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Thread: Green poos!

  1. #1

    Default Green poos!

    Hi there

    My little one is 5 weeks old and BF has been going really well. He feeds every three - four hours during the day and up to five hours at night. Weighing him every week and he's been putting on 6-10 oz a week which is fab!

    At the weekend I attended a wedding And pumped as I'm a bit nervous about feeding in public. To ensure I got enough milk and he was used to the bottle, I pumped and fed him by the bottle on Thursday and Friday. (I pumped at night when Hubby was giving the bottle). At the wedding I fed him once by the breast and once by the bottle. When we got home my breasts were so full so he finished the bottle milk and then gave him the breast. After that i pumped and got 5oz! He slept 6 hours that night. After his morning feed I was still engorged so pumped (only got 2oz)

    On Saturday he had slightly green poo. This has happened before when I expressed so I knew it might have something to do with too much fore milk. However on Sunday the poos were bright green and really smelly. He's also in so much pain and constantly wanting to feed. As soon as he does he does a poo and screams in pain. I'm currently increasing my feeds from one breast to try and get the hind milk. My breasts are empty and he's still demanding feeds. I'm now thinking should I top up with formula at night when my supply is really low to ensure he's getting enough.

    I feel so guilty that cos of my own silly insecurities about feeding I public I've messed up my supply and causing him so much pain. It's killing me seeing him like this. I always wanted to pump and get him used to the bottle but everytime I do, I get the green poos! So now I'm thinking to just introduce 2oz of formula after a night Brest feed to get him used to the bottle.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated xxxc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,249

    Default Re: Green poos!

    Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on making it through the first 5 weeks of nursing! Please don't beat yourself up about not having the confidence to nurse in public. A lot of moms don't, at just 5 weeks- especially first time moms.

    First of all, in an otherwise healthy and growing baby, green poo is NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. It can be considered a normal variation. You only worry about it when the baby isn't growing or developing normally, or when the baby has a lot of allergy symptoms. And in those cases, you would be concerned only when the poo is green all or most of the time, blood-tinged, and/or filled with mucous. In your baby's cue, the green poop is probably a result of lactose overload from you going too long between nursing/pumping sessions, when you were overfull when you returned home from the wedding and again the morning after the baby slept a very long stretch.

    Second, empty breasts are pretty much a non-issue. When mom's supply and baby's demand are well-matched, you can expect to rarely if ever feel full or engorged. Feeling full/engorged means that you are making too much milk, or have gone too long without nursing/pumping.

    So, what should you do at this point? Here are my suggestions:

    1. Let the baby nurse as much as he wants, even if that means spending all day at it. This is the absolute best way to make sure that supply and demand are matched.

    2. Watch the baby's diaper output. Ignore the poop color and watch for number of wet/poopy diapers in a 24 hour period. If the baby has sufficient wet/poopy output, he is getting enough to eat and there is absolutely no need to supplement with formula.

    3. Offer both breasts at every feeding. When a mom is concerned about supply, she does not want to tinker with her foremilk/hindmilk ratios or do single-sided feedings, because both of those things will lower supply. Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is a problem of too much milk or going too long between feedings. It is not a "not enough milk" problem.

    4. Think about your goals with the bottle. Do you want or need to incorporate bottle feeding into your life, or are you only doing it because you think you should? When a mom hits a rough patch in her nursing journey, it is almost always best to put the bottles aside until nursing is going smoothly.

    5. Your 6 week postpartum appointment is right around the corner, and at it your midwife or obstetrician will likely ask you what form of birth control you want. Since you are currently going through a minor rough patch, I think it makes very good sense for you to avoid all hormonal contraceptives (pill, minipill, patch, ring, Mirena IUD, injectables) for the time being. Even the supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" contraceptives can impact supply in some moms, and I think it makes sense to make sure that breastfeeding is going really well before you start taking risks with supply.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Green poos!

    I do not understand at all why you would introduce formula. From a medical standpoint, formula is ONLY for when a baby cannot gain well on the available breastmilk, mom's or donated. Is your baby gaining poorly? No.

    Green poops are not a health issue. At all. And even if they were, formula is not the answer.

    You know what I wonder? I wonder if your baby might have picked up a little virus at the wedding. Big crowds = lots of germs. And that may be why he is fussy, nursing lots, and maybe, even explains the poops. Frankly bottle nipple are carriers of germs as well, while breasts are not. Another reason to avoid bottles as much as possible.

    Your baby's previous nursing frequency actually sounds like it was on the low side of normal. So that is another reason nursing frequency increasing is not an indication of something being wrong with your milk production.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Green poos!

    Thank you both for your replies.

    I only thought of formula because I'm Scared to express now and I really want him to get used to the bottle ( this is because everyone keeps telling me that if I don't introduce now he won't later and also means I don't have to feed in public if I don't feel comfortable) . Also I was panicking that he wasn't getting enough.

    I checked his temperature and it was normal but I will keep an eye on it.

    So going forward should i offer both breasts? I've read that I should only offer one to ensure he gets the hind milk? They just feel so empty after five minutes

    Also the milk I expressed on Saturday, should I throw it away as I assume it will be mainly foremilk?

    I just feel so deflated at the moment. That's prob why I'm thinking of formula. I just feel like I've messed everything up when it was going so well x

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Green poos!

    Sorry I know how all this advice can get confusing. For the record, I do not think you have messed anything up. I think you are seeing normal changes in nursing frequency and breast "feel' and that is panicking you. This happens quite a bit around this age. I also think you may be getting your breastfeeding information from some sources that are not giving you accurate information.

    OK, here is basically how it works-
    Switching breasts each feeding (or rather, making sure to switch breasts once or more each feeding) is a milk production increasing technique and also a way to keep baby nursing more actively IF sleepy or disinterested baby is an issue. You would know these things might be an issue of baby was not gaining normally. So IF you think you want to increase your milk production, that is what you do. Otherwise, it is fine to let baby decide whether or not to switch breasts and how long to nurse each side. There is no need to keep baby on one side for a certain length of time in order for baby to get hindmilk or for any other reason. Baby knows how long baby needs to nurse to get what baby needs.

    Do NOT throw your expressed milk away!

    I've said it once and I'll say it again-foremilk hindmilk concern is the biggest non-issue in breastfeeding. It is simply not something the vast majority of mothers need ever concern themselves with. I have no idea where this idea that baby "has' to stay on one side a certain amount of time in order to "get hindmilk" is coming from. Nor that 'just foremik" is somehow bad for a baby. Both ideas are simply incorrect. What you don't want to do is time feedings as in, only letting baby nurse a certain length of time. But that is because baby might not get ENOUGH milk.

    Sometimes, when a mom has extreme overproduction and fast letdown, baby will repeatedly-at every feeding-get lots of foremilk. Foremilk contains lots of lactose, which is not unhealthy and is very much needed, nutritionally. But in these cases, these babies MIGHT get so much lactose because they get so much at every feeding that they have trouble digesting it all. Again, not really a medical issue, but it can cause baby to be uncomfortable and yes, green poops. But both things can have many other causes or NO cause- are simply, normal. In most cases, IF baby is getting "too much" foremilk, usually the easiest and best way to prevent this is to nurse frequently. The less time milk builds up in the breasts, the less foremilk there is at the next feeding.

    I would suggest, keep "practice" bottles very small. There is no reason "practice" bottles need have much milk in them, right? Because they are for practice. So a half ounce is plenty. That way, you can use your expressed milk as you like without worry, even if it is "only" foremilk. Also, not as much need to pump often or for long. It would be frequent and/or long pump sessions that might create overproduction in a mom who has normal production.

    Also, fyi, bottle introduction timing was scientifically studied, and the study showed it is simply not true that a baby needs to have bottles introduced by a certain age or they won't ever take them. What the study found is that Some babies take to bottles easily and others, not so easily, but would with some effort, and a very few really had a very hard time taking bottles ever, and age of introduction made little difference.

    I would also suggest, keep trying to nurse in public as much as you can. The way to get comfortable with it is to keep doing it, over and over. It is usually MUCH easier to simply be able to nurse baby when out rather than worrying about bringing along bottles and milk or formula.

    Hope this helps and is not more confusing!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 16th, 2014 at 10:33 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Green poos!

    Thank you! That has really helped!

    I never thought of just expressing an ounce! That's a much better idea. Would you suggest to continue to express the ounce in the morning?

    Regarding the expressed milk, could I freeze it now? Even though I've expressed it on Saturday and kept it in the fridge? Unless I just use this milk now for my one ounce a night and give my breasts a rest (super sore today as the little one has been feeding constantly)

    Thank you again for your advice. It's all so confusing and new to me. I will try to feed more In public and I've decided to go to a breastfeeding cafe to increase my confidence.

    Thanks xxx

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Green poos!

    I think it makes no difference when you express. Express when it works best for you, and it can be a different time each time and need not be every day. If you want my personal opinion, there is no need to express milk ever assuming baby is gaining well nursing.

    Yes you can freeze your milk now that was expressed Saturday assuming it has been kept cold in the refrigerator.

    If you are very sore, that indicates a latch issue, (or maybe thrush- let's hope not) not that baby is nursing a lot. Our breasts are made to comfortably nurse baby very frequently and long. So I suggest, check your latch and positioning. Has nursing been comfortable up until now?

    If you DO give baby lots of expressed milk today, be careful. Supplemental feedings will cause baby to nurse less and THAT might indeed casue supply issues.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Green poos!

    info on how to give bottles (paced bottle feeding) and milk handling: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    Milk storage guidelines. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...toringmilk.pdf

  9. #9

    Default Re: Green poos!

    Thank you again!

    I'm going to freeze it for a rainy day. Thinking about it, I don't actually think my breasts are sore, i'm just exhausted. If that makes sense x

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Green poos!

    It makes sense- you're a new mom and you just had a very trying series of days! I hope you get an extra nice thank you letter from the bride and groom.

    You're doing great. Just stay confident, nurse on demand, put the bottles on the shelf for a while, and everything is going to be just fine.
    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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