Q: Good evening doctor. Please, what could be the cause of this? My 10-week old baby has been stooling for almost a week now. Thanks
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A: Congratulations on your new baby! May she be a blessing to her generation!
Okay to your question, exclusively breast fed babies may pass stool a couple of times during the day to lots of time (it might even be after every meal :D). You’re still getting to know your baby and so you should look out for the normal consistency of his stools and the frequency. Diarrhea is usually rare in exclusively breast fed children because you’ve cut off all the middle men like bottles and teats etc that could have been reservoirs of infection. If you do practice bottle feeding, you have to be committed to be hygienic because you don’t want to introduce germs into your baby, do you? Always scrub your hands with soap and water before making your baby’s food. Make sure that the bottle is sterilized to prevent any potential introduction of germs into the milk. Use small bottles that hold just about the amount that your baby finishes per feed.
Having said that, watch out for signs like blood or mucous in stool, explosive green stools and foul smelling stools. How can this occur in exclusively breast fed babies? It may be due to an infection (viral and bacterial), food allergy to something the mother ate, it may be due to food poisoning in the mum or perhaps the mother had taken antibiotics. If in doubt as to whether the stools appear normal or as they have been since birth, please see your baby’s doctor. If your baby has diarrhea, he/she should be rehydrated as quickly as possible. The first way is to continue breastfeeding even before going to the hospital. This also provides valuable antibodies that help the baby fight diseases.
So, it is clear now that diet affects our breast milk and by extension, baby. These are foods to avoid or limit their consumption while breast feeding:
Caffeine in coffee (try decaffeinated and stick with 2 small tea cups), energy drinks, some soft drinks etc This makes the baby irritable and by extension, makes sleep difficult for the baby. Now, you don’t want that, do you?
Alcohol: This should be avoided at all costs.
Cigarette (yeah, yeah, I know it’s not food) should also be avoided as it reduces the production of breast milk.
If baby reacts to what the mother ate, efforts should be made to pinpoint what the mother ate before the incident started and then eliminating that from the diet to see if the diarrhea or allergy stops.
Make sure that you eat well: lots of fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Cut out the junk which will not help you achieve your weight loss goals and in addition have empty calories. And drink sufficient fluids daily.
Be careful before taking any drug as most find their way into your baby.
Hope this helps.
Goodnight y’all 😀