Blood in baby's stool: Must you stop nursing?

My daughter has been nursing her daughter for five months with no problems. She weighed eight pounds at birth and now weighs 21 pounds. During the last couple of days my daugher has found traces of blood in the baby's stool. Her pediatrician recommended stopping nursing completely and taking her off all milk products. Last night the baby cried lots and had five soiled diapers and a lot of gas. Should she stop breastfeeding?


Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

The first thing that needs to be determined is the source of the blood. Is it from the mom? This is common and can occur if there has been any trauma or bleeding of the nipples. It could also be from the baby. Has the baby been straining to have a bowel movement? Has she ever taken any medications or vitamins of any type? A blood test to learn whether it's fetal or from the mom is usually the next step.

Find out the doctor's reason for this recommendation, and which formula alternative he suggests. Even the non-allergenic ones (which are very expensive) can cause problems in very sensitive babies; some babies can't tolerate the smell and taste of these either. Blood in baby's stool may also be related to an allergy, lactose intolerance or a case of infectious diarrhea.


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