While many new challenges come with being a parent that one can prepare for, like baby proofing a home and similar matters, some issues arise that are not as easily accounted for.
Some problems that strike new parents and their children alike come by surprise are less common, and therefore simply cannot be planned for.
Among these issues are ones regarding the stool passed by new babies. While having an irregular color stool in newborns is usual, some colors should cause more worry than others, like the color white.
There are, however, multiple reasons why a baby might be passing white stool, so seeing it in your child should not be an immediate grounds for worry, stress, and strife.
What does a change in your baby’s poop color mean?
As mentioned above, changes in the color and texture of stool are normal in babies, for the simple fact that they have just been born and are getting accustomed to their newfound diet.
Newborn babies, breastfed babies, and formula-fed babies alike may all have different types of a stool because of these frequent changes being made inside their bodies.
Colors like green, yellow, and even black may be found in your baby’s stool while they begin to learn how to digest food properly and thoroughly.
However, the white stool can sometimes indicate that there is a problem with the way a child is digesting their food.
One reason why a baby might produce white poop is because of medications they may be taking or supplements they’ve been given.
Things like antibiotics and ingredients in the medicine like aluminum hydroxide can change the color of stool a child is passing. If your baby is taking any medications or supplements, the white poop should not be a worry.
When the medicine stops, it should cease. However, speaking the to the doctor for extra consultation can be a great idea as well.
Another reason why a baby might be passing white stool is simply because of their diet. As an infant, they are most likely consuming milk constantly, and it normally is the only source of food they get.
Because of this, sometimes their stool can take on a white, thin appearance because it is reflecting what they have been consuming. While this reasoning is a little less likely than others, if it is suspected that this is the cause of the white stool, it should not be something to worry about. As other foods are gradually introduced into the baby’s diet, the problem should begin to fade away.
Liver Problems (Hepatitis)
The white stool can sometimes allude to serious liver problems manifesting in children.
This color serves to some as a warning sign or indication that the baby is not digesting their food properly. One of the liver problems that this could be foreshadowing is hepatitis.
This occurs when a baby’s liver is inflamed, by way of infection, or simply their liver not developing as fast as it normally would.
This can cause issues with the production of bile, which is a fluid that assists in digesting food. In cases of hepatitis, it is also common that the baby will have trouble gaining weight and may have a bigger than normal spleen or liver.
In a lot of scenarios, hepatitis in infants will resolve itself with time, as their liver continues to grow and develop.
However, in some cases, it may be an ongoing issue that requires consultation with a doctor.
Liver Problems (Biliary Atresia)
Another liver issue that may be causing white stool in infants is known as biliary atresia, which happens when there is a blockage in the digestive system.
Similar to hepatitis, this causes an issue with the production and dispersion of bile, making it hard to digest foods the way they are meant to. Biliary Atresia, however, is typically fairly easy to diagnose.
A baby affected will also have yellowish eyes and skin that is noticeable, very dark urine, and foul-smelling pee and stool. Unlike hepatitis, this condition can be detrimental if not treated accordingly, so a doctor should be sought out immediately in this case.
Genetic Disorders and Hereditary Problems
In a few cases, the reason for white stool in babies can be completely genetic and hereditary. When it comes to hereditary cases, this is easier to spot because it will most likely be evident in the parents or other family members as well.
The most common hereditary condition that may cause white poop is Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis, which is something passed down that contributes to liver failure that worsens as time goes on.
This is grounds for consultation with a doctor. However, as mentioned before, as it is passed down through linage, if this were an issue to be worried about in your baby, you most likely would have already been aware of the chances.
Other genetic issues that may be the cause of the white stool are eligible syndrome and antitrypsin deficiency. These are issues in the genetic makeup that make the body produce less of the proteins that protect the liver and have fewer ducts for bile in the body overall.
These conditions can be passed down, but in some cases, they can arise randomly as well.
Here are, however, medications that can assist with digestion in bodies that can not do so adequately on their own, so this should not be a huge obstacle to overcome when it comes to genetic issues for white poop in infants.
While changes in stool can sometimes be grounds for worry, white poop in babies does not immediately have to be something to be concerned about
In some cases, it could be something as simple as a result of their diet or medication that they are taking.
However, if the problem continues to persist, seeking out the help of a doctor can assist with alleviating any worries or concerns that may arise with this change.