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Thread: overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    20

    Default overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

    I think that I have an overactive let down. For a few weeks now (my son is a month old) my son's diapers are green, except for the mornings, when they are the normal yellowy curdy. He has gassiness periodically thoughout the day and mostly at night. We have been giving him simethicone and I think that is helping his gas. I pump in the morning in order to build up my freezer stash to go back to work and then feed him, still green. He keeps up with the flow pretty well and is gaining weight great. In every way he is doing great and is a sweet baby. Here is the question--is this something that I need to worry about? I have tried every suggestion with overactive let down that I've come across and still are getting the green diapers. Most of the days I don't worry, but occasionally I still do!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

    Colemiller,

    I am new at BF, but maybe my reply can help you. I am not even sure if I am correct, so hopefully others will chime in if I am not.

    I asked my doctor last week at my 5wo check up why her diapers were green and runny and not always yellow and seedy, She told me it was due to an intolerance of something I was eating. Usually dairy and to go off of it for 3 days and see of there was any difference in the color.

    I went off dairy and Taylor still has the same diapers and no change, I am learning that with her it must be that she is getting the foremilk and not all of the hind milk. I guess - not too sure! This whole bf thing can get so confusing and so much of a guessing game.

    I hope someone else is able to help you more.....

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,645

    Default Re: overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

    My daughter had the same issues with the green and runny diapers. I contacted a lactation consultant at the hospital and she told me to stop timing the baby's nursing on each breast and to just let her remove herself from the breast when she was finished. She said that the green poo could be a sign that my daughter was getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk due to me timing her feedings. Initially, they'd told me in the hospital to only breastfeed her for 10-20 minutes per side. Problem is that sometimes she wants to nurse for 30-45 on one side and then 15-20 on the other, etc. Well, I stopped timing her and the problem cleared itself up. But, I was also told though that green poo can be normal...

    Also, if you're checking to see if it's dairy that's causing this, I believe that you have to wait 2-3 weeks for the products to completely clear out of your system. Just waiting the 3 days won't get all of the milk proteins out of your system so it's not an accurate judgement of whether or not the dairy is causing your baby's issues.

    Hope this helps!

    Amber

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

    I had a similar situation with my dd having green poos. I saw a lactation consultant who told me that as long as she was gaining well and having enough wet diapers that everything was fine. While we did conclude that I had too much milk (causing a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance), she assured me that foremilk is still much better than formula. I too had been pumping in the morning when my dd would rather sleep than eat. When I stopped that, the situation improved somewhat. However, it came back for a while when I had to resume pumping to go back to work.

    Breastfeeding can be confusing and certainly challenging, but it gets easier as time goes on and is definitely worth it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: overactive let down/green diapers--what to do?

    The green poops are usually a result of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. This is generally caused by oversupply, and overactive letdown often goes along with oversupply. So these different issues are all connected but not precisely the same thing.

    If your baby is nursing and gaining well, and generally content and happy, then green diapers from a bit too much foremilk is not really a problem worth worrying about. The fact that he still sometimes has yellow poops as well suggests to me that this foremilk imbalance is pretty mild or borderline anyway.

    Gassiness and its discomfort is associated with too much foremilk, however -- so if you want to address that problem, I would start by tweaking your pumping routine. At least in theory, if you can pump your breasts once a day at the same time every day, then your body will learn to make extra milk at that time, without triggering an undue increase in your milk supply during other times of day. I would recommend that you pick a time, perhaps in the morning, when your baby usually has a decent stretch of sleep, and pump during that, right between his usual feedings. (Of course, with a baby, there may not be enough of a pattern to call anything "usual," but take your best guess.)

    If what you've been doing is pumping in the morning and immediately nursing him afterwards, then yes, he's getting mostly higher-fat hindmilk at that feeding. But this one monster feeding in the morning tells your body to crank it up, momma, 'cause this kid is eating a LOT. And that may create your oversupply problem later in the day.

    Your other alternative is to relax about the pumping altogether and just skip it for now. Once you are back at work, you will ideally pump each day what the baby would have eaten if he were with you ... and that expressed milk will go into his tummy the next day. It's not necessary to build up a substantial freezer stash before you start back to work. Does that make sense?

    --Rebecca

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