A Guide to breastfed baby’s poop!
*Please note, this is a GENERAL GUIDE to breastfed baby poop. Not medical advice. If you are in any way concerned about your baby’s general health and wellbeing, please seek help from your GP. If you are breastfeeding and have specific concerns regarding your child’s poop or breastfeeding challenges, seek help from an IBCLC as soon as possible.
How much poop?
First 24 hours following the birth your baby should have at least one meconium poop (the black, tar like poop).
During the second 24 hours following the birth your baby should have at least two poops.
Once your milk comes in from days 3-5 your baby should have 2-3 poops within each 24 hour period.
From when your milk comes in until around 6 weeks post partum your baby should continue to have at least 2-3 poops every 24 hour period.
-From 6 weeks onwards-
After 6 weeks your baby should continue to poop regularly. You might have read or heard that breastfed babies “can go weeks without pooping!” and still be OK. However infrequent pooping can be a very big red flag that there is something going on with the baby’s digestive system/gut health. In NO other time period of a human’s life do we think it’s OK to go so long without pooping. How often you poop is an excellent measure of health. Humans, whether they are babies or adults should be pooping anywhere from a few times per day to once every few days. If your baby is not pooping regularly but is meeting their developmental milestones and is generally content then it’s probably not a medical emergency, however I do suggest seeing a health care professional for some guidance and increasing fermented and cultured foods and drinks into your diet. This good bacteria and enzymes will pass through your breastmilk to your baby.
The colour of poop
What about explosive, frothy poop?
This can be a sign that your baby is getting a lot of milk, really quickly! This could just simply be what people call,”over-active let down”, “over-supply” or “lactose overload”. Often times this explosive poop will be a bit greenish in colour. If your baby has this but it totally happy and content, growing as expected and meeting developmental milestones then don’t worry about it! However if you have this going on and your baby is “colicky” or “unsettled” at the breast, READ THIS ARTICLE HERE!
What is “gut health”? Our digestive system is filled with microorganisms! These little bugs affect all areas of our health, including mental and physical health. “The human gastrointestinal tract hosts almost a trillion microorganisms, organized in a complex community known as the gut microbiota, an integral part of human physiology and metabolism” (Altamura et al. 2020). Keeping an eye on our poop is one way to assess the health of our gut! If you have any concerns about you or your child’s gut health, I recommend speaking with a breastfeeding friendly and gut health specialist nutritionist, dietician or GAPS practitioner. If you are a breastfeeding mother I recommend working closely with an IBCLC as well.
Altamura, F., Maurice, C. F., & Castagner, B. (2020). Drugging the gut microbiota: toward rational modulation of bacterial composition in the gut. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 56, 10-15. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2019.09.005