Why Is There Mucus in My Baby’s Poop?
Mucus is a natural substance that helps keep your body healthy. But it may not be what you think! Some people believe that there are no traces of mucus in their baby poop, while others say there are some.
So what exactly does it mean if there is or isn’t any?
Let us explain…
What Does Mucus Do For Your Child’s Health?
The main purpose of mucus is to protect your child from germs. If you have ever had a cold or other viral infection, then you probably remember how bad it felt when the virus attacked your throat and lungs. You could only breathe through your nose and cough up blood. That was because the viruses were able to get into the airways where they caused inflammation which led to death of cells in those areas.
It turns out that similar things happen when babies are born too! When a baby passes through the birth canal, the walls of the birth canal close off causing the airway to become constricted.
This causes mucus to form which protects against infection.
How Much Mucus Is Too Much?
We all know that there is a limit to how much mucus our bodies can produce so why do we still see cases of children with severe allergies and asthma when they are exposed to excessive amounts of mucus?
The answer is all in how much and how often the mucus is exposed to the airways. If a baby is exposed to excessive amounts of mucus, then they are at high risk of developing asthma later on in life. Their bodies will try to fight off the infection and produce even more mucus than usual.
What Are The Other Risks?
On top of the chances of developing asthma, there are other serious risks linked to mucus. For example, if two parents both have asthma then there is a 75% chance that their child will also develop it. If one parent has asthma and the other has a history of excessive mucus, then the chances increase to 50%.
Is There Any Way To Prevent All Of This?
It is a well known fact that breastfeeding can help prevent the development of allergies and asthma. The longer that a mother can exclusively (or almost exclusively) pump her milk, the lower the chances are of her child developing asthma or other allergic reactions to food.
In addition, getting the baby outside on a daily basis will expose them to more viruses and bacteria that can help their body fight off any potential infection. This is why babies who grow up on farms are less likely to develop asthma than those who grow up in cities.
What Can I Do To Limit The Mucus?
The good news if you are worried about your child producing excessive amounts of mucus is that there are some things that you can do about it. For one, cutting back on allergens can help your baby’s body fight off any infection that gets into the airways.
For example, if you or your partner are allergic to cats, then it might be a good idea to get rid of the cat. This will prevent excessive mucus production that can block up the airways of your baby.
If you or your partner have a severe allergy to pollen, then you might need to consider moving house or at least part time.
In addition, you can always speak to your doctor about any medications that can help reduce the amount of mucus your baby is producing. Sometimes, these drugs are not safe for the baby so you need to get a professional opinion first.
Do Newborns Always Produce Mucus?
You may notice that your baby is constantly producing a runny nose or is coughing a lot. This is perfectly normal for newborns as mucus helps to fight off any infection that gets into the lungs. While this may seem alarming, it is important to know that this is a natural protection mechanism for babies and actually helps them fight off infection.
Just make sure that you change their diaper often and always keep their nose clear so that they can breathe. If the mucus is causing your baby to have trouble breathing then contact your doctor immediately.
What If My Child Has A Blocked Nose?
A blocked nose is when your child’s nose is completely stopped up and they cannot breathe through it at all. This can be very alarming for any parent as it seems like their child is choking or even not getting enough air. However, this isn’t quite the case.
While it may seem difficult to believe, a blocked nose does not actually affect how much air their lungs are taking in. The reason for this is because newborns and infants do not breathe through their mouths as much as you might think.
Instead, their bodies are able to intake air through their mouths and noses at the same time. This allows them to keep breathing while their nose is completely blocked.
If your child’s nose is completely blocked, then you will need to help them in order to prevent any complications.
What Should I Do If My Child’s Nose Is Blocked?
If your child’s nose is completely blocked then you may need to help them unblock it. Before you do this, make sure to check that they are awake. If they are asleep and their nose is blocked then you will need to wake them up before trying to help them.
The first thing that you can try is using a bulb syringe to gently suction any mucus or debris out of their nose. You want to do this very carefully so that you do not cause them any pain or injury when doing it.
You should also make sure that you are extremely careful when using a bulb syringe on an infant as they may not like the sensation and inadvertently scratch or bite your hand.
The second thing that you can try is using a rubber aspirator or even your mouth to gently blow air up their nose and clear out any blockages. Again, you will want to do this very carefully and make sure that you are gentle when doing it.
If these two techniques do not seem to help or your child is experiencing complications like a high fever or they have been having issues for more than three days, then you need to seek medical attention right away.
How Can I Prevent This From Happening?
If your child is experiencing a blocked nose or seems to have complications with their breathing after using any of the home remedies, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
If your child does not experience any complications then there is nothing else that you will need to do to prevent this from happening again. However, there are some things that you can do on a regular basis in order to keep your child’s nose as clear as possible.
One thing that you can do is to gently suction your baby’s nose using a bulb syringe after every feed. This will keep their passage clear and ensure that they are able to breathe properly.
You should also make sure that you change your baby’s cotton wool after every feed as old cotton can cause blockages and lead to other problems.
Another thing that you can do is make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Newborns and infants need a lot of sleep and if they are struggling to breathe through their nose then they may be more tired than normal.
Make sure that your baby gets plenty of cuddles and skin-to-skin contact as this will help them to clear their nose as well. You can also gently rub their chest in small circular motions to help with the drainage of their mucus.
Also, make sure that you do not overheat or over-wrap your baby when you are indoors as this may cause extra pressure on their chests and make it harder for them to breathe. If you notice that they have a stuffy nose then you should also make sure that you keep them out of any overly warm environments until the issue clears up.
When To Seek Medical Attention
While most cases of a blocked nose in babies will clear up on their own without any major complications, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention if you notice any complications.
If you are struggling to clear your baby’s nose and it has been more than three days since the issue first occurred, then you should seek medical attention. You should also seek medical attention if there are any signs of a secondary infection.
Common signs of a secondary infection include:
· High Fever
· An increase in the amount of mucus coming from your baby’s nose
· Difficulty breathing
If you notice any of these symptoms then you should take your child to see their doctor as soon as possible. While most cases of a stuffy nose should clear up within a week, if it lasts any longer or begins to cause complications, then you need to seek medical attention.
Our Final Thoughts
Taking care of a baby can be challenging, especially when they get sick. While most babies get sick several times throughout the first year of their life, it is still never any fun for either them or you.
However, there are ways to make the process easier and simpler as long as you arm yourself with the knowledge on what signs to look out for and how to treat them.
If you find that your baby has a stuffy nose then it is best to take some extra steps to ensure that their nose gets the attention that it needs. The above remedies and treatments are a great place to start, just remember that prevention is better than a cure, so keep those nostrils clear!
Sources & references used in this article:
When and why are babies weaned? by H Karp – 2015 – Bantam
Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong–and what You Really Need to Know by H Barrie – British medical journal, 1978 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Health & Wellness by E Oster – 2013 – books.google.com
Brain rules for baby, Updated and expanded: How to raise a smart and happy child from zero to five by M Kovacs – CANADIAN JOURNAL OF DIAGNOSIS, 2000 – STA COMMUNICATIONS INC.
Why Do I Scream at God for the Rape of Babies? by KP Why, S Plans – m.kp.org
All Pooped Out: And Other Gross Expressions by J Medina – 2014 – books.google.com