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Thread: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of Blood

  1. #1
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    Default 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of Blood

    My 5 week old receives breast milk only. He was supplemented early on with small amounts of formula. He is currently having green poop during the day and yellowish brown at night. It progressively gets worse looking as the day goes on. Sometimes the green poop has tiny streaks of blood in it. Our pediatrician told me to come off of milk products and thinks it is allergy collitis. I haven't had dairy since Thursday, and the pedi said it might take a while to get out of his system. He nurses almost all day constantly and can not seem to stay asleep for naps unless I hold him. He sleeps next to me in the bed and sleeps well at night. He wakes to eat and poop two or three times during the night. Sometimes he will poop as I am changing his diaper and it will be frothy like oversupply. However, I do not feel like I make too much milk. I actually worry that I don't make enough since he wants to nurse constantly. I pump one side (Medela Pump In Style) as he nurses the other during the night (about 15 minutes), and I only get 2 ounces. It seems strange that the poop gets worse looking as the day goes by. He weighed 7 lb 11 oz at birth and 9 lb 13 oz now, so weight gain is fine. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Welcome! What you describe does sound like either oversupply or an intolerance to something in your diet. Dairy would be the obvious suspect, since many babies have issues with cow's milk proteins in mom's diet. If this is a dairy problem, it may take some time for the proteins to work their way out of your system. So be patient! You're not going to see textbook yellow poops overnight. The same goes for oversupply: when the baby's gut is irritated from lactose overload, it takes a while for it to heal back up. Oversupply would actually fit the pattern of poops that look progressively worse over the course of the day, since the poop you see in the evening may have come from a time of day when the oversupply was more severe, perhaps the morning (when most moms have the most abundant milk). Anyway, whatever this is, you may be dealing with it for a while.

    Don't worry too much about this! When a baby is gaining weight well, bloody poops are not the end of the world. They can make you feel really unsettled, but they probably aren't really bothering the baby. I nursed my second daughter through a bloody stool issue, and while there were some disturbing diaper scenes I am very glad I stuck with it.
    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
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! Another question . . . if we have relatively normal poops for a couple of days and then get a bright green one again with very tiny (have to look hard for) amounts of blood, do I assume that it is still dairy working its way out of my system, or should I take more out of my diet? We had a couple of normal days. I ate some chocolate oatmeal that I made from scratch - no dairy - last night. Also, I ate a single bite of egg this morning before I remembered not to. Both of those were previously removed from my diet. This evening he had two bright green bowel movements. I'm wondering if one of those could be bothering him. I have stopped eating dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, chocolate, beef, eggs, fish, shell fish, citrus, wheat and there are probably more things that I'm not thinking of. What are your thoughts on the inconsistant diapers? Did you only remove dairy when you had these problems?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    I think you shouldn't assume anything. Green poops are one of those mysteries that can drive you insane. Is it residual dairy? Did you mess up and eat something you shouldn't have? Is it not allergy at all, is it illness? Or oversupply? That's why I think it makes sense to focus on the general trend. If the general trend is for yellow poops and a happy, growing baby, I'd personally brush off the occasional green stool.
    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
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    So, now he is 3 1/2 months, and we are still battling blood streaked stools. I am currently off dairy, wheat, soy, egg, chocolate, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shell fish. I started taking digestive enzymes. My baby is growing well (birth 7 lb 11 oz, now 13 lb 14 oz) and seems happy. I am kind of thinking that he isn't getting to hind milk, because he only nurses for a few minutes at a time and nurses very frequently. The past few days, I have kept him on one breast until I felt like it was empty. He slept better, and went much longer between feedings. By this morning, his poops looked good - even thought there were some seeds for the first time. Then last night I felt like he nursed too frequently and not thoroughly enough. He has been fussy today and nursed too frequently and only for a few minutes at a time again. He had green frothy poop again this afternoon with small amounts of blood - you have to really look for it. I *know* that I haven't had even traces of the foods that I have eliminated for several weeks. The nurse at the GI doctor wants to put him on an amino acid formula for 3 months and then Gentelease formula. She said that it is very easy for babies to get anemic. I want so badly to breastfeed though, but I'm very afraid of him becoming anemic. She said that there is no iron in breastmilk, although I have read otherwise. They also say that it is not a hind milk issue. Does it sound like hind milk issues to you? Is it dangerous to breastfeed and wait this out? At what age does it usually clear up?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Oy, stop breastfeeding just because of some minor blood in the stool? Not what my doc would advise! When I showed her my kid's visibly blood-streaked diaper she shrugged and said "Proctitis, it tends to peak at around 4-5 months. Don't worry about it, and don't do any eliminations unless you want to". Which just goes to show how variable the advice on this subject can be!

    The GI doc's advice on iron was total BS (pardon me for being crass). Breastmilk does contain iron, and the form of iron it has is so easy to absorb that breastfed babies generally do not become anemic. The difference between breastmilk and formula when it comes to iron is that formula contains an overabundance of iron, and breastmilk contains just enough. If you're concerned about anemia, give a multivitamin or ask your pediatrician to do a heel stick and test for anemia. Simple as that.

    Since you've done eliminations and seen no change, I'd guess that the issue is oversupply. Oversupply often means that baby gets an overabundance of lactose (milk sugar), and that can overwhelm baby's ability to produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Constant intestinal irritation from excess lactose in the gut can result in gas, mucus, and bloody stools. Sometimes even after mom has more or less fixed the oversupply, she continues to see bloody poops because it takes time for the intestines to heal.

    Mama, I think that if baby is happy, healthy, and gaining well you just shrug and give this time. That's what I did, and my happy, healthy, not-anemic, nursing 2 year old who stopped having bloody poops at around 6 months, is giggling in the next room while watching Blue's Clues with her big sister. She never had a drop of formula.

    Seriously, just look at your baby. Does he seem happy and healthy? If so, then I think you should just relax.
    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
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Why are they suggesting formula? A quick ingredient search online I found that gentleease is a soy (and corn syrup) based formula. If you have eliminated dairy from your diet, and that is not making any improvement, I do not understand this advice. As far as if it is dangerous to keep nursing, well, I certainly cannot give medical advice, but generally, the idea that any formula is ever healthier than breastmilk has been disproved all over the place. The only exceptions I can think of offhand would be when a mother is taking unsafe for breastfeeding meds or street drugs or who has (in SOME cases but not all) a communicable blood borne disease. In such cases, her milk may be unsafe but, healthwise, donated breastmilk would still be preferable than formula.

    If you think it is forceful letdown and/or oversupply, I would suggest keep breastfeeding and work on that. I have not heard of this causing blood in the stool but it can certainly make baby uncomfortable so no reason not to take steps to work on that IF that seems to be the issue. BTW, generally there is no reason to worry about baby getting too liitle hindmilk, except in cases of really difficult forceful letdown. More info: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    This kellymom link mentions oversupply as a possible explanation for bloody stools: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/bloodystool.html

    I personally am fairly sure this is why baby #2 had issues- I had a monster supply the second time round and battled it for months.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Ah, ha, so oversupply can cause boody stool! Thanks mommal, I stand corrected.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 5 Week Old Green Poop Small Amt of B

    Thanks so much for your advice, Ladies! I will say that as each day goes by, the poops look better. Looking back, I'm still guessing what could be the cause (as I don't want it to happen again if I can stop it). Before the last major incident three weeks ago (where there was green poop and several streaks of blood), I had some soup at a restaurant that had some dairy in it. It was beef stew, so I'm guessing not much dairy. I also had something with whey as the last ingredient. I wasn't watching soy at that time either. He was also in a pattern of nursing for a few minutes then stopping. Repeat - 20 to 30 minutes later. So, it could have been the food or not getting hind milk. I think that I was expecting the blood to be gone too quickly. So, I thought that I was still causing it, instead of it taking a while to heal up. I know that I haven't had any of the "potential allergenic" foods since then. Also, I have been feeding off of one breast at feedings most of the time. Just in case other Mamas find this thread, I want to let them know that you can look through the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition to see some actual research studies for yourself. For example, I found that it takes 2 - 8 weeks for the intestines to heal after you find and stop the cause while breastfeeding. http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltex...itis_in.5.aspx You may actually see blood for 8 weeks. I kept seeing "a while" in print. I never guessed that it could take 8 weeks. In that same study where babies were put on formula, it takes them 1 - 5 weeks to resolve the bleeding. That isn't that much faster in my opinion. My own thoughts are that if Mamas knew that it takes a while to heal, they wouldn't be scared so quickly into changing over to formula. Another article that you can find in that Journal shows two cases where babies were put on "hypoallergenic" formulas only to have much more serious consequences. http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltex..._Amino.20.aspx Another study showed that pancreatic enzymes for the mother resolved infant bleeding in 75% of cases where food eliminations weren't working. http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltex...nfants.69.aspx I called our GI doctor about that, and he said that there was no proof that they worked. He wouldn't phone me in a prescription. This was before I saw that it takes up to 8 weeks for the bleeding to resolve. So, I will wait to see if the bleeding stops. If not, I will find someone to prescribe the enzymes. I am trying over-the-counter enzymes in the mean time.

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