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Thread: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

  1. #1
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    Default Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    I've been feeding DD3 on demand and she seems to think she is hungry all the time. She has had foul green watery stools for about 5 weeks now. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the rotavirus vax she got at her 2 month well visit but it's been a really long time now. Still gaining awesome (2.5lbs/month) and the pediatrician said he's hesitant to mess with on demand feeding but perhaps her diarrhea is caused by over eating (she's spitting up a ton too and I definitely have oversupply).

    She's fussy a lot. I'm using chewing on her hands as a more obvious cue than just being fussy but even then I'm feeding nearly every hour around the clock.

    Ped. wants me to schedule feedings to try an push to at least 2-3 hours between them and find other ways of soothing her in between. I'm not sure what to do. His other suggestion was rice cereal as a binding agent but even he was hesitant to use rice cereal in a 3 month old so I've pretty much ruled that one out unless someone has btdt stories.

    Help. She's uncomfortable. I'm exhausted. Green super stinky, watery poops are everywhere and I've cut out eggs.
    Last edited by @llli*aphimama; December 1st, 2012 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    Terrible advice from the pediatrician, who should know better. First of all, breastfed babies don't overeat. They are good self-regulators, and when they are no longer hungry they stop nursing. Second, while oversupply can cause green, smelly poop, "overeating" does not. So the poop problem is not going to be solved by limiting or scheduling feedings. Nor is it going to be solved by offering a 3 month old baby rice cereal- it's only going to add an unhealthy, inappropriate food to your baby's diet. Cereal may firm up your baby's poops, but that will only mask the problem, not solve it.

    The good news is that green poop is not in and of itself a health problem, particularly in a baby who is generally happy, healthy, and gaining weight well. A baby can go for months and months with green poops and not suffer ill effects- I am looking at my little green-pooper right now. She's building a Lego tower, and she's tall, strong, and healthy! And she doesn't have green poop anymore. You only want to worry about green stools if the baby is not gaining weight well, or if the stools contain a lot of blood. Small streaks or specks- and yes, my kid had those, too!- are not a big deal.

    So green poops aren't a health problem, but what's causing them? Best bet is the oversupply. When you have oversupply, your baby is going to take in a lot of lactose-rich milk- that's the so-called "foremilk", right? Now, babies are designed to digest lactose, a.k.a. milk sugar. They produce a lot of an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down lactose. In fact, babies produce more lactase than children or adults! But sometimes when mom has a very high production of milk, the baby gets so much lactose that the lactase gets overwhelmed. When the baby gets more lactose than the lactase can handle, she gets gassy, and has very wet, very explosive, smelly green poops. This is not lactose intolerance, because the baby is producing a normal amount of lactase. It's lactose overload.

    So what do you do about this? First, you stop worrying about baby's health. Again, green poops: not a health problem. Second, you feed frequently. Babies who struggle with oversupply usually do BETTER when they are fed small amounts more often, rather than large amounts infrequently. They're less likely to spit up when they eat small, frequent meals, and they're more likely to prevent plugged ducts or engorgement or mastitis in mom. Second, you deal with the oversupply. That's what's causing the green poops. You probably need to do some block feeding, because you're still dealing with oversupply at 3 months. Does your baby only want one breast at a time? Or does she always feed from both?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    Thank you. I have been here before and wanted to ignore the pediatricians advice (hes not being pushy at all nor is he concerned but rather offering suggestions) but I totally needed that validation.

    She comfort nurses a lot. And so she is getting a lot of milk since with my supply it is there. I've been feeding one side for six hours then moving to the other for about 3 weeks now. My supply seemed to double around 8 weeks out of nowhere.

    I'm not worried about her overall health but I am hoping to make her more comfortable. And keeping diaper rash at bay is tricky - her poor tush is so red. I'd also like to not get mastitis again. I'm now on the second time in under three months and am pretty sure it's because I've been trying to cut back on feedings. Enough of that nonsense. I went back to feeding on demand today and while the diapers are awful, she's at least sleeping a little and I'm not super uncomfortable.

    Can I go back to eating eggs? DD2 just got diagnosed with an egg allergy so I wondered if that may be the case here but I think it really is just oversupply. Side note, I have a prolactinoma so I'm not sure that even block feeding will fix this. It has with my first two but I am definitely noticing an ever increasing supply regardless of nursing habits.
    Last edited by @llli*aphimama; December 1st, 2012 at 08:54 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    Yeah, it sounds like your pediatrician is trying to be helpful and breastfeeding-supportive, but just lacking in knowledge. From what you describe, he'd probably be receptive to getting some feedback (maybe backed up with some stuff from kellymom or other research-focused site) so he can give better suggestions to the next mom in the same situation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    Mostly agree but the foul smell makes me wonder about a dairy allergy.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Green watery (foul) stool and on demand feeding

    Honestly that's the only thing that threw me, too. She had a few red but not black specks in a diaper otherwise no sign of blood. I'm talking really foul though. Like old old old rotten eggs.

    Egg allergy is the only one in my family so far. My aunt has it and now DD2 is showing egg allergy signs. Doctor diagnosed based on removing eggs then reintroducing them not on a stick test.

    I'll gladly do an elimination diet of she needs it to be comfortable but she's gaining well so it's just the gas and constant raw tush from the pure liquid poops. In going on 5 weeks of every stool being green and watery. About 8 times a day now. But.... She's gaining quite well.

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