Green Stools In Babies: Don’t Panic

"Even if the topic is rather unpleasant: The bowel movements of babies and adults say a lot about the state of health. You will see the contents of your baby’s diaper every day after birth. It can always happen that the baby’s stool turns green.

When your baby starts eating normally, spinach can cause green stools. Diets high in iron can cause something similar. But how come stools are already green shortly after birth?

Green Stool In The Baby As A Health Indicator

The First 3 Days

When your baby is born, on the first day after birth he or she excretes what is called puerperal secretion. The baby’s saliva, which is called meconium in technical language, is the first bowel movement ever. It is very viscous, dark green to black and is compared to the consistency of tar.

It contains remnants of amniotic fluid, skin cells, hair and bile – these are all the things that your baby swallowed together with the amniotic fluid during pregnancy.

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If the baby is breastfed, it first drinks the colostrum, i.e. the colostrum. This has already stimulated the excretion of the baby’s saliva and ensures that digestion is properly stimulated on the second day. Therefore, on day two, you can expect the baby’s stool to look green.

Initially, the diaper contents will be rather dark green and will become progressively lighter in color. The consistency is still firm, but softens with each new elimination. Two to three diapers per day are now full if the baby is drinking enough. Day three will be similar. The color of the stool is now yellow-green.

Day 4 To 7: Digestion Normalizes

Approximately between the fourth and seventh day after birth, your baby’s bowel movements will return to normal. The color changes once again: it is now mustard-colored to light yellow. Bottle-fed stools are somewhat lighter.

If your baby still has green stools from time to time, this is no reason to panic. It may be a sign, for example, that the baby is drinking too little hindmilk but too much foremilk. Their fat content and therefore digestibility is different. This can happen if, for example, the breast is changed too early during breastfeeding or the baby does not suckle properly.

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The baby’s bowel movements and their color scheme always play a role in doctor’s visits. Babies are not very good at telling what is wrong with them. Many diagnoses are therefore also made via the excretions. It is quite common to assess the baby’s bowel movements on the basis of a color chart.

Depending on what color it was, health problems can be deduced. If it is actually due to breastfeeding, midwives and pediatricians can provide valuable tips.

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