Now that your baby is here, welcome to the world of diapering, feeding, burping and sleepless nights. Parenting a new baby brings along lot of surprises- some pleasant and some not so pleasant. As a new parent you are very cautious about everything related to your baby. So in that case spotting blood in your baby’s stool and diaper can be quite alarming, especially if you are first time parents. While this is not a normal situation and should not be ignored but if your baby is growing well and is otherwise healthy, this is nothing to panic about. There could be plenty of reasons some not so serious ones too. Read on to know what causes blood in your baby’s stool and what you should be on a look out for.
Color Of Blood In Baby’s Stool And Diaper
As a parent, it is very important for you to keep a watch on the color of the blood in order to know from where it is originating.
- Blood coming from the colon or rectum is usually red in color with only a streak outside the stool
- If the blood is usually darker in color like dark brown, maroon or black and is mixed throughout the stool then it could be originating up from the GI tract
In order to help the doctor diagnose the problem well, it is imperative for you to know the color of blood in your baby’s stool and diaper.
What Causes Blood In Baby’s Stool And Diaper?
There can be many causes of blood in baby’s stool ranging from mild to serious. Some of the most common causes of blood in infant’s stool and nappy are:
- Food allergies: This is one of the most common causes of blood in the stools of infants. Cow’s milk is the leading cause of allergic reactions in babies, but they can also occur when the baby is first introduced to some new food. The allergy irritates the baby’s digestive tract, resulting in small bleeding from the blood vessels in the digestive tract. This causes blood in baby’s stool
- Constipation: Constipation is quite a common issue in babies resulting in hard stools that are difficult to pass. As a result these hard stools stretches the rectum, causing abrasion and tears in the skin, leading to some traces of bright red blood in the stool
- Mother having cracked nipple: If mom has cracked nipples that bleed, the baby will ingest some of mother’s blood (this is not harmful to the baby) and pass it through the stool resulting in the blood stained stool
- Infection: Certain kind of infections caused by bacteria like Salmonella, C.Difficile, or E.coli can lead to blood in baby’s stool
- Vitamin drops: Sometimes blood in baby’s stool is linked with the vitamin and fluoride drops that are given to the baby. Blood in stool starts to appear after giving these drops and will disappear once discontinuing giving this drops
- Breastmilk oversupply: Once in a while, blood in the stool might be because of breastmilk oversupply. Overproduction and taking in excessive breast milk can trigger temporary instances of lactose intolerance, because of an intestinal infection or irritation
- Small anal tear: Another common reason for blood in baby’s stool is slight anal tear due to straining during passing stool. This brings about minor splits (anal fissures) in the skin around baby’s anus. The small amount of blood from an anal fissure tends to appear as a red streak on the outside of the stool
- Digestive tract issues: Some issues with the digestive tract can cause blood in baby’s stool. These underlying issues need immediate medical attention too.
- Intussusception: Intussusception is a rare condition. Blood and mucous in the stool of baby is one of the significant symptoms of this condition. It takes place when one portion of the intestine folds into another section thus causing an obstruction. The intestine then swells and loses blood supply. This is an emergency condition that needs immediate medical attention
- Colitis: Colitis is a common term for colon swelling, which can be a result of some viral or bacterial infection, inborn problems with metabolism and digestion, excessive dehydration, etc. This can result in blood appearing in the baby’s stool
How To Treatment Blood in Baby’s Stool?
It is not advisable to self-diagnose. If you spot blood in your baby’s stool and diaper but your baby is cheerful, healthy and playing then you can wait to see your doctor rather than rushing to the emergency room. But if your baby is cranky, vomiting, having severe abdominal pain accompanied by fever, then it is better to seek immediate medical attention.
The treatment of blood in baby’s stool completely depends on the cause. Your doctor will evaluate the situation and suggest a treatment option accordingly.
- If your baby is having diarrhea and passing loose stools mixed with red blood accompanied by fever, then it may be a sign of a bacterial infection. The doctor will check the cause of the infection and decide on the treatment mode
- If the reason for blood in your baby’s stool is constipation, then the doctor will give you guidance by explaining constipation caused by formula milk or solids. The doctor may recommend giving your formula-fed baby a little water to get rid of constipation or he may also suggest a few other ways like a change in diet and applying mineral oil around the rectum in order to lubricate the area and help the stool to pass smoothly
- An excessive lactose, formula, and milk intolerance can be treated by opting infant formula specially designed for babies with lactose intolerance or by opting soy formula
- Intussusception requires a specific method or surgery to reestablish the ordinary position of the bowel. If there is any delay in the treatment, it can be fatal
Did any of you mommies deal with this problem? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.