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Fever, stuffy nose, pink eye, rust colored stool. Switched to soy formula from breast milk. Taking pedialiyte. reason of the change?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
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I have a three month old daughter who we recently changed to soy formula after three months of breast milk and supplemented regular formula. She normally has sage colored poo the consistency of tooth paste. This week our family has come down with pink eye (including her) and strep (she hasn't been tested for strep), and she has been running a slight fever (100). She has been screaming and has had a stuffy nose so the doc told us to give her pedialiyte, which we did (strawberry). She snarfed it down fast, then went to sleep. This morning she started screaming again, and has been pushing really hard, when she pooed, her stool was rust colored and the consistency of jam. I have two older boys so I am not an over worried new mom, but I have called the doc every day this week worried about her, she won't stop screaming and is very unhappy. I am worried, do I need to be or are her stool changes because of the new formula or even the pedialyte?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for posting your query.
I would like to mention few things before I answer your query.
1.All over the world it's advised that exclusive breastfeeding till 6mths is the best and safest nutrition for the baby.
2.Due to inevitable reasons if formula feeding is necessary then it's advisable to use the same brand (whichever suitable) or similar formula unless advised by doctor to change.
It's not mentioned whether the change to soy formula was for any particular reason .
3.Whenever an infection occurs like colds, flu , diarrhoea etc its necessary to keep the infant well hydrated either by frequent breast or formula feeding or by rehydration solution (Hence the pedialyte prescription).
Now the answer to your query.
Yes it is observed that pedialyte can cause a change in color of the infants stool.however it's unlikely to cause any discomfort to the child and it's easily reversed by changing the flavour used ( say XXXXXXX instead of strawberry).
A change in formula too can cause change in color and consistency of stool and it can cause discomfort if causing gaseous distension due to indigestion.
However considering your history a probability of gastrointestinal infection or obstruction (causing straining and jam like stools) does exist .It can be ruled out with a thorough clinical examination and a stool routine and culture test The stool test if positive for occult blood, pus cells ,mucus and
bacteria points towards an infective cause.
Since its been a week and there is notable excessive crying or irritability, it is best to get it investigated if the situation persists after ruling out the intolerance to formula.Meanwhile you may switch to the original formula or breast feed and change pedialyte & assess for response.
In case your baby develops any new symptom like vomiting, fever or XXXXXXX blood in stools then please consult your pediatrician promptly.
In any case whatever be the cause your doctor might provide symptomatic relief from colic by prescribing anti colic and digestive drops like colicaid or neopeptine etc.Also saline nose drops may help relieve nasal stuffiness and irritation.
Hope I have answered your query.
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