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The frequency, colour, shape, and smell of your baby’s poop will undergo changes till he’s one-year-old. It may also contain mucus at times. In most cases, this is nothing but a reaction to a specific sort of food. However, mucus can also be an indicator of a serious health issue, in some cases.
Common Causes of Mucus in Baby’s Poop
Unsure about what causes mucus in a baby’s poop? Here are a few:
1. Normal Secretions
Mucus is secreted by the intestines to assist in bowel movement. In the case of breastfed babies, most of the stool will be mucus, since there’s little waste to be expelled.
Sometimes, your baby’s digestive system may be affected by bacteria like Salmonella or E.Coli, leading to the presence of blood and/or a lot of mucus in the poop. Other symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, and a tender belly.
3. Allergy to Mom’s Diet
Even if you’re exclusively breastfeeding your baby, he may be allergic to some foods that you consume. As his digestive system is still underdeveloped, he may not be able to tolerate dairy products or spicy foods. Other symptoms of food allergies in babies include excessive gas, fussiness and projectile vomiting.
This is a serious problem that can cause mucus in your baby’s poop. Intussusception is a disorder that occurs when one section of the bowel slides into the next, resulting in diminished blood flow, swelling and inflammation. Your baby may only be able to pass mucus excreted below the blocked area. 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.
If your baby is teething, the presence of mucus in the poop is normal. An excessive amount of saliva and teething pain can irritate the intestines and result in mucus production.
6. Cystic Fibrosis
A baby suffering from cystic fibrosis may also a lot of mucus in his poop. This mucus generally is generally greasy and has a foul odour. Other symptoms that accompany this condition are poor weight gain and delayed growth. This condition requires immediate medical treatment.
What Does It Look Like?
Mucus can appear as clear streaks in the poop or have a gel-like consistency. When an increased amount of mucus is produced, it’s easier to identify it.
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 mucus 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.
What Are the Most Common Treatment Methods?
Since mucus is just an indicator of a serious health problem, treatments vary depending on the problem your baby is battling.
1. Stomach Infection
The paediatrician will advise you to increase your baby’s fluid intake and may prescribe medication to bring the fever under control.
2. Food Allergy
If the mucus is due to a food allergy, you may need to eliminate certain foods, for example, cow’s milk from your diet.
Intussusception requires surgery to correct the intestinal overlap. Alternatively, the paediatrician may recommend using a barium or air-enema to correct the position of the intestines. Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent the loss of blood flow to the intestines.
Mucus in a baby’s stool is common and there’s nothing to worry about, in most cases. If inconsolable fussiness, the presence of blood in the poop, refusal of fluids and fever manifest along with the mucus, you should visit a paediatrician without further delay.