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Thread: 5 weeks, green frothy stools during day, occult blood...

  1. #1

    Default 5 weeks, green frothy stools during day, occult blood...

    I am very frustrated, this is my third child, and third time breastfeeding, but he is also the only one ever to have issues with breastfeeding.

    A little background: My son is 5 weeks old, he has always only nursed for 5 minutes, 10 minutes tops. Early on I nursed him like crazy because of jaundice related to ABO incompatibility. He is gaining weight and growing accordingly.

    About two weeks ago my son started to get green stools, frothy when I actually see them come out, and it sounds like an espresso machine. When the doctor tested his stool he had occult blood. He spits up, more than my other two, but no projectile spit ups and its not every feeding either. My son cosleeps so he nurses throughout the night whenever he wants and his morning stools are almost always the what I would call "normal" EBF stools (yellow and seedy), but each day they return to green frothy.

    My sons doctor thinks it may be a food intolerance, I think it may be a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. But on their advice I started no soy for two weeks (as I already do not do dairy since I am vegan), to see if that works and then move on to wheat. Today I started the block feeding, only feeding him from one breast at three hour intervals and then rotating to the other.

    I was just looking for some feedback, some other things I could try, or any other helpful information, and at times this is very frustrating....


  2. #2
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    Default Re: 5 weeks, green frothy stools during day, occult blood...

    It is better to nurse more frequently when you are dealing with oversupply (OS) and overactive letdown (OALD) which is commonly associated with OS. The short feedings are common with OALD. Short, very frequent feedings will help allieviate some of the gas and get a better balance of thinner and fattier milk than longer, more infrequent feeds. My son was feeding about 5 minutes (he determined how long to nurse) on one breast every 1-2 hours and didn't have green poops as often with that pattern.

    Do you have other symptoms of oversupply (painful engorgement, plugged ducts, etc.)? If not, I wouldn't get overly aggressive with block feeding. I started out nursing on just on breast per feeding, but switching breasts for each feeding. Increase to one breast every 2-3 hours if that doesn't work after several days. Proceed from there.

    Nursing in a reclined position worked much better than anything else for me. I would lean back on a few pillows, put my son on my stomach or chest, and let him latch. It can take a lot of tweaking the position to get it to work for you, but it saved our nursing relationship once we got it down.

    I also needed to give a tummy massage and bicycle my son's legs between every feeding to work out the gas incrementally through the day.

    I don't have much experience with allergies, but it seems like that would show up in morning poops as well as later in the day - but maybe I'm wrong. What you describe does fit with OS/OALD though. Try the laid back nursing and see if it helps.
    Last edited by @llli*phi; June 29th, 2012 at 04:02 PM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 weeks, green frothy stools during day, occult blood...

    agree with pp, your baby's symptoms can be entirely explained by forceful letdown. Oversupply and forceful letdown are WAY more common than food created allergies/reactions in the breastfed baby, which are rare, particuarly if you do not eat any dairy as dairy is the most common culprit and even that is rare. On the other hand, especially if you eat a ton of soy, that is a possibility, as is gluten...I just hate to see moms make diet changes when the most likely issue is the much more common ffld.

    If you truly have oversupply, Block feeding should help, as it reduces supply. But it takes a little time. It also reduces the fast letdown as long as you nurse on one side. However, baby may get a big shot of milk when you switch back, at least until your supply regulates. So this could temporarily worsen the situation as well. So I usually encourage moms to work on the fast letdown FIRST and block feed (work on reducing supply) SECOND if that does not work or at the same time if oversupply is clearly a part of the problem. And it's usually best to continue to nurse very frequently even if block feeding. Here is my favorite article about this: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

    FYI this is a medical article/treatment protocol about breastfeeding and food based allergies: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 5 weeks, green frothy stools during day, occult blood...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    agree with pp, your baby's symptoms can be entirely explained by forceful letdown. Oversupply and forceful letdown are WAY more common than food created allergies/reactions in the breastfed baby, which are rare, particuarly if you do not eat any dairy as dairy is the most common culprit and even that is rare. On the other hand, especially if you eat a ton of soy, that is a possibility, as is gluten...I just hate to see moms make diet changes when the most likely issue is the much more common ffld.
    x 1000.

    What symptoms of forceful letdown/oversupply are you experiencing, if any?

    Just FTR, when a baby is growing well and seems happy and healthy, some bloody poops are not a huge deal, especially if you're just talking about occult blood or the occasional speck/streak. My second baby had several months of intermittent bloody streaks/specks, and it never affected her growth or development, nor was my pediatrician particularly concerned about it. She never suggested that I do any dietary eliminations or that I discontinue nursing.
    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!"

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