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PoopMD Is An App That Educates Parents On The Color Of Baby Poop

Everyone Poops, a book by Taro Gomi celebrates the practice of going and educates kids on the universal world of pooping. But when it comes to educating new parents on their baby's poop, the everyday process can be overwhelming. From consistency to color, a newborn's poop is an important indicator of your little stinker's health. Pediatric gastroenterologists from John Hopkins Children Center have developed PoopMD, an app to help catch the signs of a life-threatening liver condition.

Before I had my first child, I read every book and took every class possible to prep myself for life with a baby. But nothing can prepare you for the amount of time you spend talking about your child's body fluids or cleaning up said fluids. Peeling clothes off of my newborn after her first explosive bowel movement really hit home that I was a parent. From blowouts and poop in the bathtub, I have stories. But as a new parent, I had questions.

Babies poop a lot and after their first tar-like offering called meconium, poop color ranges from mustard yellow to brown and is often seedy or pasty. But it's rarely the same each time. So how do you know if what is coming out of your baby is normal?

PoopMD is a free mobile app that allows parents to take pictures of their baby's poop and, using color recognition software, get advice within seconds. Parents can then choose to send the photo to their pediatrician for more consultation. The app is not a diagnostic tool, but an educational guide to help parents recognize a problem and call their doctor with concerns.

The app not only helps parents determine if the color of their baby's poop is normal, but it sends color-check reminders to parents every two weeks from birth to two months. That period is the critical time frame to catch the rare liver-destroying disease called biliary atresia. Biliary atresia occurs in about one of 14,000 newborns born in the United States and is the number one reason for liver transplantation in children. 

The doctors at John Hopkins know educating parents about poop color can be a matter of life or death. Douglas Mogul, M.D., M.P.H. and his colleagues have also created a one-page stool color guide that Proctor & Gamble Baby will offer for free to all birthing centers in the United States. Mogul says, "Color-wise, anything other than black, red or white/pale yellow is likely to be normal."

Taking pictures of your baby's poop may be gross, but as long as the picture helps nervous parents and stays off of social media, I say go for it. Though if the poop resembles an animal or famous actor, that may be worth sharing. I have been known to see woodland creatures in my children's vomit, but I digress.

PoopMD is available for iPhone and Android smartphones. Always call your pediatrician if you have any questions about your baby's health. They are expecting to hear from you and are more than happy to talk to you about your baby's poop.