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Thread: Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    57

    Default Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

    Today my six-week old has been very fussy and has had much more frequent, small stools (many were more like wet farts, but very wet). Most look normal (loose, seedy, mustard yellow/brownish), but two were foamy.

    Could he be having diarrhea? Could this cause dehydration? (So far today he's had about 5 wet diapers.) He has been nursing more and longer today. My husband would feel safer if we gave him some Pedialyte. Is that recommended/advisable? Does anyone have references I could show DH?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

    Honestly, that does not sound like real diarrhea, which is usually large and VERY WATERY stools, accompanied by diaper rash. What you describe sounds like it's within the range of normal newborn poo to me.

    At six weeks, you should never give Pedialyte without consulting with a doctor first (ETA: It's right on the side of the bottle - don't use under 1 yr old w/o a doctor's supervision ), and IME, they won't suggest it unless they see signs of dehydration.

    Breastmilk is the better choice. See here.
    The use of an oral rehydration therapy such as Pedialyte is a sound recommendation for a formula-fed infant who is vomiting or who has diarrhea, but using this in place of breastmilk offers no benefit to the breastfed baby. Human milk is a natural fluid, unlike formula and other milk products, that again is easily and rapidly digested.

    Forego the Pedialyte as long as baby continues to nurse well and as long as there are no signs of dehydration. If baby is showing signs of dehydration, talk to your doctor.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,275

    Default Re: Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

    Keep breastfeeding! Breastmilk is perfect for sick babies and MUCH easier on their little tummies than any sort of "rehydration" drink.

    See this:

    http://www.kellymom.com/health/illne...y-illness.html

    The current recommendations when vomiting or diarrhea is present in the breastfed child are as follows:
    • Breastfeeding should be the FIRST choice if your child can take anything by mouth. Because of the ease and rapidity with which breastmilk is digested, even if your child vomits or stools shortly after nursing, he will still have retained some of the nutrients. Other foods that are often suggested (such as Pedialyte, sports drinks, gelatins and sodas) offer little nutritional value and none of the antibodies that human milk contains.
    • When your breastfed child is ill you'll want to offer more frequent feedings -- this can limit the volume taken in at one time and helps to comfort and soothe a sick child. If your child is vomiting often and not keeping the milk down for long, it may be helpful to breastfeed frequently but limit the length of each nursing session (so your child takes in less milk at once). Another option is for Mom to express some milk before breastfeeding so that the milk flow is slower. RARELY does the baby who is allowed to breastfeed at will during a vomiting or diarrhea illness become dehydrated.
    The use of an oral rehydration therapy such as Pedialyte is a sound recommendation for a formula-fed infant who is vomiting or who has diarrhea, but using this in place of breastmilk offers no benefit to the breastfed baby. Human milk is a natural fluid, unlike formula and other milk products, that again is easily and rapidly digested.

    Forego the Pedialyte as long as baby continues to nurse well and as long as there are no signs of dehydration. If baby is showing signs of dehydration, talk to your doctor. Following are signs of dehydration:
    • fewer than 2 wet diapers in a 24-hour period
    • baby not behaving normally (more irritable, less active, sleeping more)
    • lethargy
    • listlessness
    • weak cry
    • no tears (in an infant older than 3 months)
    • dry mouth
    • skin that stays wrinkly-looking when pinched (pull up the skin on the front of the hand; it should pop easily back into place - not stay pinched or wrinkly-looking)
    • eyes that look sunken
    • cool, clammy extremities, especially the fingers and toes
    • fast breathing, or a heart that is beating faster than usual
    • fever
    Babies who are allowed to continue breastfeeding through an illness such as this are less likely to become dehydrated than those who are taken off the breast. Continued nursing also provides your child with precious antibodies that will prevent the illness from worsening and speed healing. Nursing is also very comforting to your child, which is healing in itself.
    Breastfed babies sometimes need oral rehydration therapy (Pedialyte, etc), though far less often than artificially fed infants. The World Health Organization recommends continuing to breastfeed during and after oral rehydration therapy. Research shows that babies lose more weight and actually have more stools during diarrhea when they are deprived of breastmilk.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,886

    Default Re: Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

    with the PPs. That's a big no on the Pedialyte. Just keep nursing, and your baby will be fine. And I'm also that what you describe sounds normal for a breastfed baby, and not like diarrhea.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diarrhea/Dehydration/Pedialyte

    5 stools in a day can be perfectly normal in a breastfed baby. Diarrhea tends to be more in the 12-16 bowel movements per day range.

    The previous posters are absolutely right in that, should there be a need to rehydrate your baby, nothing could work better than your milk. If you're concerned and your baby still seems unwell, you might consider nursing even more often just to make sure he's getting plenty of fluids.

    At around 6 weeks, a lot of babies have a growth spurt and nurse more often and/or longer, and a baby's stooling pattern might also change when his nursing pattern does. Does that seem like a possibility?

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