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Thread: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

  1. #1

    Default Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    My daughter is 11 weeks old and has been EBF since birth. Her stool consistently contains mucus. She has some yellow diapers but many are shades of green or brown. I asked my pediatrician about the mucus at DD 2 week appointment and she assured me that mucus isn't necessarily a concern in an otherwise healthy baby.

    In the last two weeks my baby has had three diapers with small -- but visible -- streaks of blood. The pediatrician has now suggested I try a dairy and soy-free diet. My consumption of both has been pretty limited already, so I'm concerned that MSPI may not be the cause of blood/mucus in stool, though I am trying the diet anyway.

    Besides MSPI, what are other causes of mucus and blood in stool? Is it possible that other things I've been eating (peanut butter, wheat, etc.) could be responsible?

    Some other information that may or may not be relevant:

    -baby spits up very frequently and has occasional projectile vomit, though she does not appear to be upset by either

    -baby is typically pretty happy and easy-going though she's had some pretty fussy days recently; I'm unsure if this is connected in any way to her weird poop or if it's just typical baby behavior

    -I had been dealing with oversupply and OALD, but my supply appears to have regulated significantly in the last week or so; let down appears to be less forceful as well, based on lack of choking, gagging, etc.

    -when fussy, baby frequently refuses the breast when offered or screams and squirms while at the breast (this behavior has continued even as let down has improved)

    -she HAD been gaining very well (7 lb 9 oz at birth, 12 lb 12.5 oz at 11 weeks) but only gained 8 oz between her last 2 appointments (2.5 weeks apart); diaper output has decreased, but still getting 5-7 wet diapers and 3-5 poopy diapers a day

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    Hi and welcome.

    First I want to assure you that small streaks of blood in baby's stool is very common, and usually, nothing needs to be done except monitor baby's overall health. If baby remains healthy and growing normally, then all is well. As far as mucous in stool, that is also usually entirely normal although of course large amounts might indicate some irritation somewhere. Mucous protects the body so the issue is not the mucous but why it might be there. Again as long as baby is healthy and doing well, no worries. Doctors love to advise moms cut out dairy (and/or soy) because they figure it cannot hurt. Of course, they are not the ones who have to try to make substantial changes to their diet while mothering a newborn.

    If you want to try eliminating dairy and soy I would suggest do not do both at the same time, because if things get better, how will you know which it was? It is not always both. Dairy is most common so if you want to try eliminating anything I would suggest start with dairy. If you read Jack Newman's classic article "colic in the breastfed baby", he explains simply and quickly how to do an elimination diet in such a way you can "test" it and not get false results.

    Green poops and blood in stool is linked to OALD, and possibly mucous as well, again mucous is caused by irritation and inflammation so I do not see why not. So since you know you have that, maybe try some things to alleviate the issues of OALD. Simplest method is to gently encourage baby to nurse frequently and avoid long stretches of no nursing.

    Fussyness is so normal and has so many causes (and undoubtedly also many unknown causes) I would not consider it a symptom of anything.

    Weight gain- it sounds like baby gained a tad over 5 pounds in a little less than 3 months, and that would indicate good, but not much above average gain. (Of course I do not know lowest weight number, so the gain might be more dramatic if baby lost a lot after the birth weight was taken.) But weight gain always slows starting around 3-4 months, (and continues to slow) and in many babies that drop in gain rate is more dramatic and/or earlier.

    But more importantly, one 2-3 week window of gain is not going to give you an accurate read on anything. Gain is usually not steady but comes in fits and starts. In other words, you have to step back and look at gain overall and not get overly worried about what happens shorter term. Overall gain is quite good, so all is almost certainly good.

    There was another recent article about happy spitters and how it is normal. This one was about the overuse of GERD meds in infants. My point is, over and over again it has been found that spit up is physiologically NORMAL and in fact most likely beneficial. Not anything to worry about and certainly not a sign of food protein intolerance.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 10th, 2017 at 11:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    27

    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    I had this with my daughter. I went off dairy and soy and it was not the culprit. When my oversupply regulated, within a few weeks her diapers were normal and the vomiting stopped. I'd give it a few more weeks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    Thank you for your feedback! I have been following the dairy/soy free diet since Monday. I am excluding both dairy and soy because I already ate extremely little dairy -- just occasional butter, really -- due to lactose intolerance. I have not seen any improvement yet. In fact, I saw DDs bloodiest diaper to date this morning (though it was still only a few small streaks). The doctor said it could take a while to see improvement but most of what I've read indicates that some improvement should been observed within a few days if a food intolerance is indeed the culprit. I'll continue the diet until DDs next appointment but I am suspicious that food intolerance may not be the cause of my daughter's mucus and blood.

    What is the protocol for dealing with digestive irritation caused by over supply? We are already nursing frequently (maximum of 2 hours between sessions) and I have noticed that high frequency helps with gas and forceful let down I feel like my supply is becoming better matched to babies needs, though I still feel a little full between nursing sessions; is it possible that over supply is the cause of blood/mucus even though weird diapers have increased as my supply is regulating? Shouldn't the irritation decrease as supply regulates?

    Moving forward, if weight gain remains satisfactory and my baby's demeanor remains mostly happy, do I need to pursue further intervention, or should I just accept that her diapers are a little funky? I am a FTM with pretty significant anxiety (which appears to have been heightened by PP hormonal shifts) and I am having difficulty determing what level of concern is appropriate for this situation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    What is the protocol for dealing with digestive irritation caused by over supply?
    Do nothing and wait. Unless you are doing something that is artificially increasing your milk production, your milk production will gradually reduce to be enough for baby and not too much. Milk production takes energy, so your body wants to make enough, not too much. But even with 'normal" production, long stretches between nursing can cause the fast letdown issues we are talking about. As baby gets older this also gradually becomes less and less of a problem. (It is not really a problem in the first place unless it is making baby abnormally uncomfortable, and even then it is a baby is fussy problem, not a medical issue.)

    ; is it possible that over supply is the cause of blood/mucus even though weird diapers have increased as my supply is regulating? Shouldn't the irritation decrease as supply regulates?
    I see what you are saying, but then I would ask why would your baby suddenly be having issues with soy or anything else you eat? Basically small amounts of blood in poops just happen sometimes and as long as baby is healthy it is really not a concern. If you talked to 10 different pediatricians many would have no concern at all. As far as mucous goes...frankly I have never found any satisfactory evidence that mucous in a healthy infant's poop is any concern at all.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 12th, 2017 at 04:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    27

    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    I can tell you from my experience it got worse before it got better. An oversupply is absolutely a cause of mucus/blood in stools, as well as green and explosive stool. I had doctors telling me I should just switch to formula. It was awful. My daughter had good weight gain, but was pretty miserable and colicky (4 hours nightly of hating life from 7 pm to 11 pm). It was as if something changed overnight when my supply regulated. And I had no idea how bad my oversupply was until I went back to work and had to pump. I never emptied a breast during the first three months of her life. She had a huge foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, and I think the culprit was just too much lactose and not enough lactase to process it. However, I pushed through the first difficult three months and we ended up breastfeeding until she was almost 2. If you're baby is gaining weight, and not miserable, I wouldn't stress too much about the diapers.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    Thank you for your responses. Despite my ongoing battle with oversupply, DDs recent stool is back to yellow/yellow-brown, contains less mucus, and does not appear to contain blood. I plan to continue with the restricted diet for a little longer and try reintroducing foods to identity if a reaction occurs.

    I appreciate your advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Mucus in stool, occasional streaks of blood

    Great! I hope this result puts your mind at ease. I again suggest reading the Jack Newman article mentioned above how to check if symptom alleviation after food eliminations are results or coincidence. Of course if you find you prefer not eating soy or dairy, it does not matter.

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