Guest Post by Dr. Linda F. Palmer: 10 Valuable Things Your Baby’s Poop Can Tell You

Thank you to Dr. Linda F. Palmer for sharing her expertise with us! See her insight below.

Most parents spend an abundant amount of time worrying about what goes into their baby without realizing the great value of observing the substance that comes out. What can you learn from the stuff in baby’s diaper?

poop face

  1. Whether baby tolerates her food: If baby has frequent, possibly green, watery explosions without fever, has infrequent or hard stools, or alternates between these two, it’s very likely that she is not tolerating certain proteins in her formula or in her breastfeeding mother’s diet. Little bits of red blood or black digested blood in the stools can also result from food reactions. Cow milk proteins are the most common cause.
  2. Whether baby’s liver function is impaired: When poops are getting lighter in color, approaching light tan, gray, or white, this is a sign that something is blocking baby’s bile duct; some kind of liver, pancreas, or bile duct inflammation is developing. A call to the doctor during office hours is in line. If this appearance occurs after giving baby Tylenol, make an emergency call to the doctor.
  3. When someone sneaks in a bottle of formula: When an exclusively breastfed baby’s mustard-colored poop is suddenly brown, either the child is receiving iron supplements or has been exposed to a bottle of formula or to some solid foods. The color change signifies impairment to the highly protective bacterial flora that only exclusive breastfeeding brings.
  4. Whether baby is sick: A sudden appearance of watery poops, with repeat performances, can signify a bacterial or viral intestinal illness, as can green poops. These all can also result from food intolerance reactions. Often fever will accompany an intestinal illness, along with tiredness and fussiness. Rashes around the mouth or on the bottom commonly accompany food reactions whereas fuller-body rashes may occur from various bacterial or viral illnesses.
  5. Whether baby is digesting solids: When starting solid foods, if they come out looking an awful lot like they did going in, they did not get digested, meaning that baby is not yet ready for this step. Little black threads may result from poorly digested banana. It’s not a concern, but may be a hint to wait a while longer.
  6. Whether nutrients are being absorbed well: Poop that is orange, or more yellow than usual, and appears greasy or shiny, is a sign that baby is not absorbing certain nutrients well. A common cause of malabsorption is gluten (wheat) intolerance, also known as celiac disease.
  7. Whether baby is receiving too much iron: Excess iron will appear as dark green-black in baby’s stools. When regularly appearing in the poop, it is clearly not being absorbed. Likely a baby receiving iron supplements or consuming a high iron formula could benefit from a lower daily dose of iron, as non-absorbed iron is not only oxidizing but often causes problematic constipation.
  8. Whether baby has freeloading creatures: When tiny white threads appear in baby’s poop, or peek out at you from baby’s pooper, these are little wormy creatures living in baby’s intestines. They need to be exterminated, either with standard worm medication (which may lead to yeast infection) or possibly through a natural treatment regimen of garlic and ginger.
  9. Whether baby has a penchant for crayons: The occasional baby will find something to chew on that they shouldn’t. Brightly colored flakes mean that baby has found big brother’s crayons. Among foods, artificial food colorings in icing, candies, or gelatin desserts can lead to some colorful results, as can healthy berries or beets.
  10. Whether baby has a bowel obstruction: Poop that looks raspberry colored, like red currant jelly, with gel-like blood and mucus, represents a kind of intestinal blockage known as intussusception. This needs urgent medical attention. Dont wait for a doctor to call you back.

Linda F. Palmer, DC, is the author of Pinnacle Award-winning “Baby Poop, What Your Pediatrician May Not Tell You… about Colic, Reflux, Constipation, Green Stools, Food Allergies, and Your Child’s Immune Health.” She left her 11-year nutrition-oriented chiropractic practice after the health challenges of her newborn son overwhelmed her. Perplexed by the lack of appropriate advice from pediatric sources, her extensive literature research led to her first, IPPY Award-winning book, Baby Matters, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Caring for Your Baby.





Losing The Dreaded Pregnancy Weight

There are very few things in life more difficult than losing weight, especially as you get older. It takes dedication and a commitment to make life changes.  As humans we are creatures of habit and unfortunately we pick up bad habits rather quickly.

I recently had my second baby and as a normally petite 5’2” woman, pregnancy has never my strong suit. I also have a giant husband who measures in at a whopping 6’5”.  Together we produced two very large, tall, boys.

Going into this pregnancy I knew it would be my last so I didn’t restrain myself from any cravings. If I wanted a cookie, I was going to eat a cookie… okay, maybe two cookies – who’s counting anyways? I also headed up the Catering department at a luxury hotel so indulging in amazing food was not something I was ever going to turn down.  Pregnant women like to joke they are now eating for two, but let’s be honest here; the second person is practically the size of a melon. I’m sure they don’t require a whole cookie just for themselves.

I admit my love for food is unparalleled, pregnant or not.  This obsession coupled with hypothyroidism, hormone treatments, and an intense sweet tooth caused me to gain nearly 20lbs before I even became pregnant.  During my pregnancy I gained another 40lbs, so I knew once this baby arrived – I would have my work cut out for me.  In my last trimester I put together a weight loss game plan.  I knew if I waited I would get caught up in the daily struggles of taking care of a newborn and my goals may have been sidelined.


Let me first state that I am not a weight loss expert, a doctor, a nutritionist or even a personal trainer – I am just a busy mom who is passionate about my health and the example I set for my boys.

The first step was writing my goals down and sharing them with friends and family. I am a firm believer in sharing your goals so you are held accountable for them.  Plus, you can use the encouragement and support you receive as inspiration to continue on your path.  Next, I created a realistic timeline.  It takes nine months to put on the weight and it very well may take nine months (or longer) to take it off. Being a mom is stressful enough so be sure to make attainable goals, as you want your weight loss to be a healthy one.  Finally, I downloaded some helpful Apps to track my progress and started following a few fitness blogs. Over the last several months, I continued to stay true to myself and my goals.  If I cheated one day, I made a conscious effort not to do it the next day or any future days.

Below are some tips that helped me reach my goal weight:

  • I wrote down my goals and shared them.
  • I chose to nurse my son.  Nursing, if you can and choose to, will help you lose up to 500 calories a day! This helped tremendously with my initial weight loss.
  • I toned down my portions. Eating off of a salad plate rather than a dinner plate helped me gain perspective on my portion sizes.
  • I eat very little dairy, refined sugars and gluten.  Diary and gluten can give your baby gas when nursing so giving them up was a win for both my baby and me.  I know gluten-free products can be expensive so try substituting one item at a time that your budget allows.
  • Sweets are now just an occasional treat, not part of my daily meal plan. I do miss my cookies though!
  • I signed up for a Mommy Fit class. These classes are a great way to incorporate your baby into your fitness routine, and are  perfect networking opportunities for you to meet other new moms.
  • I enjoy running as a cardio workout so I signed up for future races to keep my goals ongoing.
  • I follow fitness / healthy lifestyle blogs religiously.  Three of my favorites: New mom, Kelsey Byers Fitness, Becci Prather Fitness, and Angela Carpenter, The Yoga Life Blog.  All give recipes, food recommendations, fitness routine suggestions and post videos to show the ‘How To’.
  • I have two Apps that I also use religiously: The Nike + Running App to track my miles and running goals and My Fitness Pal to track my calories, food intake and exercise goals.
  • When the baby naps I try to use that time to work out, whether it’s simple floor exercises, push-ups or using hand weights.
  • This one may sting a little… I consume very little alcohol. Alcohol is a complete waste of calories and it also prevents me from nursing my son.  I now consider it only as a treat on special occasions. The nightly glass of wine for relaxation is now a thing of the past.

baby weight

Today my son is almost five months old and my progress has exceeded my expectations. When I checked into the hospital I weighed 185lbs, I currently weigh 120lbs. I feel amazing but most importantly – I feel healthy.



No One Is More Important Than You

In your adolescent years it is quite common to receive advice about life and what is to come in adulthood.  Most of this advice you tend to shelf because not only do you find yourself to be invincible, but adulthood seems like light-years away.  Then one day, poof, you’re an adult and all those words that came out of your parents’ mouths suddenly start to make sense.  An invaluable statement my mother made to me when I was a young girl was:

“Never lose yourself in someone or something else. Once you lose yourself, you will find you really have no one.”

At the time I thought she just said this because she hated my boyfriend and knew I deserved better (which by the way – she was right!), however she really said it because she saw a pattern forming.  I would often sacrifice what was important to me or change myself to please others, especially men.  I would lose myself, which ultimately resulted in my own misery.

As I grew into a woman, I started understanding more of the importance of her statement.  I was responsible for my own happiness.  If I lost sight of what I wanted and needed, I would never truly be happy.

Women wear many hats in life: wife, partner, mother, and employee, just to name a few.  It is very easy to give all your energy and time to these obligations and forget about what’s most important – you.  If you are not happy, odds are your family isn’t happy.  If you are always miserable, your career is probably suffering too.  It is imperative to take time to do what you like to do, even if it’s one hour a week to read a book or get a pedicure. It’s okay to divert some of that energy and attention to yourself. As a mother of two, I know it’s hard to find time and mother’s guilt can often keep you from doing things for yourself, but I will fill you in on a little secret:  Not only are you worth it…you deserve it!


As we enter a New Year, make a resolution to love yourself more.  Make you a priority.  Ask for help when needed, and take it without feeling guilty. Go on that run every other night.  Have a girl’s night where there are plenty of adult beverages to enjoy. Hell, even lock the door when you take a shower so your kids won’t come in and disrupt you.

Taking the time to unwind resets your mind and spirit.  You’re just as important as your partner, your children, and your career.  Remember:  If momma isn’t happy – no one is.