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Baby poop is changing, science reveals. Here's why it matters

Baby with diaperWhat's in infant diapers may help explain the rise of allergies and asthma in recent decades.

by Maggie Fox, NBC News Correspondent

Baby poop is changing, and that could be bad news for children's health.

Anyone with a newborn knows that baby poop is important. Pediatricians often ask parents of a new baby to keep track of what’s in their diaper, to make sure they are eating properly and that everything’s working as it should.

A new report published Wednesday finds that baby poop can tell us more than just how one infant is doing.

The study found that the pH, a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is, has been steadily going up since the 1920s.

This matters because acidity can tell doctors about the baby’s microbiome — the balance of “good” bacteria that help digest food and protect us from disease.

The researchers think it may also help explain the rise of allergies and asthma in the modern era.

Bethany Henrick of the University of Nebraska and Evolve BioSystems Inc. looked at medical studies of baby poo going back to 1926, when researchers first started characterizing the bacteria in infant feces... Read more on Today