Daily Health Tips: What Causes Green Poop?

Q: I am a nursing mother of a 3months baby She sometimes brings green poop what could be the cause because it goes back and comes back 2. What are the signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection in babies? 3. How many times should a 3months baby poop a day? Thank you

A: Thanks for writing in.

In babies, green poo can be due to:

  • Baby not nursing sufficiently from one breast before being moved to the other breast. This means that the baby gets more (watery) fore milk than the fattier, nutrient-dense hind milk.
  • If baby is bottle-fed, it could be due to the particular formula being used. Try switching to another formula and see if it helps
  • Diarrhea
  • Inadequate intestinal flora in breastfed babies

Though this question is about babies, I’ll mention some cause of green poo in children and adults:

  • Eating a lot of veggies
  • Diet rich in iron
  • Diarrhea
  • Presence of green food dyes etc

Back to the question, how many times should a 3-month baby poop? 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. 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.

Exclusively breast fed babies can sometimes go days without defecation and this is due to the fact that practically all the nutrients in breast milk are completely absorbed during each feed, such that there is little or nothing to excrete. However, it is expected that when baby does poop, the faeces should still be soft in consistency as opposed to hard, dry, pellet-like stool as occurs in constipation. If the stool is hard with exclusive breast feeding (?), please visit your baby’s paediatrician.

Formula fed babies, on the other hand, suffer from constipation because it is more difficult for a baby to digest formula than breast milk.

If your baby is dehydrated, perhaps from not taking enough fluids as may occur if she has a cold and is refusing feeds due to difficulty with breathing when feeding, ‘constipation’ may also occur. Other causes include food allergies and/or introduction of complementary fees as the body learns to handle these foods.

What part of baby’s body do you suspect has a bacterial infection? You may have to see your baby’s doctor to discuss your worries J

All the best!

Have a great weekend everyone 😀


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