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Thread: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

  1. #1

    Default bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    My baby is 5 and a half months old. Last Thursday, I noticed a small amount of blood in his diaper. The rest of the poop was very green and mucousy. I took him to the doctor. She didn't see fissures, sent a sample from the diaper to the lab, and said to let her know if it keeps happening.

    Until today, his poop has mostly been yellow or tan, with no visible blood. Today, it's been green again, and tonight there was more blood in two consecutive diapers.

    His weight gain is good. He's a frequent eater, around hourly during the day when he's not cluster feeding, generally for short feedings (5-10 minutes) on only one side. At night he usually wakes up 2-3 times, but he's had some bad nights lately. The night before the first bloody diaper, he was up hourly throughout the night. His sleep has been weird since. He poops frequently, I'd say it's at least 5 times a day. As a newborn, he pooped 20+ times a day, so it's a lot less than it once was, but still a lot.

    Is it possible it's a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that's only manifesting with bloody stools now? I think it's unlikely to be a milk protein allergy because I've been drinking less milk lately while dieting. I'm going to call the doctor again tomorrow, but if I don't get answers from the doctor, I'd like to figure this out if it's something I can fix.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    This could definitely be an oversupply (a.k.a. foremilk/hindmilk imbalance) issue. Your baby's weight gain is good, he's a fast feeder, and as a newborn he was a super-pooper. Those things all suggest a somewhat high supply; if not now, then in the past.

    Lactose overload from high supply can cause intestinal irritation and bloody stools. But there are other possible explanations here, including allergies and some sort of gastrointestinal illness. If this is a gastro bug, it will probably pass shortly. If it's an allergy, you might decide to eliminate top allergens like dairy- but I strongly believe that with an otherwise healthy baby, this is gilding the lily a bit.

    If your doc sent the poop to the lab, it sounds like her approach to bloody stools is on the reactive end of the spectrum. Other pediatricians take a more observational approach- for example, my daughter's doctor, who took a look at one of her nastiest stools, and dismissed the green, bloody mess with a shrug and "Eh, garden variety proctitis, tends to peak at 3-5 months. Eliminate dairy if you want, but she's gaining weight just fine and is healthy so it's really up to you." Anyway, the next time you see your doc, watch out for dubious advice, like switching to formula or eliminating tons of food groups from your diet. If you feel the need for back-up, check out the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine's piece on allergic proctocolitis in the breastfeeding infant: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...d%20Infant.pdf
    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: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    I do think I have a high supply. I haven't pumped in a few months, but for a while I was pumping once a day, and could reliably get 5 ounces from the right side and nearly as much from the left.

    It's just occurred to me that his recent sleeping issues may be the key to this. I think my breasts are fullest during the night, so the frequent wakeups on Wednesday night could have caused the issue on Thursday if he got a lot of foremilk during the night. Usually he only has half hour naps during the day, but today he took a two and a half hour nap, a few hours before he had the bloody diapers. He didn't stay asleep the whole time though. When he has long naps, he wakes up about every half hour for a feeding. I must have fed him at least 5 times during his nap this afternoon, and switched sides for each feeding. My boobs actually do feel a bit fuller than usual today, he probably got a lot of foremilk during that nap.

    A few months ago, although there was no bloody stool issue, I suspected oversupply for other reasons, some of which aren't issues anymore (like spitting up, he spits up much less now). I tried block feeding him then, and he became very fussy and opinionated about how he liked to be fed. By opinionated, I mean that I can only get him to eat in certain positions, and he'll refuse one side in favor of the other (although thankfully overall he doesn't have a preference, he takes both sides well). That opinionated feeding behavior is mostly better now, but it makes block feeding difficult because often he decides which side to feed on, rather than me deciding. At night and naps though, he'll take whatever I offer without any issues. I might try block feeding on nights he wakes up a lot, and when he has those long naps with the multiple feeds.

    I switched pediatricians recently, in part because the previous pediatrician gave horrible advice. He suggested rice cereal at three months to help the baby sleep through the night. I didn't ask for advice on getting him to sleep through the night, as I think his wakeups are normal for his age and not a problem. He also suggested I give the baby formula nearly every time I was in there, although there was no medical need for it. I am so glad to be rid of him, and am really hopeful that the new pediatrician is better. She did say it was great that he's still exclusively breastfed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    How are things going now, mama?
    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: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    Well, I really thought it was a foremilk/hindmilk thing, and now I just don't know again. It happened again yesterday, but this time the poop wasn't green at all. It was bright yellow and very, very mucousy. Wouldn't it be green if it was from too much foremilk? I called the doctor again today, and am waiting to hear back.

    edit: he has an appointment with a GI specialist on Monday
    Last edited by @llli*milkyemmy; January 31st, 2014 at 09:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: bloody stool in 5.5 month old

    If this was a foremilk issue, the poop would be more likely to be green, yes. But not guaranteed! Lactose overload causes intestinal irritation, and that irritation can persist for a while even after the foremilk issue has been solved.

    An appointment with the GI doc sounds like overkill to me. Unless the baby is obviously not healthy/happy/developing well, that is.
    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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