A baby doesn't always necessarily have diarrhea; breastfed baby stool is supposed to be loose and quite frequent.
The Importance of Breast Milk
Breast milk is the best for a baby because it provides immune protection as well as gut protection. A baby may be fussy at the breast or sleepy, but most babies will end up breastfeeding more often for comfort when they are ill. Continued breastfeeding will not just help a baby heal faster, but breast milk is much easier to digest than any formula.
Signs and Symptoms of Infant Diarrhea
So then How do you know if it's normal or if it’s diarrhea?
- Baby is producing more than 12 bowel movements in 24 hours.
- The stool is watery, not just loose.
- The stool smells different and may have a foul odor to it.
What Causes Infant Diarrhea?
- It is caused by any toxin elimination or
irritation of the gut.
- It can be caused by any illness or virus.
Food sensitivities, either due to a new food
introduced into the baby’s diet or via the food in the mother’s breast milk.
Lactose intolerance, which is very rare.
Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. This is when a baby
is drinking too much foremilk (watery milk at the beginning of a feed) and not
enough fatty hindmilk (more towards the end of a feed) this usually producing
stool that seems like diarrhea and is typically runny, frothy and greenish in color.
NB – Caretakers should be on the lookout
for signs of dehydration when a baby has diarrhea. Breastfeed as much as
Should I give my breastfed baby Pedialyte?Top of page
Tracy Behr, CBC, CLD (CBI)
Reference: Breastfeeding counselor course
through Childbirth International on the physiology of breastfeeding/Health
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