Mucus in Baby's Stool - Causes & Treatment

Mucus in Baby’s Stool – Causes & Treatment

The frequency, colour, shape, and smell of your baby’s poop will undergo changes till they’re 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 that results in mucus in baby poop. However, mucus can also be an indicator of a serious health issue in some cases.

In this article, we will discuss what mucus in poop is, its causes, treatment and some more information on mucus in the stool of a baby. There is no need to worry in most cases, but do mention it to your doctor.

What Is Mucus in Poop?

Baby mucus poop refers to the presence of a jelly-like substance in their stool. The colour of mucus in a poop of a baby can vary from clear to white, yellow, green, or brown, depending on the underlying cause.

Is Mucus in Baby Poop Dangerous?

In most cases, mucus in a baby’s poop is not dangerous. But at times, it is a sign that your little one has a health issue that needs attention, and if the mucus keeps appearing in their diaper, they may need medical attention.

Common Causes of Mucus in Baby’s Poop

A mother changing her baby's diaper

Unsure about what causes mucus in baby stool? 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.

2. Infections

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.

4. Intussusception

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.

5. Teething

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?

A mucus in baby poop will look like this:

  1. Clear strings and striations in the poop. It appears as streaks on the stool.
  2. You will see lumps of stool with a gel-like consistency.
  3. Shine or glisten of the stool, like a gel.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Here are the ways the doctor diagnoses mucus in the baby’s poop.

1. Physical and Visual Examination

The doctor will check for any swelling abdominal cavity by touching the abdomen. The rectal opening will also be checked for the presence of any problem or protrusion of a bowel polyp.

2. Stool Test

A doctor can ask for a lab analysis of the baby’s stool sample to determine the quantity of mucus and the presence of any pathogen.

3. X-ray

A doctor may recommend an X-ray to get a clear picture of any obstruction within the intestines.

4. Ultrasound

A standard abdominal ultrasound can be performed by the doctor for details of the gastrointestinal tract, the presence of polyps, and blockages.

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.

3. Intussusception

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.

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.

FAQs

1. Can Drooling and Cold Cause Mucus in Baby Poop?

Yes, drooling and cold can cause mucus in a baby’s poop.

2. How Does Mucus in Breastfeed Baby Stool Look Like?

A mucus in a breastfeeding baby’s stool will look like slimy green streaks that run through the poop and/or a bit like jello.

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.

References/Resources:

1. 12 Types of Baby Poop & What They Mean; unitypoint.org; https://www.unitypoint.org/news-and-articles/12-types-of-baby-poop-what-they-mean-infographic

2. The Scoop on Poop; gov.mb.ca; https://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/healthybaby/kits/scoop_on_poop.pdf

3. Is Green Baby Poop Normal?; americanpregnancy.org; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/first-year-of-life/green-baby-poop/

4. Infant and toddler health; mayoclinic.org; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/baby-poop/faq-20057971

5. The Color of Baby Poop and What It Means; health.clevelandclinic.org; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-color-of-baby-poop-and-what-it-means-infographic/

Also Read:

Black Poop in Babies
Green Stool in Babies
Watery Stool in Newborn Infants

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