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Thread: Runny mucous poops

  1. #1

    Default Runny mucous poops

    So long story short, baby girl has consistent green mucous poops with breast milk. She also seems like a particularly fussy baby. Only other symptom is flesh colored bumps all around her temples and forehead (could just be sensitive skin or baby acne). 2 week checkup doc said "it doesn't seem to bother her, she's fine". Wasn't convinced so started Alimentum 1 week ago with occasional comfort nursing (maybe 1x every day for a few minutes). Her poops are now brown green but still SO slimy and shiny looking. I'm pumping to keep up my supply, but I'm so emotionally exhausted racking my brain on what to do. I really really want to BF, but feel like I should continue the formula to experiment. Does anyone have experience with dairy intolerance or mucous poops? I wonder at what point I should just stop pumping and accept that she might need formula. Or should I resume BF maybe this week and see if her fussiness and poops change?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Runny mucous poops

    Hi erc45, welcome to the forum. You say your baby seems particularly fussy- are you comparing her to other children you have had? Were they breast or formula fed? Can you explain a little more what you mean? In my experience newborn babies are normally very fussy, and the baby who is not is the more unusual baby.

    Green is a normal poop color for many babies and "mucous" is, as far as I know, not proven to indicate allergy or any other issues at all.

    I am confused. Aside the poop look and newborn rash, was there some other problem- like slow gain? Or breastfeeding hurting you or not feeling right for you perhaps? What you are describing with the green "mucous" poops, baby acne, and fussy baby all sounds entirely normal to me and as long as baby was gaining ok and nursing comfortable for you, then I am not sure why you would think you had to give baby formula? Your baby's doctor told you baby was doing fine on breastmilk, and you are not finding there is any significant improvement with the switch to formula...right? So, I am not sure why you are not just tossing the formula and going back to nursing baby? It would be a lot easier than what you are doing now.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Runny mucous poops

    This is my first my first child so I definitely think a lot of my anxiety about what is normal is due to not having any experience. Her sleep actually has improved (no idea if due to change in diet or not), but there have been nights where she cries until 4,5, 6 a.m. For the past week or so she has slept 4-5 hour stretches. There are times where she seems very difficult to calm down and occasionally she wakes from deep sleep crying a very high pitched cry like she is in pain. My doctor said that usually mucous is in indicator or dairy intolerance (not an allergy), but she is growing well so he said i could try to cut dairy from my diet if I wanted to try that, but I already feel so stressed that I don't know if adding that stress would help or hurt (hence me wanting to do a trial of formula before I change my diet drastically).

    She had a tongue tie diagnosed at 2 weeks and her latch has only just improved since the release, but that has been a major source of anxiety for me. I've done only a few occasional nursing sessions during this trial phase this past week when nothing else would calm her where it seems like it is more for comfort for her than feeding so I have no idea how much milk she transfers.

    I guess my first time stressed out mommy brain desperately wants to fix her. I do have lots of friends with babies and I DO think she is more fussy than any of their babies, and I guess I am trying to connect the green mucous poops to her unusual fussiness. I guess just everything I've seen says that green mucous poops are not okay. Even this last week on formula her poops resemble very slimy guacamole (maybe a little more brownish).

    Hope that gives more clarification to the issue. Any other thoughts, words of wisdom, or even just reassurance? Would you recommend switching back to breastfeeding?

    Also, we were EP before this trial due to poor painful latch from tongue tie so I'd love to start actually breastfeeding, but am nervous I won't know how much milk she transfers and when I should pump if I don't know if she got a full feeding. Scared to assume she's full and then lose my supply.

    Phew, that was long, but we've had a rough time over her. I'm sure partially due to my type-A personality, which seems incompatible with all the uncertainty that motherhood brings

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Runny mucous poops

    Also, we were EP before this trial due to poor painful latch from tongue tie so I'd love to start actually breastfeeding,
    Ok, so did baby ever "just nurse?" I am sorry I am rather confused. I assumed that before the formula, baby was breastfed - nursing- and gaining fine but that was when you saw the green poops? Were the green poops rather while baby was being bottle fed your milk? Before the tongue tie treatment? After?

    If baby has never nursed exclusively, then it may be that baby cannot transfer milk normally, although it is unlikely.

    I would strongly suggest see an IBCLC and do some before and after nursing session weight checks. If your baby is capable of transferring 2 ounces or more in one nursing session, they can transfer milk normally. But you need to do more than one check because it is normal for baby to take less sometimes too. Here is info about what to expect at an appt with an IBCLC: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Aside the question of whether baby can nurse normally or not, I think what may be happening is you are thinking entirely normal newborn behavior indicates something is wrong, and that is very common for new moms- and even many of us "old moms" when something out of our experience happens. However what surprised me was that the pediatrician's reassurance did not reassure you...I am certainly not someone who thinks doctors know everything, and I believe in mom's intuition...but what you are reporting as far as the poops and the behavior does not sound unusual to me in the least.

    I would suggest, as long as doctor says it is ok, and you want to, start exclusively nursing your baby. If you need reassurance baby can nurse normally, see an IBCLC. If baby has been bottle fed this whole time, you may have to slowly wean off the supplements in bottles, even if the supplement is your own milk, but of course if you make enough milk, weaning off the supplements should go quickly.

    After you have exclusively nursed for a while, you can consider if eliminating dairy from your diet is something you still think may be needed. Something else that may cause green poops is overproduction and baby taking too long between nursing sessions, but no way to know if that is a possibility unless you go back to nursing baby again. Also, did anyone tell you that the green poops and fussiness could be related to the tongue tie? Of course, overfeeding baby with bottles as is common (it is hard to not overfeed when bottle feeeding) would also act to change babies poops.

    It is actually not common for babies to need mom to eliminate dairy or anything else, although you hear it all the time. But some moms do find it helps. It can be hard but you only would do it for about a week to "test." It only takes a few days to start seeing improvement. If you do not see improvement, then dairy is not the problem and you can eat dairy again. In the meantime since baby is overall healthy and gaining normally, you can be confident that your milk is not hurting your baby in any way.

    So, what is normal? I like to say if breastfed baby is gaining normally and nursing is comfortable for mom, there is no problem that time and practice won't fix. It takes time to "learn" your baby, and it is always a little rough at first as you figure things out.

    The normal, average newborn baby sleeps in short spurts and nurses very frequently- 10-15 times or sometimes even more in 24 hours. They do not feed with any kind of regular schedule but rather in spurts called "cluster feeding." They frequently wake and want to nurse both day and night. They expect to be held most or all of the time. They often do not like being laid down in a crib or bassinet and will sleep better while being held with their heads above tummy. They do not eat the same amount every time, so there is no such thing as a "full feeding." Again as long as baby is gaining well baby is getting enough to eat.

    A baby who is laying down and wakes with a cry is probably having a gas pain. These are entirely normal and common. You can pick baby up and either help baby burp by holding baby upright and patting baby etc. and/or nurse. The act of nursing allows the bowels to move and release lower intestinal gas.

    There is no reason to know how much a baby transfers unless baby is not gaining normally when breastfed. As long as baby is gaining normally you know they are getting enough to eat. Also there is no need for baby to "empty" a mothers breasts to ensure mom has normal milk production. A mom's milk production is enough if it is enough for that baby. When a baby is exclusively nursing and gaining normally, you can know they are giving your body the right message about how much milk to make.

    Can you see an IBCLC? Attend an LLL meeting? Read the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding? (8th edition) I think it would really help.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 24th, 2017 at 06:03 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Runny mucous poops

    Sorry for the confusion, baby did NOT nurse before formula, but was given breastmilk via bottle. So the green poops were with bottled breastmilk. The ONLY actual nursing we have done has been maybe 2-3x before this recent doctor visit (last Monday) and 2-3x this week (2-3 short nursing sessions that were more for comfort it seemed as they were b/w feedings and she seemed sleepy

    I worked with an IBCLC who is also a neonatologist, she is who performed the release and we saw her one other time to evaluate latch, but baby wasn't hungry so it wasn't a productive visit. I will definitely make an appt with her this week to re-eval latch and do weight check.

    Regarding the doctor, I guess my brain was just in overdrive and I was not convinced it was nothing, but am glad to hear reassurance that this just may be more normal than my gut is telling me.

    I am going to try a full nursing session later tonight and see how it goes.

    I really appreciate all of the other advice, I found that all very helpful and reassuring. I actually had started The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, but it was at the very beginning and since baby wouldn't latch (she literally could not latch at ALL before the tongue tie release) I think I'd lost hope and stopped reading.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Runny mucous poops

    I actually had started The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, but it was at the very beginning and since baby wouldn't latch (she literally could not latch at ALL before the tongue tie release) I think I'd lost hope and stopped reading.
    The nice thing about the 8th edition of the WAB is it is set up so you can start wherever you are. If baby is still having trouble with latch, you can start with chapter 4: Latching and attaching. You can skip chapter 5 but even if baby is over 2 weeks read chapter 6 because it has so much valuable info about normal newborn behavior. Then Chapter 7 is for 2-6 weeks where I guess you are at this point? You can also use the index to find info on whatever you are concerned about. For example tongue tie is discussed in detail on pages 428-430. Chapters 17 and 18 are basically about how to problem solve when there are issues.

    There is also a good chapter on sleep, but one of the authors realized this was a subject that needed much more attention so she co-wrote another book called Sweet Sleep and I also highly recommend that book as well.

    I am very glad you have an LC you are confident in. That is great and it sounds like they identified the tt early and treated it and that is fantastic.
    Sometimes when LCs are also doctors (and even sometimes when they are not) they are unable to spend the time needed with mom and baby because try as we might, a baby is not always going to nurse when expected to and it can take time- sometimes a great deal of time- to troubleshoot a breastfeeding problem. There is nothing inherently better about an LC who is a doctor or a nurse because it is an entirely different skill set. In my opinion what is most important is that the LC has experience and training with the kind of situation you are having and in getting baby nursing again after an interruption- and that they are able to spend the time to not only observe a nursing session but to really hear your concerns and respond. I have seen 3 different LCs over the years when I had breastfeeding problems. 1 was also a nurse and the other two had no other medical field experience or education aside their IBCLC training, but both had been an LLL Leader for many years. All 3 were excellent because they took the time to really help me get to the bottom of the issues baby and I were having. That is why I always pass along this article because it explains why consults take time: http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

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