Newborn Bowel Movements

Parents need not overly worry whether their newborns have bowel movements after every feeding or just once a week. However, there are two exceptions: if a newborn's stool is as hard as rocks, parents should have a pediatrician check it out; if a breastfed newborn has less than four bowel movements per day, it may indicate insufficient milk intake, and parents should have the baby's weight checked by a pediatrician. If a newborn's diet is normal, they may exhibit various patterns of bowel movements.

Generally, healthy newborns pass soft, grainy, yellow stools, although stool color can vary widely from light brown to dark green, all considered normal. Stool color that warrants attention is white, which may indicate a problem with the liver or gallbladder; stool that is red or tarry black (in the first 1-2 days after birth) may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding.

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