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Thread: Please help! EBF baby with diarrhea.

  1. #1

    Default Please help! EBF baby with diarrhea.

    I don't know what is wrong with my baby. I need help.

    I have been breastfeeding my 15 week old since birth. She has had diarrhea several times since birth. Sometimes it's an infrequent loose stool, and sometimes for two weeks. The first time she had severe diarrhea, the doctor said he thought she had a stomach virus. We gave her Pedialyte until the diarrhea went away.

    This time, she has had diarrhea for about 9 days, and is having a lot of cramping, gas and pain. She does not seem sick or dehydrated like before. There has been no lethargy. Her stools have been very watery, and since yesterday, they have mucus in them. They are mostly yellow, a couple have been slightly green, with no odor. They've been very explosive. This is unusual for her. When she's well, they are the typical yellow, seedy, non-stinky stools. Previously when she had diarrhea, she had sour smelling green stools, stringy, and mucus-y ones as well. They were also explosive occasionally. My question is what could be wrong with my baby? The doctor will not run any tests.

    I thought maybe she had a milk protein allergy, so I tried no diary. She seemed better. So then I introduced small amounts of cheese, and she was still okay. All of a sudden, she's unwell again, and in extreme amounts of pain. She's also been spitting up small amounts occasionally since this started.

    She has been teething since she was 10 weeks old. She was very fussy for over a week when it started. She wasn't eating as much, she would scream, and she refused to sleep. She would stay up for 10 hours straight. She's acting like she was at 10 weeks again. This time I noticed the diarrhea. I don't know if she had diarrhea before because I was so distracted by the screaming and refusal to eat and sleep.

    I was reading some other posts on here about breastfeeding. Most people say babies should nurse 10 minutes or longer. My baby used to nurse for about twenty minutes, but for two months or longer, she nurses under ten minutes. She is fully draining one breast very quickly, then taking some from the other. She is gaining weight very well, so I know she's getting enough. She is at least 17 pounds and 25.5 inches long, or more.

    Should she be eating that quickly? Do I have a forceful letdown? Sometimes she starts choking at the breast which sounds like forceful letdown. Could that be the cause of the diarrhea? Could it be a milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance when her stools are runny and yellow with no odor? Could the teething be causing diarrhea? I've read mixed things. She seems to be swallowing a lot of drool, which I've read could cause mucus in stools. Does it sound like a stomach virus? Could she be getting too much foremilk? Could it be something else? Also, I always use a nipple shield due to poor latch and flat nipples. I don't know if that is relevant.

    I really just need some answers and advice. I'm a FTM with no breastfeeding friends or family to help. I'm losing my mind over this.
    Last edited by @llli*heatherb27; May 4th, 2014 at 08:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Please help! EBF baby with diarrhea.

    Hi heatherb27. I just wasn't to clarify-So baby has never been given anything to eat or drink but breastmilk (or pedialyte?)

    What did your baby's poops look like prior to the diarrhea? I am asking because many people assume that normal breastfed infant stool look and frequency is diarrhea, when in fact it is normal. A breastfed infant is on a liquid diet. Their poops are always going to be very loose and liquidy. Some are more 'curdy' or 'seedy' than others, but always quite wet. A baby's stools can normally change several times. Also, while some babies go to a less frequent pattern sometime after 6 weeks or so, it is also normal for a breastfed infant to stool many times a day.

    Do I have a forceful letdown?
    Yes, I think that is possible. If baby is gassy and uncomfortable, plus very watery stools, green stools, explosive stools, a common issue that causes those would be overactive letdown (aka oald or forceful letdown,) and/or overproduction. Please read the kellymom article and the LLL article linked below on this issue, if this sounds at all like what is happening, then I think it is important to figure out why it is happening, because this is an issue that would typically calm down by this age, not get worse, but there are several things that could create this issue later on that we can discuss. I suggest DON't BLOCK NURSE, not until we know what is going on. But you can try the other ideas (nursing more frequently, nursing in a laid back position, letting baby stay on one side at a time each feeding (but switching to the other at the next feeding) Those won't hurt and might help.

    Teething and excess drool can cause great discomfort and mucousy, slimy looking stools.

    Most people say babies should nurse 10 minutes or longer. My baby used to nurse for about twenty minutes, but for two months or longer, she nurses under ten minutes. She is fully draining one breast very quickly, then taking some from the other. She is gaining weight very well, so I know she's getting enough. She is at least 17 pounds and 25.5 inches long, or more.
    Your babies nursing times sounds entirely normal. Babies nurse for as long as they need to in order to get enough milk and to get comfort. This is going to vary a great deal from baby to baby and also change over time. However, one thing that might cause shorter nursing sessions is oald.

    Several months go I went through a terrible 3 weeks or so of diarrhea with my then-13 month old daughter. I can tell you what I learned from that experience and from my pediatrician & my research at the time.
    1) Pedialyte is for babies and children who are in danger of becoming dehydrated or thrown into an electrolyte imbalance from vomiting or diarrhea because they cannot eat enough solid foods or drink enough water. Breastmilk is not a solid food OR water, and as long as baby is getting enough of it, baby will not be in danger. In other words, no need for pedialyte in the exclusively breastfed baby unless the baby will not nurse, and then mthe baby should be given expressed milk rather than pedialyte. Kellymom has another good article on that I will link below.
    A baby who is GAINING weight is not in any danger. Serious diarrhea would normaly cause a temporary weight loss or at least, stop baby from gaining temporarily.

    IN many cases, the 'treatment' recommended for diarrhea no matter what the cause is to "manage symptoms." This means, make sure baby does not get dehydrated or too weak from lack of nutrients, and wait it out! Even if it is a parasite causing the issue, that is the usual recommendation! Tests for parasites are very expensive, (each one over a $100) and we choose not to do them as our insurance did not cover them, and once I researched it on the cdc website, I discovered that in some cases the tests are not very accurate, and in others the treatment is not very effective, and that mostly the treatment was "manage symptoms." You are already doing that brilliantly, as your baby (if they are actually ill) is doing great as evidenced by the weight gain! A breastfed baby is going to have the best chance of getting through any bout of diarrhea and vomiting illness with no serious consequences simply because they are breastfed.

    The one test my pediatrician did do was to test for blood in the stool. It was easy, I just gave him a dirty diaper of which I of course had many. But even then, you may not know what is causing the blood in the stool. This has many benign causes, and also it can indicate both forceful letdown or allergy.

    I thought maybe she had a milk protein allergy, so I tried no diary. She seemed better. So then I introduced small amounts of cheese, and she was still okay. All of a sudden, she's unwell again, and in extreme amounts of pain. She's also been spitting up small amounts occasionally since this started.
    So here is how I would personally suggest you 'test' for an allergy from what mom is eating.
    1) Stop eating whatever is suspected. If symptoms start improving, even a little, within about 48-72 hours, stay off the food for at least two weeks.
    2) if symptoms return while you are off the suspected food, that was not it.
    3) after two weeks (or longer if you like) eat a good size portion of the suspected food. If it's dairy, drink a large glass of milk.
    4) if symptoms return very quickly after that, that would indicate you have found the culprit. It's not proof, because the whole things could still be coincidence, but it is a reasonable assumption.

    I am also linking the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol on allergic proctocolitis in the breastfed baby.

    Forceful letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
    and
    https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...ggrimacing.pdf


    http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf.../baby-illness/ see breastmilk vs. pedialyte at end of article

    http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf suspected allergy protocol

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