29 answers

Blood in Baby's Stool

Dear Moms,
I noticed a tinge of blood with my baby's (5 month old) stool. Since I'm breastfeeding, the doctor put me on a strict diet (No: dairy, eggs, soy, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish) to see if what I'm eating has possibly given my baby an allergy. We will go back to the doctor in 2 weeks to test her stool again for blood. If we find that there is still blood there, they might need to do a GI scoping and/or place her on hypo-allergenic formula. I'm wondering if any of you have experienced this and what the outcome had been. Thanks so much! R.

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My baby had the same problem, at 2 months old. My doctor told me to put the baby on formula and for me to stop eating diary, eggs, soy, nuts, fish, chocolate, etc. just like you. It seemed really extreme so I spoke to a lactaction consultant who told me it was most likely the dairy in my diet. I eliminated all dairy for about 3 months. The problem went away pretty fast. I slowly reintroduced dairy into my diet a few months later and my daughter had no problem. She is 14 months old now and still breastfeeding. She drinks cow's milk as well and she has no problem with that either.

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My friend had this happen and she was only breastfeeding as well. once she stopped all the dairy and soy it went away. It was very hard because there is milk in almost EVERYTHING we eat. But it actually made her feel better as well. Be very careful about going the formula route. Just last week there was a story out about melamine being in nestle good start. that is the same chemical found in the Chinese formaulas.

good luck!

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kellymom.com is a great go-to site for breastfeeding questions. It has a pretty informative article on bloody stool in babies. I hope it doesn't interfere with breasfeeding.

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My 15-year old daughter had the same issue as a baby. At 6 weeks, she had blood in her stool and I rushed into the pediatrician's. He said it was probably due to a sensitivity to dairy in my diet since I was breastfeeding exclusively. However, he sent us to a pediatric internal specialist who told me to wean my daughter immediately and put her on Neutramigen. She also wanted to do a lower GI exam, which is not without risks, by the way. I decided to get a second opinion from another specialist, who told me this problem is very common. He encouraged me to continue breastfeeding, which is what I wanted to do and try eliminating all dairy from my diet. He would only do further testing on my baby if she did not improve. Well, within a week of my adhering to the diet, my daughter had no symptoms. Later, if I slipped up and had a little milk, we would see a little blood, but that only happened two times that I can remember. I am so glad to this day that I was not convinced to abandon breastfeeding because both mom and baby would have lost out unnecessarily. My daughter was able to start taking dairy products by about age two, without trouble and has no apparent food allergies now. I wish you and your daughter the best of health and happiness!

1 mom found this helpful

My baby had the same problem, at 2 months old. My doctor told me to put the baby on formula and for me to stop eating diary, eggs, soy, nuts, fish, chocolate, etc. just like you. It seemed really extreme so I spoke to a lactaction consultant who told me it was most likely the dairy in my diet. I eliminated all dairy for about 3 months. The problem went away pretty fast. I slowly reintroduced dairy into my diet a few months later and my daughter had no problem. She is 14 months old now and still breastfeeding. She drinks cow's milk as well and she has no problem with that either.

1 mom found this helpful

I can tell you my experience with this. We found blood in my daughters stool when she was 6mo. We pt her on the most extensive safe foods for her on solids and I stopped eating dairy and soy for a few weeks and there was still blood we put her on the hypo-allergenic formula and I stopped BF her finally at around 11 months because we didn't know what else to do. Guess what the blood was still there and I missed out on the breastfeeding relationship that I wanted. In all honestly if the only thing your seeing is a little blood and no other problems I wouldn't even worry about it. Sometime around 15mo my daughter outgrew this. Oh all her allergy testing came back neg.

1 mom found this helpful

My friend had this happen and she was only breastfeeding as well. once she stopped all the dairy and soy it went away. It was very hard because there is milk in almost EVERYTHING we eat. But it actually made her feel better as well. Be very careful about going the formula route. Just last week there was a story out about melamine being in nestle good start. that is the same chemical found in the Chinese formaulas.

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

its most likely an allergy to what your eating. thats on the good end of the spectrum. on the bad in it could be as bad as salmonella poisoning (which unless you have snakes lizards gone to a petting zoo recently then i doubt this is it). that is a horrible thing to go through and it can be deadly. this causes blood in the stool lethargy all kinds of things. my nephews had it from being touch after their older sister was touching her lizards (even after washing her hands). they were hospitalized for over a week and went home with pic lines in their arm that delivered medication directly into their heart. this illness almost killed one of them they caught it right before it entered the spinal fluid (if it went to the spinal fluid there was nothing they could do). this compromised their immune system for a year. i dont honestly think that your baby has this sickness but its good to be aware of this. i do think however it is just an allergy to something your eating. you should request an allergy test by blood. good luck!

My (entirely bf-ed) daughter had this happen a couple of times when she was tiny, and it turned out to be an small anal fissure. However, it *can* be a sign of something more serious, and it's always important to get it checked out.

When it happened the second time with my daughter, we made an appointment to do a full GI trace, but the appointment was a couple of months away. By the time it rolled around, I was content that she was fine and we just cancelled it.

Don't panic, but do take your doctor's seriously and get to the bottom of it (pun intended).

this happened to my 4 month old as well. my pediatrician said he's allergic to something i ate. he didn't mention specifically milk, and i don't think my baby was allergic to milk either. actually, i think it might be lamb or shrimp my baby is allergic to, since those were the 2 food items i ate before the bloody stool episode that were out of my ordinary diet. i started keeping a food diary and eat what i usually eat, and just avoided "strange" food, like seafood or lamb or whatever i don't usually eat. my pediatrician wasn't alarmed at all. it seems like this happens quite often. anyways, i didn't even keep a strict hypo-allergenic diet. i just eat what i usually eat and not eat food that i usually don't eat, and the bloody stool hasn't happened again. so you may not have to be too alarmed at this. hope your baby is ok soon.

Same thing happened to us, we found out at 4 weeks that there was blood in my Daughters stool, I've been on a diary free diet ever since. After further testing the blood was no longer there and her skin got better too! Have you noticed dry patches on your son's skin?? We are hoping that she grows out of this allergy, from what I understand most babies grow out of it between 6 and 12 months.

good luck and try not too worry too much.

This is a great guide to baby stool.

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/pediatricks/poop.asp

I had the exact same experience with one of my twins. She was always crying, we thought she was just "fussy" until we started seeing blood in her diapers. It turned out to be a dairy allergy. I took the dairy out of my diet and supplemented my breast feeding with Alimentum (hypo-allergenic pre-digested protein formula... stinky!) She was like a new baby in just a few days. By the time she was one she had pretty much outgrown it and was able to digest milk products ok. She's a healthy happy 10 year old now. The only small side effect of going through all that is she has a very hyperactive colon and is very prone to constipation. We keep her on a tiny daily dose of miralax to keep her moving and it works beautifully.

My now 14-month-old also had blood in her stool when she was about two-months-old. The doctor said it could be a fissure [tear in the anus] that was causing the blood and I was fine with that until I starting seeing more. Then I took a sample in to the doctor and it was recommended that I stop eating dairy [I've exclusively breastfed since birth, with the addition of solids of 6 months]. That stopped it immediately and just last month, at thirteen months of age, did I start drinking milk again [again, still breastfeeding] and have seen no side effects. I am waiting though until she weans herself off the breast to introduce any other type of milk to her diet directly. So, my suggestion would be, don't stop breastfeeding, it's truly the healthiest nutrition for your baby.

Oh, and someone mentioned the dry skin. My daughter also started to develop dry patches along with the bloody stools, which all stopped immediately after I took dairy out of my diet.

I experienced exactly what you are experiencing. I noticed blood in my daughter's poop, only hers wasn't a tinge, it was all mixed in with the poop - quite a bit! It was her only problematic symptom - she was gaining weight fine, sleeping fine, not in any apparent pain, hardly was fussy. I was told the same things as you - switch your diet, if that doesn't work, go on formula.
I was NOT okay with switching to formula. Breastmilk is so far above and beyond formula in the benefits it gives your child. Switch to formula, and you're upping your child's chance of dying of SIDS, having diabetes, being overweight, having allergies... DON'T DO IT! Not to mention, breastmilk is always easier on your baby's GI tract than even the most broken-down formulas. Pediatricians do their best, but they are NOT educated in breastfeeding. You might think a week of formula won't hurt, but it destroys the protective lining that breastfeeding creates in your baby.
After my daughter's (who is 4 1/2 months old) pediatrician told me we NEEDED to switch to formula, I went to a second pediatrician to see what he would say. He said if my daughter is gaining well, happy, and doesn't appear to be in pain, there is no rush to put her on formula and we can take plenty of time to try to figure out what is causing it. He said it was causing NO PERMANENT DAMAGE.
That put my mind somewhat at ease, but her first pediatrician still wanted me to switch, so I had her refer me to a GI specialist. We went to see him yesterday. Remember, this is a person who went to school SPECIFICALLY for this type of problem, and he also went to school for pediatrics. He knows what he's talking about. Anyways, he told me that as long as she is gaining well, is happy, isn't in pain, that this isn't hurting her at ALL. He said it is VERY common in infants for them to have blood in their stool, that they outgrow it between 9-12 months.
Now, if your baby is extremely fussy, has a distended stomach, and isn't gaining weight, then I might go along with letting her be scoped. I would NOT, under ANY circumstances, switch her to formula. And, if she is happy, gaining well, not crying in pain, I would NOT do the scoping. It is painful, and has many potential harmful, even fatal side effects.
I know that her doctor is probably making you feel very worried, like this is very serious, but I would seek second and third opinions. Also, email Dr. Jack Newman. If you go to his website, you can email him, and he responds promptly. He is well-known for his expertise in breastfeeding and common problems.
I know what you are going through, and I honestly think pediatricians don't have a clue what they are talking about if they try to tell you formula is better than breastmilk. It isn't. They are misinformed. I also think if the blood is your child's only symptom, it isn't probably a big deal. I'm sensing that you aren't 100% on board with what your pediatrician is telling you. Trust your instincts. Seek as many opinions as necessary until you find one that sounds best for your baby. Hang in there!

I found the same thing in my daughters when she was about 3 months old . I was also only breastfeeding . I was put on that strict diet also . he gave me some formula which i tried (but didn't really want to do since breast feeding is the best )and she refused . So i continued breastfeeding . They also tested her stool . So it might have been that she strained or something i ate although when breastfeeding i am always careful what i eat . It happened 3 times , a very small amount but caught my eye . After that it never happened again . Which i was relieved . Everything has been fine since .
Goodluck with everything !! Hopefully it stops soon .

Hi. My sister's son developed blood in his stool when he was 2 weeks old. They don't know why this has happened. They told her to stop breastfeeding immediately. They put him on a hypoallergenic formula, which was 2x the price as regular formula. It was called Enfamil Nutramigen. She was testing his stool every week for 3 months. After that, the blood went away and he was able to get on a more mild formula instead that was a little cheaper. He got on Enfamil Gentlease. He is still on this and doing fine. I guess they thought he was straining too much when he was pooping and causing blood. Too much Iron in your diet will do this too. Good Luck!

The very same thing happened with my breastfed son. It appeared around 5 months of age and the doctor also put me on a restrictive diet. However, I was assured to continue breastfeeding and was also told by our metabolic nutritionist that it is somewhat normal to see blood in breastfed babies stools. I also sought the advice of a pediatric GI doc; however, I would say the nutritionist was most helpful. I could not eat dairy, and he couldn't consume dairy, eggs, or wheat until after he turned 1 year. Now is is eating everything in sight and we haven't seen blood in months. I wish you the best of luck!

My daughter had a little bit of blood in her stool around that age too and it was a little tear, poor thing, I exclusively nursed her too. It really had to do with my diet more than anything. What helped her is when I would eat apples, pears, high fiber fruits, etc. I went on that same diet while nursing too. Make sure you eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Best of luck.
E.

I would save any invasive testing for a while. As you can see from the other responses, this happens to a LOT of now healthy and fine babies. My son was premature and after he had spent 2 months in the hospital he came home and I notice trace amounts of blood in his diapers. I was already a nervous wreck and now this!? I was b'f'ing and I cut back my dairy as much as I could stand and it went away. He's 9 months old now, there's milk in my coffee right now and there's no blood. He's fine!
Good luck on this. Try to stay calm about it and just monitor the situation closely.

The little blood you saw can be literally nothing. It might be what is called a fissure, something common in baby's stool and the tiny amount indicates that's what it is. Perhaps when your baby pooped the rectum was tight and it caused a fissure which could cause blood from the strain. It happened to my son and I ran to the doctor thinking it was serious. He calmed me and it never happened again. keep checking, but don't panic. My baby is 13 1/2 years old and all is well. I hope your baby is fine and you will be too. Relax and wait, it's probably minor. OK?

We had a similar experience with our daughter who's 2 months old. Ask your doctor about hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, also known as vitamin K deficiency in infants.

We had to find out the hard way having gone to a paed that misdiagnosed her as having an infection. A trip to another doctor after 3 days of hospitalization seemed to solve the problem. She was given a shot of vit K. Apparently exclusively breastfed babies can have this problem even after a post birth vit K routine shot

Two of my three babies had this. They were seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester by a specialist and it turned out to be a protein intolerance. My son weaned right away and onto Alimentum formula, but my daughter wouldn't wean (we went through a huge nightmare) and stayed on my milk and the problem subsided when she turned one. I too went through changing my diet, but it didn't work for me. Appearantly in Australia they don't do anything for babies with this, they keep them on mothers milk and they usually by the time they are one, grow out of it.

Hi R.,

I had the same issues with my son. It turned out that he was allegic to protein. After a very stressful period of time and change of pediatritian, we put him on Nutramigen formula. (When we tried to go completely hypoallegenic - it did not work, he vomitted after every feeding - it was a complete nightmare).

And just like his doctor predicted, when he turned 1 year - we slowly switched him to regular milk - with absolutely no problems!!! In two months, he will turn 16 years old, and he has not had any problem with protein since. Thank God, but he does not have any food allergies! Good luck to you and your baby.

What a scary thing to experience. My son had other issues similar to this but not the same. I would highly recommend breast feeding as long as you can, it is important to your baby's immune system to do so.

If you do have to switch to a formula, try Neocate www.neocate.com as it is not dairy nor soy (have to be careful of soy, the same or worse than dairy).

Is it just on the outside of the stool, or mixed in to it. May sound wierd, but it makes a difference. Is the stool hard? My dd had a tiny bit, but it was because the stool was hard an it tore her little bungie a tiny bit. I felt awful, but was relieved it was not internal. Hope this resolves, sorry you are going through this.

Hi R.:

You might want to consult with my doctor, who is certified in allergy elimination techniques. Testing and treatment is non-invasive and testing is done through a surrogate (you). My grand daughter has been cured of many allergies (as a baby). We go to Dr. David Karaba at the East West Medical Group in Fullerton.

Best wishes,

M.

My now 6month old has the same thing, and has had blood in his stool since he was 3mo old...we went to GI who said that 99% allergy related so to rule out anything more serious he had a lower endoscopy(thankfully not as intrusive as an adult endoscopy)Fortunately determined that he does have allergies, to what though is unknown. Since my son gaining weight and not fussy or complaining GI advised that I can continue to breast feed and did not need to switch to formula unless I wanted to. Still breastfeeding and still occasionally blood in the stool...something I am dealing with and have accepted as normal for now. I eliminated all typical allergens from my diet to no avail. GI told me to reintroduce as it did not appear that any change happened with the elimination. Good luck to you and hopefully it will be just as benign for your daughter as it is for my son.

kellymom.com is a great go-to site for breastfeeding questions. It has a pretty informative article on bloody stool in babies. I hope it doesn't interfere with breasfeeding.

I hear a lot of babies put on formula instead of breastfeeding as if formula can some-how be superior to mother’s milk. Before they put your baby on formula ask them to check for bacterial infections and BILE reflux (unlike regular reflux you will not see it w/o a test.) Plus this – have you been taking any meds? How is your stress level? Is baby constipated? Does her breath smells funny?
Here is a discussion on same subject from different website.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/archive/index.php/t-...
Hope it all gets resolved w/o formula ; )

R.,

Although I did not peronally breast feed for long (I dried out), I too experienced that problem with my son.

It actually turned out b/c there wasn't enough fiber in his diet. So we adjusted that and it helped a lot.

Just a thought. Good luck

C.

This happened to me and my Dr. handled it differently. It was right after my 6mo. visit and she sent the stool to Children's Hospital lab for analysis. My son had diarrhea for a week, on the second day of this he showed blood in his stool for the one time. She had called around to make sure their were no virus' going around and my son's stool tested negative for bacteria. His stool eventually went back to normal and no more blood was ever found by me. Not once was scoping a part of the conversation!

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