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Is formula causing bloody baby stools?

My baby has stop taking breast milk, then I switched formula from Simulac to Emfamil and he stared having bloody and mucusy stools. The doctor switched him to Nutramigen, but he is still having bloody stools. He doesn't have a fever and he is happy and alert and feeding well. He just has really bad stools.

Elizabeth Walenz | Pediatrician

Elizabeth Walenz

Blood and mucus in the stools can indicate a colitis or inflammation of the walls of the colon.

There are many different causes for colitis. One of the more common causes of blood and mucus in the stool in Nebraska often can be MSPI or milk/soy protein intolerance.  A baby lacks the enzymes to properly break down the proteins in milk and soy and the large protein load to the colon can cause inflammation resulting in fussy baby and blood in the stools.

We often will switch babies with concerns for MSPI to an elemental formula such as Nutramigen or Alimentum. If a child has further blood in stools, further investigation should take place.  

Colitis can often cause discomfort. However, if your child is happy, there may be another cause for blood in stools. If a child is having hard stools or is constipated, this can cause blood on the stools as the stool passes through the colon. There are also other cause of colitis, such as infection. I would recommend your child re-visit his pediatrician.

Read more answers by Dr. Walenz