My baby has a lot of blood in his poop. We have been to the doctors but they didn’t really say what it was! I also don’t know what to do about it, since I didn’t get any instructions.
Help, I am very worried!!!!!!
Easy Baby Life:
Possible Reasons For Blood in a Baby’s Poop
I certainly understand that you are worried. Good of you to take your baby to the doctor. Since you were sent home, I assume the doctor ruled out any severe illness.
Reasons for blood in your baby’s poop
Here are a number of reasons to why there might be blood in a baby’s poop:
1. Constipation – Most often blood in a baby’s stools is not an emergency. They may have it from constipation and anal tear from passing the hard stools.
2. Allergies – There are also reports of infants with blood in the poop from food allergies and intolerances; cow’s milk and soy protein being the most common. Even breastfed babies can experience this if their mom consumes a lot of the protein that they are allergic to. In such a case, it will help if mom eliminates the cow’s milk or soy from her diet.
3. Lactose in the foremilk – You don’t mention the age of your baby and if you breastfeed or not. If you do breastfeed, oversupply can actually also cause some blood in stools. This is due to the lactose in the foremilk, which can irritate the bowels.
4. Infections – Other reasons are different types of infections. For example, some bacteria, such as E.coli, Salmonella or Shigella may cause blood and also mucus in a baby’s poop. But is these cases, the baby is likely to have other symptoms of illness too, such as diarrhea, maybe fever, vomiting or other symptoms.
5. Intussusception – There is also a condition called intussusception, which is uncommon but can occur in babies and toddlers. What happens is that one portion of the bowel slides into the next and causes a blockage, intense pain and sometimes bowel movements consisting of blood and mucus mainly. This is an emergency condition, but not something your baby is likely to have because you do not mention intense pain!
Unless you are completely sure that the blood is related to constipation or a small tearing that you can see, you should find another doctor, who can help you sort out the problem.
I can’t say why your baby has blood in his poo, but I sure know I wouldn’t settle with “no help” from the doctors.
The Color Of the Blood In a Baby’s Poop
Another thing, the color of the blood and poop matters:
Bright red – If the blood in the poop is bright red, it is fresh and hence likely to be due to an anal tear from constipation. It can, however also be due to milk protein allergy – if you discover normal poop (not hard, like in constipation) tinged with bright red blood. Finally, diarrhea with bright red blood indicates a bacterial infection.
Except for a case of constipation that you know how to treat, you should pay a visit to your baby’s doctor to sort out the cause of the blood.
Dark red – If the blood is dark, it is due to something further into your baby’s belly. Most likely, if the blood shows up as small blackish poppy seeds, your baby has swallowed some blood from your own bleeding, cracked nipples while breastfeeding.
Black – On the other hand, if your baby’s poop is more or less all black and tarry, it may be almost all blood and in this case, you should take your baby to a doctor immediately.
Jelly-like and bright-red or dark-red – Dark or bright-red jelly-like poop should definitely be discussed with a doctor immediately. In these cases, there may be infections, intussusception or other reasons that need a doctor’s attention.
Also, if your baby has a lot of blood in the stools or if it is combined with other illness or pain, then a doctor should be consulted.
If you know that the blood is related to constipation, you can find tips on remedies here. (But in any case, I think you should still find a better pediatrician to talk to!)
I would also like to recommend good books related to a baby’s health in general and pooping in particular:
- The first one is Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 by American Academy Of Pediatrics and,
- The second one is Baby Poop: What Your Pediatrician May Not Tell You … about Colic, Reflux, Constipation, Green Stools, Food Allergies, and Your Child’s Immune Health.
Good luck and remember – parents always know best if something is not right with their children!
More On Blood In Your Baby’s Stool or Urine
- Baby Urinating Blood
- Blood Found In The Diaper – Possible Reasons
- A good compilation of reasons for blood in baby stools, available from Kellymom.com. (Opens in new window)
Have you ever found blood in your baby’s poop? Please share your thoughts about this by add your comments below or return to Baby Poop Q&A.