Is green poop a sign of infection in babies

As a mom, seeing green poop in your baby’s diaper is enough to frighten and cause you to worry about infection. But it shouldn’t. Babies are born with a black-greenish meconium poop, but with time, the colour changes to yellow or brown. Whatever babies eat has a direct effect on the appearance of their poop.

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you may observe a yellow poop which is a result of the Beta-carotene in your breast milk. A formula-fed baby may brownish or yellow poop, but it is possible to see him pass greenish poop.

Are there any other causes of greenish poop, and is there anything you can do about it? Read below to find out.

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What causes green poop in babies

Read: When should babies poop become solid

Diet

As stated earlier, the colour of your baby’s poop can be as a result of what he has eaten. Consuming too many leafy vegetables or snacks or drinks with green colouring can give your breast milk colour a greenish tint and change the colour of your baby’s poop. The same thing applies to formula-fed babies; they can have greenish excreta as a result of their iron-fortified formula. 

Illness

Illnesses like diarrhoea and stomach flu can cause your baby’s poop to change colour. Severe diarrhoea is very deadly to babies. Exclusive breastfeeding is an excellent way of eliminating the risk of diarrhoea in babies because breast milk has antiseptic properties.
 

Food intolerance/sensitivity

One of the major causes of greenish poop in babies is food intolerance or sensitivity. A lot of things may cause food intolerance. Your baby may be sensitive to something you may have eaten, a drug you have taken or an ingredient in his formula. Apart from effecting a change in your baby’s poop colour, food intolerance can also cause skin reaction and irritation.

Older babies may experience an unpleasant reaction to food when they are weaned. 

Inadequate intake of milk

Sometimes, green poop may be a sign that your baby is not getting sufficient quantities of milk. It can lead to dehydration. Babies who suffer from dehydration show the following signs: parched lips or mouth, low weight gain, always irritable, and dried diapers or infrequent urination. If you notice those symptoms in your baby, seek urgent medical attention. 

Infant Jaundice

Babies with infant jaundice may pass green poop. It happens when a baby’s immature liver cannot dispel hematoid or bilirubin. It might be a sign of underlying diseases. In newborn babies, it is normal and clears in less than two weeks. Seek medical counsel if it takes longer than that. 

Teething 

When a baby starts developing a tooth, he takes in so much saliva that it might irritate the gastrointestinal system, causing him to pass green stool.

Read: Should a 3 month old have solid poop?

How to Prevent Green Poop in your baby

  • Limit consumption of too many leafy vegetables and greens. They are mostly responsible for green poop in babies.
  • Cow milk can cause food sensitivity in some babies, causing green poops as a result of milk allergy. Be cautious when giving your baby cow milk. 
  • If your baby is allergic to a specific food item, avoid giving him those trigger foods. 

When to See a Doctor about your baby poop colour

Most times, green poop discharge is harmless and should not cause you worries. In the meantime, you have to be cautious and observe if there are any accompanying symptoms like dehydration, vomiting, feverish condition or irritation. You should seek urgent medical attention.

Though green colour poop is mostly harmless, other poop colours are signs of severe complications like:

Grey, white or pale coloured poop

Pale coloured poop is a sign of acute liver infection in babies. It may mean that there is not enough bile in the baby’s liver to aid the digestion of food. If you notice this, urgently seek your doctor’s advice.

Very dark poop

Dark poop in newborn babies is normal and can be as a result of meconium. Thick, tarry, dark poop may be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding in babies, especially above when they are above three months of age.

Watery poop

Watery, runny poop is usually the sign of diarrhoea in babies, especially when it occurs at more quantity than usual. You might notice mucus in the poop. It is mostly as a result of infections. Food intolerance can also cause runny poop in babies. If this happens, seek immediate medical attention.

Read: How and When to Start Potty Training

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