Re: plz help...allergy/intolerance?
When a baby is gaining extremely well and has green and bloody poop, the first option to consider is not allergy or intolerance, but rather oversupply. When a mom has oversupply, the baby receives a lot of lactose-rich milk (a.k.a. "foremilk"). Lactose, or milk sugar, is digested by an enzyme called lactase. Lactase production peaks in infancy, because babies are designed to digest lactose-rich human milk. But when mom's milk is exceptionally lactose-rich, the amount of lactase produced by the baby may not be enough to digest ALL the lactose. This can lead to green poops, a lot of gas, and sometimes to blood in the stool. It's NOT what we think of as lactose intolerance, because the baby is producing a normal amount of lactase. And it's not an allergy, because the issue is mediated by the digestive system, not by the immune system.
The other possible explanation for green poops, fussiness, and bloody stools is allergy. To my knowledge, there are no known cases of people being allergic to lactose. Again, lactose is a chemical that babies are designed to digest! When green/bloody poops are caused by allergy, the culprit is a protein, not a sugar. The most common protein culprit is casein, which is found in cow's milk. Other common offenders are proteins from soy, wheat, eggs, and the list goes on. The proteins get to baby through mom's milk, from her diet.
So, are green/bloody poops a health problem when caused by lactose overload? NO. Not in a baby who is otherwise healthy, happy, and growing well. The best thing you can do is to wait the yucky poops out, deal with the oversupply if it is extreme, and maybe consider some vitamin supplements for baby when he's getting closer to 6 months, and perhaps running a little low on iron. That was how I dealt with this problem for my second child, and she was- and is- just fine.
What about green poops/blood caused by allergy? Should you pump and go to soy formula for an allergy? NO. First of all, in a baby who is otherwise healthy and growing, there's no reason to think that a possible allergy represents a health threat. second, you don't know that the problem is cow's milk protein. It could be soy, in which case soy-based formula is going to make your baby worse! Or it could be something else. The process of uncovering an allergy is often a long one. Moms spend months and months on elimination diets trying to find the root cause of their kids' allergies, and sometimes they never do figure things out! Often the allergy passes before the mom gets things sorted in her head.
I totally get it that green, bloody, mucousy poops are freaky. Been there, seen that!!!! But once again, in a baby who is otherwise happy, healthy, and growing and developing normally, they are NOT A HEALTH PROBLEM.
What would I do if this was my baby? Probably nothing, except to deal with the oversupply if I had one. A dairy elimination might not hurt anything except your ability to enjoy a scoop of ice cream or a piece of cheese... But again, I personally do not consider it a necessary step when baby is well. I absolutely would NOT pump and use formula in this instance, because the health risks of formula and the risk of derailing breastfeeding is just too great.
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