Baby He alth 2022

Dark stools in babyê: 7 main causes and what to do

Dark stools in babyê: 7 main causes and what to do
Dark stools in babyê: 7 main causes and what to do
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Consumption of foods rich in iron such as beets or spinach, use of ferrous sulfate or infant formula can make baby's stools darker.

Although baby's first stools usually also look like this, they tend to take on a brown color after the first few days. Even after this initial period, some variation in stool color can occur without this being considered a problem, because these color variations usually improve with subsequent bowel movements and are not accompanied by other symptoms.

However, if other symptoms such as bloody stools or mouth, difficulty eating, intense crying, or difficulty gaining weight are present, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician as soon as possible.Understand better that other situations can cause changes in the baby's stool.

1. Meconium

Meconium is formed by substances that have been accumulating throughout pregnancy in the baby's intestines and is eliminated between 24 and 48 hours after birth.

Usually, meconium is green, brown or yellowish in color, dark in appearance and sticky. Therefore, it is common for the baby's first stools to be darker as well. Find out what it is and more about meconium.

What to do: The outflow of meconium in the first days of life is normal and should not be a cause for concern, because usually the color of the stool becomes more and more brown after 2 or 3 days.

2. Cracked nipples while breastfeeding

If the mother has cracked nipples and is breastfeeding, the baby may ingest some blood, which is digested and then may appear in her stools, making them darker.In this case, it is also common for the baby to have a small amount of blood coming out of the mouth, with no other associated symptoms.

What to do: Especially when there are other associated symptoms, it is recommended that the pediatrician be consulted as soon as possible so that more serious causes for dark stools are ruled out. However, if the nipples are cracked, you can rub a little of your own milk over the wounds to help with healing, and check that the baby latches on correctly. When the cause of dark stools is cracked nipples, as there is healing, the stool color tends to improve. See the best ways to treat breast cracks.

3. Foods not completely digested

Depending on the baby's diet, some foods such as beets, carrots and grapes may not be digested completely, especially when consumed in large quantities or when they are not chewed enough, and change the color of the child's stools, leaving -the darkest and the presence of small pieces of these foods is noticed in some cases.

What to do: When dark stools are related to the consumption of these foods, there is usually no concern, because the color tends to return to normal with a decrease in intake or replacing these foods with others.

4. Use of infant formula

Babies who consume infant formula tend to have darker stools compared to those who are breastfed. The stool is usually brown, but can range in color from brown to greenish and can be even more pasty, similar to peanut butter.

What to do: In this case, there is usually no concern, because dark stools are a common condition of babies who consume these types of milk. However, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician, especially if there are other symptoms such as blood in the stool or difficulty gaining weight.

5. Cow's milk protein allergy

In cases of allergy to cow's milk protein, which is present in many infant formulas, stools may also become darker due to the presence of blood.In addition, other symptoms may occur, such as the presence of streaks or streaks of blood in the baby's stool, difficulty gaining weight, and red or very dry skin.

What to do: In babies who consume infant formula and have dark stools, it is important to consult a pediatrician to assess the need to change the milk, especially when there are other associated symptoms. When cow's milk protein allergy is confirmed, it may be necessary to switch formula to other types of milk. See how to choose milk for the newborn.

6. Iron intake through food or medication

The use of ferrous sulfate and consumption in large quantities of foods that contain iron, such as beets, spinach and beans, can cause dark stools in the baby, since excess iron is not properly absorbed in the intestine, being eliminated in the feces. Discover more foods rich in iron.

What to do: There is usually no concern, because the color of the stool usually returns to normal when the baby stops taking the medicine or when there is a decrease in consumption of these foods.

7. Injuries to the stomach, esophagus, or intestine

Although it is a less common situation, very dark stools can also indicate some bleeding in the digestive tract, which can occur due to injuries such as esophagitis and ulcers. In these cases, in addition to dark stools, there may be other symptoms such as intense crying, blood coming out of the mouth and bright blood in the stools.

What to do: It is important that the pediatrician is consulted, especially if there are other symptoms, as it is possible for a more detailed evaluation of the baby to be carried out so that it is indicated the best treatment, which may involve the use of drugs that decrease stomach acidity, for example. Learn more about blood in baby's stool.

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