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blood in a baby's poop

Mom’s Question:
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!!!!!!

Jade


Baby Helpline:

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-redDark 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:

Good luck and remember – parents always know best if something is not right with their children!

Paula

More On Blood In Your Baby’s Stool or Urine

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.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mel

    My baby had the same thing and it turns out that she has a milk protein intolerance. I breastfeed her exclusively so I had to stop eating all dairy products including anything that has whey or casein in it.

    Some babies can’t process the larger cow’s milk protein so it makes them really sick. Our baby used to scream and scream when pooping. This happened especially at night and then she started having blood at about 6 weeks so I was very concerned.

    We scheduled an appointment with a pediatric G.I. specialist just in case that wasn’t the problem, but after about a month of me going off dairy, our baby was significantly better. The blood went away after about a week of no dairy.

    Definitely, find a doctor that can help you find out what is causing the blood, though. It is serious. We had to change doctors also.

  2. Avatar
    Rohini G

    In my 2 years son little blood coming in stool . But he is very active and no pain . He used to drink more milk in a day . What was the exact reason for this cause . can any one help me to resolve the cause . And I given my baby stool to the lab to test and I’m waiting for the result

  3. Avatar
    Obeidallah Asiedu

    My five months old baby had blood in her poop this week. But I noticed some tear at her anus area.