About “BABY POOP”
… about Colic, Reflux, Constipation, Green Stools, Food Allergies, and
Your Child’s Immune Health
by Linda F. Palmer, DC
Edited by pediatrician Susan Markel, MD
Eat, sleep, and poop. That’s what babies do. Every parent has challenges and questions about these activities and there is an abundance of information on eating and sleeping, but poop? The appearance and behavior of a child’s stools can give more information about the child’s health than any other factor, but we just don’t seem to like to talk about it.
From an award-winning, three-time author—and a mother—Baby Poop brings the hard-to-find facts that equip parents to help their babies be happier and healthier, head off the occasional dire situation, and to optimize their child’s lifelong health.
Yes—poop. Parents spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about what goes into their babies. All the while, what shows up in baby’s diapers provides tremendous cues about baby’s digestion, immune functioning, and overall wellness. We don’t get explanations or even pointing fingers from babies: We get smiles or tears, and we get poop.
Baby Poop is about child health dilemmas faced in industrialized nations. These are distinctly different from the challenges in less developed countries, as most of these challenges are caused directly by modernization. Infectious disease rates are high in many less developed parts of the world, with high infant and child mortality rates—but industrialization, medicine, and money are not the end-all answers to optimal child survival. Baby Poop illuminates how a much larger portion of children in developed nations suffer from colic, reflux, food allergies, asthma, autism, and diabetes than those in the developing world—and how modern practices are encouraging these.
Baby Poop presents evidence from science and medical studies—accented by the collective wisdoms of mothers, midwives, lactation consultants, and other infant care specialists—and provides options that are shown to optimize children’s health. Written with new parents in mind, even the most experienced lactation, birthing, or pediatric professional will find many new pearls of information throughout the text.
It’s clear that Palmer has had plenty of experience with baby poop physiology and has researched the literature thoroughly, for our benefit. Palmer also fully recognizes that every family has its own unique needs, desires, and challenges, so she does not promote a one-size-fits-all agenda. Never judgmental, Baby Poop expands the evidence-based options, so parents have more resources from which to make decisions that work best for their family.
When is runny poop actually a sign of constipation?
Is it normal for a baby to go 10 days without pooping?
My baby’s poop is white! Am I seeing things?
Fifteen to twenty-five percent of U.S. babies suffer from colic and/or reflux. Contrary to common medical lore, a large portion of babies don’t just “grow out” of colic and reflux; rather, they “grow in” to new symptoms that can haunt them into adulthood when not addressed early.
Baby Poop encourages parents to take charge of their own child’s health while keeping healthcare professionals in the loop.
You think of a baby as one organism, but actually trillions of organisms, chiefly bacteria, have powerful influences over a child’s immune protection and nutrient absorption. Strongly measurable differences in long-term disease risks have been correlated to a child’s floral beginnings. Early diet, and even place and mode of birth, have been shown to have great impacts on a child’s long-term microbiome. Antibiotic drug treatments create the greatest assault on baby’s flora. When out of balance, the flora plays a role in generating syndromes such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, allergies, autism, diabetes, and even obesity. The stage for all of these can be set during infancy.
In case of a preterm birth, it is highly valuable for expectant parents to learn about issues over which they may have some influence. High rates of gastrointestinal maladies are reported in autistic children. Whether such symptoms are the cause or the result, these children still need help.
Because the majority of pediatricians find many stooling symptoms unimportant or simply are not enlightened as to how easily they can be resolved, many chances to relieve a child’s uncomfortable conditions are lost. A large portion of troublesome intestinal conditions in infants are quickly written off by doctors as “common” complaints that will go away with time. Many extra hours of crying and discomfort in babies, and of worry and lost sleep in parents, take place because of the taboo of poo. A great number of these health challenges carry on or return as the child becomes an adult, and entire lives are hampered by missed diagnoses and opportunities to heal.
Food allergies and intolerances join the ranks of other rapidly growing disorders in children and are often the first signs of future GI ailments and autoimmune diseases. Food reactions are largely the cause of early colic, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, sleeplessness, rashes, and many more symptoms. Challenges to infant gut health are at the root of such food reactions.
The healthcare provider needs to be involved when baby is sick with diarrhea, but it’s still the parents’ job to continue baby’s care at home. Baby Poop provides evidence-based recommendations that can greatly benefit baby’s recovery. Constipation can quickly turn into a serious problem—or can become a chronic problem for years. Baby Poop expounds upon early healing efforts that can reduce lifelong stool challenges.
To help prevent your child from joining the growing statistics of chronic health problems, early gut healing and continued gut health efforts are worthwhile, especially if your child expresses any of the symptoms of concern discussed in this book, has been exposed early to antibiotic drugs, has had early exposure to formula feeding, or has experienced multiple GI infections.
Baby poop is a window to the health of a child.
Baby Poop lets parents in.