was not changed immediately after defecation, or it lay for a while while the baby washed, bilirubin will oxidize in contact with the air, forming greenish pigmented products.

If the baby with this stool is quite healthy, nothing bothers him, there is no fever, vomiting and weight loss – this phenomenon is quite acceptable, it does not require concern and treatment. Such a phenomenon is possible up to the age of 4 months, in parallel with bilirubin begins to appear sternobilin.

It gives the stool a brownish tint. With changes in diet and the transition to complementary foods, the stools gradually become more and more similar to the adult version.

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The appearance of green in the stool with an admixture of foam or mucus is possible in healthy babies as a reaction to the weather, an active infestation of intestinal microbes, a change in the mother’s diet or her illness. This is not always pathology, especially if it is an isolated case.

Influence of nutrition on the nature of infant stools

It is not uncommon to find frothy stools, which are the result of fermentation in the intestines. This may be due to the breastfeeding mother’s consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods (sweet fruits, pastries, candy, grape juice).

Babies have frothy stools when there is an excess of “front” milk, which accumulates in the mother’s breast between feedings. It contains a lot of water and lactose (which is a milk sugar), the large volume of these portions of milk entering the intestines leads to fermentation and gas, hence the frothy stools.

Frequent and prolonged feedings will help to correct the situation, so that the baby gets to the thick, fatty and nourishing “back” milk.

Artificials may have frothy stools if there is a partial deficiency of lactase (an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar, i.e. lactose) and they are fed standard formula. The solution may be a temporary switch to low-lactose formula, especially if the standard food is poorly absorbed and the child adds little weight to it.

As enzymes mature after 3-4 months this phenomenon often disappears completely. In this case the decision is taken only after consultation with the paediatrician, who will decide what is more appropriate – to add an enzyme to help break down lactose or switch to a lactose-free formula.

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If there is a situation where the mother for some reason cannot continue breastfeeding, the baby is transferred to an adapted milk formula. These are usually formulas based on cow’s or goat’s milk.

The latter are characterised by easier digestibility, which is very important at a time when the child’s digestive system is still being formed, while the introduction of any new product often provokes colic, constipation, flatulence or diarrhoea. It is goat milk formula, due to the properties of its protein, which is the gentlest and most tender food for the immature baby’s body.

Blends milk formula based on natural farmer’s goat milk have an increased content of the most valuable and useful whey, which contributes to good digestibility of the mixtures. These highly adapted mixtures are enriched with a complex of fats rich in β-palmitate, which helps normalize digestion and calcium absorption.

In addition, the mixtures milk formula enriched with a combination of GOS and FOS prebiotics and the probiotic Bufudobecterium BB-12. This composition promotes the development of a balanced microbiota, which has a positive effect on digestion and the formation of immunity.

Well in addition to all these mixes are well tolerated and help a comfortable digestion. The baby absorbs food easier, he has a good mood and a great sleep. And what else is needed for a happy childhood and motherhood!

The articles on this site are for information purposes only. The site administrators are not responsible for attempting to apply any recipe, advice or diet, nor do they guarantee that the information provided will help or harm you personally. Be cautious and always consult a doctor or nutritionist!

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