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Thread: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    Hi, all...hoping to find some answers or see if anyone else has experienced this. The last few weeks my 7 week old has had some unusual diapers. I apologize in advance if this is too graphic, but I am desperate for help! Basically her diapers appeared normal for the first several weeks. However, she had diapers that would contain mucus and sometimes have a foul smell...kind of like it was soured. Also, the diapers would be green and sometimes contain what would looked like leaves in it! I called the pediatrician and the nurse didn't seem overly concerned. However, a few days later there were streaks of blood in it. It only happened once, but I called the ped's office immediately and the nurse and I talked about it. I did mention to her that I had supplemented with formula (two ounces), and she felt like that had been the culprit. I don't normally supplement, but my daughter had been crying non-stop and I was exhausted...I thought I wasn't producing enough milk (I know now that wasn't the case.) She felt like maybe it was a reaction to the formula.

    Depsite having discontinued ANY supplementing, her diapers have jumped back and forth from normal to not-so-normal looking. I did some research, and I believe part of the issue stems from my over active let down and possibly a fore milk/hindmilk imbalance (I had this with my firstborn). Things did improve when I made some adjustments including changing her latching and cutting back on any dairy. However, they are still containing mucus and periodically the odd smell comes back. They aren't green anymore.

    So I took her into the ped's office to actually look at her diaper. It looked normal again except for all the mucus. He said basically that it was just probably her system trying to heal back up. Stated that sometimes when someone had diarrhea, even once the symptoms were gone, you still won't feel great for awhile. That answer didn't really satisfy me. He didn't think it was an allergy issue until I mentioned that her dad was lactose intolerant (as well as her grandmother and great-grandmother). So then he told me to lay off the dairy. I am just not sure this is the issue. I went without dairy for awhile, and had a little and she seemed fine. Although the diapers (excluding the mucus issues) have improved, she's still pretty gassy and gets quite worked up and cries a lot prior to expelling a lot of gas or a large diaper.

    Sorry, for the novel, but if anyone has experienced this or has any advice, it would be wonderful to know. I do plan on calling my hospital's breastfeeding center to talk to a LC, but I wanted to get others' opinions, too. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    It sounds to me like you might want to cut out all dairy, including hidden milk proteins. It could take up to 6 weeks to clear out of both of our systems, so it may take some time for everything to clear up.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    no advice from me but i feel sure another mom who has experienced something similar will be along soon to chime in.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    Thank you both! I didn't realize it could take so long to clear from our systems. I will definitely keep that in mind!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    Check out the allergy section of this forum. I'm on my phone so it's hard to link. But you should find a lot of info on dairy intolerances. I've been egg, dairy and soy free for months. It's not always easy but once you find the substitutes it's really not that bad. And it makes a world of difference to my baby. He spits up a lot. And I mean a lot. Still does sometimes but at the height I would be changing both of our clothes several times a day. And he was so unhappy, crying a lot, gassy, uncomfortable. Any of that sound familiar?
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    She rarely spits up, but if she does it's usually from burping or pushing out gas. She does seem unhappy, gassy and uncomfortable for spells at a time. My oldest had reflux, so I know the signs/symptoms of that. The youngest doesn't seem to have that issue. However, the allergy issue does seem to be more in line with what may be going on! Thanks for the info! It's so hard to watch her go through this, and I want to help. I just have no experience in this, and I feel like I am starving us because I've already had to cut out so much of my diet. Good to know they have info on substitutes! Thank you again!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    I think your doc actually gave you good advice with the diarrhea analogy. If your LO's intestines have been irritated for a while, it is going to take a while for them to heal. Really.

    One area where I am in disagreement with your doc is the lactose intolerance issue. It is very, very, very rare for babies to be lactose intolerant. Baby mammals of all species are designed to digest lactose-rich milk, so they produce plenty of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. But most mammals do not consume milk beyond infancy, so as they grow up most mammals stop producing lactase, or produce much less of it. Humans, the only mammal to routinely consume milk past infancy, may continue to produce large amounts of lactase into adulthood if they have the gene that allows them to do so. But not everyone does. Therefore it is common for adults to be lactose intolerant. A lactose-intolerant adult probably wasn't lactose intolerant as a baby or young child.

    Now, that doesn't mean that your baby isn't having a problem with lactose. If you have OALD and oversupply, your milk probably contains relatively more lactose than average, and lactose overload can give a baby problems with gas and green poops and bloody streaks. The baby isn't lactose intolerant. Rather, the amount of lactase he produces, which is sufficient to handle a normal amount of lactose, can't quite keep up with the vast amount of lactose he is getting. If this is the case, controlling the oversupply is the best way to cut down on the baby's lactose consumption.

    So what does this all mean for you? If your baby is having a problem with lactose overload, then your consumption of dairy products probably isn't an issue. Lactose from cow's milk isn't going to get into your milk. However, proteins from the cow's milk are common allergy culprits and may be causing your baby's weird stools. So, in short, I think that taking dairy out of your diet for now is a good idea. But do it because you're worried about the cow's milk proteins, not the lactose.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    proteins from the cow's milk are common allergy culprits and may be causing your baby's weird stools. So, in short, I think that taking dairy out of your diet for now is a good idea. But do it because you're worried about the cow's milk proteins, not the lactose.
    and those proteins can take some weeks to a couple months to clear. Having BTDT, I would try cutting all obvious and not-obvious dairy from my diet, not supplementing with formula and giving it some time.

    Also, it's pretty typical for a baby to fuss a bit about passing gas or having a stool. It's a weird feeling to them at first. They need time to get used to these new things their bodies do.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    Thank you for your input! I did some research myself after the appointment, and I found what you are talking about (proteins, that is). Your post confirms that this could possibly be a source causing her issues. It's not really clear in my original post, but I'm not sure he was saying she was lactose intolerant...possibly allergic to the milk protein. He wasn't very clear about it, one way or the other. He gave me some sample formulas designed specifically for infants having these issues (of course, other than an emergency, I won't be using it. In the process of trying to pump and store.) I did talk to my hubby about his intolerance issues and he said he didn't start having them until he was 14! I thought he was born this way, but I never asked. Good to know! I want desperately to keep BF, but I've gotten really discouraged. After finding this forum, I am starting to feel more hopeful again, since I can speak with those like you who are more knowledgeable. I don't have really any family or friends to turn to, as not many of them BF. The few that did, never really had any issues, or if they did, they quit. I didn't realize that the proteins could take awhile to clear; thus, my alarm that the mucus had been continuing for three weeks! That eases my mind. Thank you again!!

  10. #10
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Mucus/Foul Odor in Diapers

    The problem with pumping and storing is that if she is allergic to the milk proteins, it will be in your stashed milk. So...wait for it to clear BEFORE stashing milk. Make sense?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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