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Thread: oversupply green poo help!!!

  1. #1

    Default oversupply green poo help!!!

    hello there

    I really need help. My baby is 9wks old and has had green poo for 3 weeks now. I only used one breast per feed from the start not sure how this problem started. I have been advised its due to a over supply and have been block feeding for 3 weeks now with little effect. I am upto 9 hour slots (approx 3 of his feeds). As well as green poo he is very upset and unsettled I have been told he has colic. His poo has only started to go yellow again twice during the block feeding and then returned to green. Sometimes it is really loose and sticky and sometimes like seaweed and it sometimes has a very strong nasty smell. I have tried feeding on demand during this period as well as trying to make him go longer between feedings as he uses me as a dummy and i was worried this would further stimulate milk supply. Do i continue with the block feeding ? do i increase the time frame further? do i give up breast feeding im so confused and in need of help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,890

    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    Welcome! Green stools can be a result of oversupply, but they can also be caused by an allergy or intolerance to something you are eating that is coming through in your milk. So before you change your feeding pattern, you want to make sure you have lots of oversupply symptoms, like:
    - baby chokes, coughs, gags, spitters, or clicks at the breast
    - if baby unlatches during nursing, you often see milk spraying or streaming from the breast
    - you frequently feel full or engorged
    - you experience frequent leaking
    - if you are pumping, you are able to pump multiple oz with ease
    If you are seeing any or many of those symptoms, and the baby is continuing to have green poops yet is gaining weight well, you should continue to block feed and eliminate any pumping You may also want to try feeding in a reclined position (gravity helps to slow milk flow). A cup of sage or peppermint tea may also help, since those herbs can help reduce milk supply. You do not want to try to change your baby's feeding routine. Schedules are the enemy of successful breastfeeding, even in cases like yours. Smaller, more frequent feeds may actually help your baby take in less milk overall and that may help with his discomfort. If he's starving each time he comes to the breast, he probably feeds very fast and very sloppily, taking in too much milk and also too much air. You also don't give up on nursing! Lots of moms here have nursed through oversupply, and if you are just patient it will eventually abate. And even if you do have oversupply, your milk is still the best thing for your baby, way better than formula.

    The final thing you may want to pursue is a dietary elimination. Common allergens that crop up in your milk are dairy, wheat, and soy. I'd cut out dairy first and see if there's an improvement, since cow's milk protein is one of the most common causes of green and odiferous stools. (Note: an intolerance to cow's milk protein is not the same as lactose intolerance, which is a problem with the sugar in milk, and which is vanishingly rare in babies and young children.)

    Can you tell us more about the colic symptoms you are seeing? Do they strike at a particular time of day, how long do they last, is there anything you can do that consoles the baby?
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    Hello, thanks so much for the reply.
    Before i started the block feeding as I was only feeding off one side anyway the other side used to become very engorged if the baby hadnt fed for 3 hours. I never really got going with pumping as I had mastitis before the green poo and was advised to stop but I used to get about 2oz pumping for about 10mins but I only did it a week. The baby used to spit up after some feeds but has now stopped. I have been reclining for all feeds and think this has helped with the flow when I switch breasts. On a night the baby has been going between 5-7hrs and often there is milk streaming from the best as it is so full and the other breast often leaks but again apart from at night I think this has slowed since increasing the blocks. Im a little worried that there is now not enough milk for the baby as he has started fussing when he is put back on the same breast for the third feed as though he isnt getting anything out. I am reluctant to stop block feeding until the green poo has resolved itself.
    The colic symptoms are that the baby often seems upset about half an hour after his feed he raises his legs as if in pain, he only likes been upright and screams if lay flat, arching his back and is often unsettled until he has passed a stool, then he gets hungry and it all starts again. I have spend ages trying to wind him and he does get wind up but this doesnt settle him.
    The symptoms go on all day but he is much better at night and has been good at sleeping at night, he has a little fuss but generally goes to sleep, I dont know if its because he is so worn out from the day as he doesnt sleep all day.
    If this was an allergy would he not have had green poo from day one as I havent changed my diet? Also if it is an allergy should I stop block feeding as this will be reducing my milk supply. Thanks so much for any help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    If this was an allergy, it wouldn't necessarily have started on day one. Allergies can take some time to develop. For example, my daughter was not allergic to penicillin the first time she took it. Or the second. Or the third. But the fourth dose- that's when she got hives.

    The reason I asked you about the oversupply symptoms is that if this was an allergy, block feeding would not be the right treatment. It's too easy to reduce supply. But based on what you've described, it does sound like you have an oversupply issue and therefore you probably should continue to block feed, but still feed on demand.

    Controlling oversupply is a process that requires a lot of patience and consistency. But if you stick with it, eventually your supply should even out and your baby should grow into your supply a bit more. At 3 months, you may just need to live with it a bit longer. I still had oversupply at 3 months, and my daughter still had green poops. But it didn't hurt her at all, in the long term!

    It sounds like your LO hates to be put down. What would happen if you just wore him in a sling all day long? That can really soothe those colicky episodes, or stop them before they even begin.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    hello again and thanks again for advice.
    I hope its not an allergy and im decreasing my supply for the wrong reasons. Had a bit of a break through at weekend following a 12hr feeding block baby finally had yellow / green poo some with the little seeds in although they still seem to explode out and smell but he seems even more miserable worried now he may not be getting enough milk?
    Not sure how long to continue block feeding for or how to give up, do i gradually decrease the block or stop all together?
    thanks for any advice

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,890

    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    transitioning away from block feeding can be tricky, because supply fluctuates over the course of the day. A lot of moms have the most milk at night and early in the morning, and the least in the late afternoon and evening. So often a mom needs to block feed and use long blocks in the morning, and then consider doing double-sided feedings in the evening, if she perceives that the baby isn't satisfied with just one breast at the end of the day.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that at 3 months it may take some time to see yellow poopies again, if you ever do. After 3 months of oversupply, the baby's intestinal lining may be irritated enough that it's going to take some time to heal. While that healing process happens, you may continue to see green poops even after your oversupply is controlled. Again, not a big problem for the baby, but something to be aware of.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    466

    Default Re: oversupply green poo help!!!

    with everything mommal has said, word for word!

    My baby started to have green poos (explosive, mucousy, watery) at around 5 weeks. As it turned out, we had two issues: my oversupply, and her food sensitivities (to dairy, soy, nuts, and wheat/gluten). Now she is 8 months and our issues are under control. She's a happy, healthy baby, and never got sick, despite all the green poos!

    I want to second some things that mommal has said, b/c they are important:

    - Controlling oversupply is not a "one-size-fits-all" process. As mommal said, you might need to blockfeed at certain times of day, then switch breasts or do one breast per feeding at other times. And it also will vary depending on the day. It's still like this for me. When my supply started to adjust at around 3 months I made the mistake of thinking I wasn't making enough, because I was so used to having full breasts. As a result I ended up with even worse oversupply at 5 and 6 months, to the point where I had plugged ducts literally every day for weeks and weeks. You have to learn your body's signals and vary your strategy accordingly.

    - As mommal said, even after you control oversupply and remove allergens, your baby's poos might not go back to yellow seedy. My baby's poops never did. Her GI tract was irritated, and also as the gut flora changes and matures, the digestion and poo also change.

    - But my baby's poops did change in positive ways: first, they became creamy and homogeneous, whereas before they had been watery and curdled. Also, she stopped having explosive poops (that shot out across the room!). Her colic disappeared and her gas diminished almost completely. Her spit-up also diminished.

    - I saw these changes when I cut out all dairy, gluten, soy and nuts. It took a month off dairy, and two weeks off the other stuff, to see improvement.

    - The "test" was that when my supply increased too much, or when I inadvertently ingested a forbidden food, baby's symptoms would return.

    I hope this helps.

    PS. I also remembered that every time she would get the rotavirus vaccine (I think it was two or three shots?) her poops would act up all green, mucousy and even blood-flecked. The vaccine irritates the GI lining, but it's harmless and temporary (and of course the benefits much outweigh this small side-effect).
    march 2011... the light of my life

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