We must admit that every parent is often concerned about the baby's chair ... and the reasons are well founded.
In the first weeks of the baby's life, the amount, texture and color of the chair are very good indications of the development of the little one.
In the first week of life a baby will have a chair four - five times a day. Starting with the second week, the number of daily seats may fall to one or two. However, in the case of breast-fed children, the stool may appear after each breastfeeding and continue to do so throughout the first month.
Many parents confuse this with diarrhea, but it is in fact only a sign that things are going well.
Specialists even say that diarrhea is not a common thing in very small infants, their gastrointestinal tract still being protected by maternal immunity.
Texture and color
Whether your baby is breastfed or fed with powdered milk, in the first two to three days after birth, his chair will be very dark in color, almost black, because it eliminates meconium. Then, the chair will turn dark brown and, further, depending on the type of nutrition the baby receives, it will get another color. A breast-fed child will have a soft, yellow stool, while a child's milk-powdered chair will be more pasty, closer to the mustard color.
If your baby's chair is a strong, dry one, it's a sign of constipation. While parents rush to blame the milk they feed their little ones, specialists say that babies often don't push feces out of their body in time. Standing in the rectum, the faeces lose their fluid and become more difficult to evacuate. Babies must learn to feel that they are about to have a stool, and those who are breastfeeding learn this much faster because breast milk makes them go out on their own.
However, it is possible that the powdered milk may be guilty of constipation of your little one. If more than two - three days pass and he has no chair, consult a doctor.
Blood in the baby's chair
This may be due to a crack in the rectum or, if you are breastfeeding, the cracked nipples that bleed when you are breastfeeding. These are not signs of concern. Usually, in these cases, the blood is very low in the baby's seat. However, if your baby has a dark red stain and gel consistency, it is best to visit a pediatrician because it may be a sign of a more serious problem such as intestinal bleeding or blockage.
The green chair
In your baby's diaper can make its appearance and the green chair and you may find yourself wondering "why?". There are several causes of this and most are not cause for concern, but here are some possible variants:
• Powdered milk with high iron content. Some children who are fed powdered milk may have a green chair because of the iron contained in the milk powder. As long as your baby is happy and doesn't seem to have problems with constipation, you don't have to worry.
• Jaundice. A child with jaundice may have dark or green stools. This symptom usually passes immediately after the completion of the phototherapy sessions.
• Dairy allergy. There are children who are very sensitive to certain products from the mother's diet. If your baby has green stools with a mucous consistency, traces of blood in the stool accompanied by skin irritations, it is very likely to be allergic to one of the foods you consume. It will probably take a few weeks to see the results after removing the dairy from your diet. However, after a week or two you should start to see an improvement in the situation. If you are not sure that this is the cause, after a break for a few weeks you can try to drink a cup of milk and see what happens. If the symptoms return, milk is the cause and you will have to avoid it.
• Other. Sometimes babies simply have the green chair. The color of the baby seat may vary. Any shade of yellow, mustard, green ... is quite normal for a child's seat, and if weight gain is normal, you don't have to worry.
The black chair (very dark in color)
Iron supplements have this influence. If the baby receives iron supplements or milk powder fortified with iron his chair may be black or very dark in color.
On the other hand, the black stool may also be the cause of intestinal bleeding. Therefore, it is advisable to notify your pediatrician if your baby does not receive iron supplements, but his chair is very dark in color.
Analysis of fecal matter in infants
Stools, or faeces, are usually regarded as garbage and nothing else, after which the water must be drawn quickly. Only that the bowel activity can provide doctors with valuable information about digestive, intestinal or any other part of the child's gastrointestinal system. Your child's doctor may request a stool test to test a variety of conditions, such as:
• allergies or inflammations in the body, allergies caused by milk proteins in infants;
• infections caused by certain types of bacteria, viruses or parasites that invade the gastrointestinal system;
• digestive problems, such as not assimilating certain sugars, fats or other nutrients;
• bleeding along the digestive tract.
The most common reason for requesting this sample is to detect possible bacteria or parasites that could infect the body. In our digestive system there are many microscopic organisms that improve digestion, but sometimes enter the body and parasites that can cause diseases, such as certain types of diarrhea.
Depending on the substances they contain, the chairs provide information on how nutrient absorption occurs. Lipids, for example in the case of a healthy body, are completely absorbed in the large intestine. If the analyzes contain traces of lipids, then there are clear signs of a condition.
Collecting a stool sample
Unlike the other analyzes, this sample can be collected at home by the child's parents. Here are some tips on how you can do this:
• because it can be a pretty "dirty" job, use gloves and wash both your hands and the baby's hands very well after the operation is over;
• uses a device made of plastic that can be fastened to the collar of the toilet or even to the bottom of the child, when it is too small to communicate; thus the sample will not be contaminated; if the sample was contaminated then it is necessary to collect another sample;
• another way may be to place a bag over the toilet collar; the sample should then be moved into a sealable plastic container.
To get the best results, the samples should be taken immediately to the laboratory. If this is not possible, then the sample should be stored in the refrigerator. When the sample reaches the laboratory, it is either analyzed immediately or deposited in a special liquid meant to preserve any bacteria and parasites.
In most cases, bacteria and parasites are detected in a single sample, but more may be needed. In this case, the doctor will tell you the required number of samples. The results of such an analysis should be sent in three to four days, although the identification of certain parasites may take longer.
In the case of newborns or very sick children, the tests obtained on a piece of canvas by the nurses or doctor are tested. If a child suffers from diarrhea for a long time, apart from parasites, the samples may also contain parasitic eggs. If the doctor suspects an infection caused by parasites or their eggs, he will give you a container with a special liquid that will keep the parasites.
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