How Often Should a Breast-Fed Newborn Have a Bowel Movement?

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A breastfed newborn baby should have a bowel movement five to 10 times a day for the first month and then every four to 12 days after that. Discuss newborn baby bowel movements with a pediatrician using advice from a certified nurse midwife and professor of nursing in this free video on pregnancy and childcare.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy & Childcare
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Video Transcript

Many new parents of breastfed babies have the question of how many times a day should my baby be having a bowel movement? Well it's important to realize while all newborns have individual differences, there is somewhat of a pattern to the way that a newborn stools in the first month or so of life. In the first couple of days after birth newborns pass what is called Meconium which is the lining that was inside their intestines prior to being born. It's very thick and tarry and blackish greenish color and has a very sticky consistency. As breast milk gets into the baby's system the tools become transitional so that by the second to fourth day the stools become a lighter green and less sticky in consistency. By the end of the first week a breastfed baby will be having five to ten stools per day and they will be yellow in color, varying degrees of color and may be quite watery in consistency or appear to be seedy in consistency. From 7 to 28 days babies, breastfed babies will continue to have 5 to 10 stools a day and usually in small amounts. Once the baby passes the mark of about 28 to 30 days he may only stool every four days to ever twelve days and this would be considered normal so it's important for a mother who is watching the stools for a newborn to realize there is a transition between 28 days and somewhere around 30 to 34 days that the baby may actually stool less and that's actually very normal.


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