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Thread: Breastfed Baby - Dairy Intolerance or Virus?

  1. #1

    Default Breastfed Baby - Dairy Intolerance or Virus?

    Good Morning,

    My son is 4.5 months old. Approximately 3 weeks ago he started having diarrhea (he had just started daycare 2 weeks before that, so I definitely thought it was a virus. Also, my daughter (2.5 years old) had a 24 hour bout with diarrhea a few days after his started - which made me think even more that it was a virus. He had a low fever for one day the day after the diarrhea started which was also the day after he'd received his last round of immunizations. Since then, no fever. His temperament has been fine, he's nursing well, not dehydrated.

    Prior to the bout of D, he'd always had mustardy seedy poops. Post-D, they're greenish and somewhat mucousy and loose. They also smell a little more sour than I remember. He was a very gassy child but that has mostly passed (other than gassiness first thing in the a.m., and he doesn't seem to be in any pain).

    I have called the pediatrician about this twice, and since he doesn't have a fever, isn't dehydrated, and is otherwise healthy, there has been no reason to take him in to be seen. I will likely take him in next week if I don't see any improvement.

    Question is... is it possible that he has an intolerance to something in my breastmilk (e.g., cow's milk protein)? I haven't changed my diet at all. I've had dairy every day since he was born. Is it possible that he has developed a dairy intolerance, or has had one all along? Or could this be the virus I originally thought it was, still wreaking havoc on his system 3 weeks later? I understand that it can take a while after giving up dairy to see if it makes a difference.. I NEED coffee, and drink it with cream (unrelated - he is not a good sleeper).

    No blood in stool, and he's otherwise happy and seems comfortable. Should I make a change to my diet? Or wait until I take him to the doctors (if I end up needing to)?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Breastfed Baby - Dairy Intolerance or Virus?

    Hi and welcome!

    It would be odd for it to be dairy when all signs clearly point to viral diarrhea. Diarrhea makes poops look different for a surprisingly long time, (yes, several weeks) but as long as baby remains hydrated, baby is not in any danger and will not act ill. The danger with diarrhea is dehydration and breastmilk is the best way to maintain normal hydration in a baby, so it makes sense your baby is otherwise entirely healthy. Poops looking or smelling a little "off" does not mean any havoc is being wrecked.

    If it IS dairy, it would not take all that long to see a difference. A few days of your eliminating all dairy would show improvement IF the problem is dairy... But of course if you stopped dairy now and the poops went back to normal in a few days, most likely explanation is that the improvement had nothing to do with dairy elimination and it was viral and as is normal, over time, the gut has healed and poops normalize. So then you would have to eat/drink lots of dairy again to see what happened.

    I know it can seem crazy how long diarrhea can change poops, I went though it myself with my third child.

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