Q: Hello Dr, I put to bed on 9th of this month. Since last week, my baby poos 5 to 6 times in a day…is it normal? Again, if she wants to poo I will hear the sound of it and her stomach usually makes noise. She also stretches her legs a lot since the falling of the umbilical cord. I’m a first time mother.
A: Congratulations on your bundle of joy! Your baby is blessed and will be a blessing to her generation!
Your baby’s tummy makes noise normally…grumbling noises, murmuring noises, gurgling noises etc 😀 all through the day. And they are normal. You would probably notice them more just before your baby eats or soon after. Those are the sounds of our very hard working intestines as they contract and push air around…swallowed air and air produced as a result of digestion.
As long as your baby eats normally, does not have abdominal pain and is not vomiting, then there’s probably no problem. These sounds are very loud and active just after a meal or when your child eats foods like beans 😀 The normal process of digestion of beans involves fermentation in the intestines which of course produces more gas and by extension, more bowel sounds. When one has diarrhea, these sounds happen more frequently and conversely, reduce when one is constipated. In fact, little or no bowel sounds after a meal may be suggestive of a problem. In the same way, very high pitched sounds, could also mean there are issues. You would, of course, need to know what the normal sounds are in order to recognise the strange sounds. As I always say, where in doubt, please consult your doctor.
Exclusively breast fed babies may pass stool a couple of times during the day to lots of times (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 her 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. 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, 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, here’s a quick reminder class on 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 as much as possible.
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.
And guess what? Being a first time mother is not as daunting as it seems. You will do great! 😀 Keep asking questions and trust your instincts too. Check out my blog www.chatwithdrketch.com for a whole lot of posts on taking care of your baby or get a copy of my book, Just For The Health Of It. Just click on this link and off you go to the online shop to get a copy 😀
Goodnight y’all 😀