why does my breastfed baby have diarrhea
New babies don't come with an instruction manual, but they do leave clues about the state of their health. Hiding in a baby's diaper is a wealth of information, and many new parents understandably find themselves spending a lot of time and energy trying to decode the messages left for them -- the amount, the color, the consistency -- and what it all means. So what does the content of a baby's diaper say about his or her health? And when should you be worried about what's in the diaper? Here's expert advice. How Much Poop Is Normal? "A lot," says Kenneth Wible, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri and pediatrics medical director at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. "It depends somewhat on diet," Wible says. "Babies who are breastfed generally have more and thinner stools than babies who are formula fed.
But five to six stools per day is pretty normal. "
While it's a good idea to expect a lot of poop in the early stages of a baby's life, the frequency of among children varies widely, notes Barry Steinmetz, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. "Some kids will go up to seven or eight times a day," he says. Other infants may go every other day. Many parents become concerned when an infant's suddenly drop in frequency.
But particularly for breastfed babies, this is a common occurrence as a mother's milk becomes more mature. "The mother's milk is so well balanced and the baby's digestive processes are so good, there's not a lot of residue," Wible says. The key, Steinmetz says, is that the stool is soft and the child is eating well and gaining. There's often a large amount of liquid content in babies' stool because before six months, doctors recommend that babies get their exclusively from milk. "It kind of looks as if you took a jar of mustard and mixed it with cottage cheese, especially for formula-fed babies," Wible says. "With breastfed babies, there is a lot more liquid and the milk curds in the stool are a lot finer and smaller. " Exclusively breastfed babies can have frequent, watery bowel movements.
Ten such poops a day is not unheard of. As long as the baby is content most of the time, drinking well from the breast, and gaining weight, watery poops are usually not a problem. It doesn t matter if there is mucus present, if the poops are green or if there are no БcurdsБ Б the baby is usually fine. Keep in mind that it is rare for exclusively breastfed babies to have diarrhea since diarrhea is usually due to infection and it s very unusual for breastfed babies to get gut infections.
But, if your baby is unhappy, not feeding well or appears sick, or if there has been any other change in his usual behavior and mood, then he may have a gut infection and diarrhea. Infectious diarrhea usually gets better without any treatment, often by 5 or 7 days after onset; the main concern is dehydration. One of the best ways to maintain hydration is to continue breastfeeding the baby. Too often mothers are told they have to stop breastfeeding a baby with diarrhea. This is not good advice since breastfeeding is the best way to keep your baby properly hydrated.
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