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Thread: Confused about changes in EBF poop color.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Question Confused about changes in EBF poop color.

    Hello all!

    Does the poop color in an EBF baby changes over time? My baby is 5 months old, and it's been almost a month since he stopped having the traditional yellow poop diapers.

    Right now he is having green ones. Sometimes green as grass and sometimes dark green ones! He doesn't have diarrhea and looks happy all the time. He is gaining weight and growing normally.

    Still I'm a little concerned about it. I have asked my pediatrician about poop color, but she always tells me that as long as it is not white, black or has blood in it, then I shouldn't worry about it, but still I keep wondering if this is really normal.

    I have researched online, and it says that it can be an infection, allergies, hind milk imbalance -maybe he is not getting enough hind milk? He sometimes "chokes" when he is eating and it seems to me that he likes a quick and constant milk flow, and he gets desperate when it slows down.

    I read it can be related to teething as well, and he is certainly drooling A LOT and ALL the time, so I'm thinking than can be it.

    How can I know which one is the cause and if it is something normal or if I should worry about it?

    Another question: How can I know if my baby is done eating from each breast? I usually change breasts when he starts fussing after eating in one side, but I'm wondering if he is fussy because he "finished" with the milk in that side, or because he wants a constant flow milk and he is not getting that anymore from the first breast. Sometimes when he is fussing I try to express a little milk with my hand from that breast just to see if I still get some and I usually see drops of more milk coming, but my baby keeps pulling off until I change him to the other breast, then he stops fussing, takes big gulps of milk and eats normally until his done.

    Is that the right way to do it?

    Thank you for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Confused about changes in EBF poop color.

    Poop color and consistency does change over time, and there is a wide spectrum of normal poop colors in breastfed babies. In a generally happy, healthy baby who is growing well, green poop can be considered a normal variation, and there is generally no need to be concerned about allergies, hindmilk, infection, etc.

    It's really, really difficult to say with certainty what is causing a particular baby's green poop. There are a lot of variables you have to eliminate in order to figure out the puzzle!

    When a baby's poop is consistently green, the most likely explanation is that the mom has or had a milk oversupply. The fact that your baby sometimes chokes when he's nursing does suggest that you may have some oversupply going on, but the fact that your baby wants both breasts at a feeding and gets fussy when milk flow slows down suggests that if you do have an oversupply, it's probably not a large one. If you have oversupply, the cause of the green poops is not "not enough hindmilk" but rather too much lactose. "Foremilk"- i.e. the milk that comes out of the breast when it is quite full of milk- is relatively lower in fat and higher in lactose than the "hindmilk" which comes out when the breast is empty. This extra lactose can cause some intestinal irritation which causes green poops. But this is not a health problem- just a minor fluctuation and nothing to be concerned about when the baby is otherwise healthy and growing.

    The second most likely explanation, IMO, is some transient infection. For example, a minor cold can cause a baby to have green poops. The baby might not even appear to be sick. If the green poop passes within a short time- say a few weeks- it was probably some sort of bug.

    Third down the list is allergies/intolerances to foods that mom is eating. The most likely culprits are dairy, and to a lesser extent wheat and soy. But there are lots of other possibilities- eggs, nuts, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, etc. It could even be an environmental allergen like pollen or cat dander... It's really hard to eliminate the allergy possibility! If the green poops is really distressing to you, you could try cutting down on your dairy consumption and seeing if that made a difference. But the dietary elimination road is a difficult one, and it's one I would travel only if your baby has significant evidence of allergy or is not generally happy, healthy, or devloping normally.

    When it comes to switching breasts, it sounds like you are doing things just right- allowing your baby to finish the first breast at his own pace and switching him to the other side when he is fussing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Confused about changes in EBF poop color.

    thank you very much for your answer!

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