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A mother changing her baby's diaper

A mother changing her baby's diaper

Everything can seem confusing for new parents, especially the baby’s reaction to various food items. The baby’s stool is an indicator whether there is anything wrong in the baby’s digestion process, but it can also throw a few false alarms here and there.

The colour, shape, smell and frequency of your baby’s stool will change frequently during infancy, especially in the first year. This is nothing to worry about, and the baby’s stool may also contain mucus at times. In most cases, this is nothing but a reaction to a specific sort of food, and nothing alarming. However, mucus can also indicate a deeper problem in some cases.

Common Causes of Mucus in Baby’s Poop

A mother changing her baby's diaper

Unsure about what causes mucus in a baby’s stool? Here are some of the common causes.

1. Normal Secretions

In most cases, the answer to what causes mucus in baby stool is that it is secreted by the intestines to assist in bowel movement. In the case of breastfed babies, most of the stool will be mucus, since the milk is used very efficiently by the baby so that little waste remains.

2. Infections

Sometimes, the digestive system of the baby is affected by bacteria like Salmonella or E.Coli. This leads to the presence of blood and/or a lot of mucus in the stool of the baby. The baby may also get diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, and may have a tender belly.

3. Food Allergy

The baby may be on a diet that consists of breastmilk only, but he or she can still get food allergy. The infant can be allergic to some foods that the mother consumes. The digestive system of the baby is not a mature one, so you may find that the child cannot tolerate dairy products or spicy food. Other symptoms of food allergies in the child include excessive gas, fussiness and projectile vomiting. The mother can identify the culprit by avoiding certain food items for a period of time and checking the reaction of the child.

4. Intussusception

This is one of the more serious problems that can cause mucus in the stools of the child. Intussusception is a disorder which occurs when one section of the bowel slides into the next, resulting in obstruction of the bowels. This results in diminished blood flow, swelling in the area and inflammation. The disorder is most common in children between the ages of six months to three years, and mucus-laden stools are a symptom in around sixty percent of the patients. Medical treatment is necessary to correct the condition.

What does Mucus in a Baby’s Stool Look Like?

Mucus in newborn’s stool will be visible in the diaper, as the mucus will be seen clinging to faecal matters. The colour of the faecal matter can reveal a lot about what the problem might be, so it is important to notice that too. If the stool appears bright red or a dark maroon, the cause is some issue with the digestive tract of the child. Dried blood in the intestines causes black stools which have a consistency similar to that of tar. In case the child is affected by bacterial infections, the stool will be diarrhoea-like and mixed with red blood. Milk protein allergies result in normal stools with a tinge of red blood. If the baby is affected by tears in the anus, the result is hard stools with some blood in them. If the baby consumes blood from the cracked nipples of the mother, the result is black poop that looks like little specks.

Does Mucus in an Infant’s Stool Require Any Medical Attention?

Mucus in the poop of breastfed babies is very common, as mentioned above. The mucus is produced by the intestine in order to make bowel movement easier, and the poop of infants normally consist mostly of poop since the milk is so efficiently used that little waste remains. Mucus in the baby poop of formula-fed babies is also common and occurs due to sudden changes in the diet of the child. However, if the mucus is present in copious amounts and is accompanied by blood and other general symptoms of discomfort, you should consult a doctor.

Mucus in a baby’s stool is a common occurrence and is nothing to worry about in most cases. You must take care to notice the other behavioural patterns of the child, like whether the baby seems fussy or flatulent to find out if this is something trivial, or requires a visit to the doctor.

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