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BABY SOS: 'Should I Worry That My Newborn Baby's Poop Is Green?'
PHOTO BY @ArtTim/iStock
  • Every parent looks forward to the day her baby is born. The excitement in welcoming a child into your home and in your life is something difficult to match. But when you get down to the nitty- gritty of everyday life with an infant, the thought of cleaning up after a baby and handling soiled diapers could be downright gross.

    Especially on the first few days of life, baby’s poop is unique and – we’ll say it — gross (It doesn’t smell bad, but it will be hard to clean). Meconium, that greenish-black and sticky bowel, is your baby’s first poop. It is composed of cells, mucus, amniotic fluid and other substances that your baby ingested, and which were present in your baby’s digestive tract, while in utero. 

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    How long will my baby pass meconium?

    It is normal for babies to pass meconium in the first two days after birth, at two to three bowel movements a day. Gradually, your baby’s poop color will change into greenish-brown as he begins feeding on milk. These “transitional” stools also have a different consistency than meconium, in that they are a bit loose. 

    If you observe meconium beyond three days after your baby is born, check with your pediatrician. Your baby’s poop should change in quality as he takes in breast milk or formula milk, and retaining the greenish-black stool may indicate he isn’t getting enough milk. 

    Within the first week of your baby’s life, expect his poop to change colors drastically in a matter of days. From greenish-black, it will turn greenish-brown to yellow depending on whether he is breastfed or formula-fed. Two to three bowel movements a day is considered normal. 


    According to Dr. Ella Salvador, pediatrician at Ospital ng Muntinlupa and Unihealth-Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center, “A breastfed baby makes three to four stools every day. And, it's not usually formed, it has more of a pasty consistency. Baka isipin nyo nag-LBM siya or diarrhea, but it's very normal.”

    If your baby is moving bowels more frequently, check with your pediatrician and be on guard against dehydration, which can be life-threatening especially to infants.

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    What if my baby does not pass meconium?

    It is very unusual for a newborn baby not to pass meconium, and if it should happen, usually there are conditions that cause it. A blocked intestine, an absent anus, or an abnormally small opening of the anus, are just some of them. Bring the matter to your pediatrician’s attention immediately. 

    What is meconium staining?

    Your newborn is expected to start passing stool only on the first day after birth. However, in a number of cases, a baby could poop while still inside the womb. This poses a problem, as your baby could inhale the meconium and develop meconium aspiration pneumonia, which can be serious and require him to be monitored closely at the neonatal intensive care unit. 

    What could cause meconium staining?

    The common belief is that babies who inhale meconium-stained amniotic fluid are born way past their due date. However, a baby who goes through distress or infection while in the womb, or whose mother is diagnosed with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes could also pass meconium before birth.

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