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foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, green foamy poos - when to give up breastfeeding and switch to formula instead?

(31 Posts)
thesmallestpotato Wed 17-Oct-12 15:26:57

EBF 9 week old has had foamy green poos a few times a day for the last couple of weeks, morning nappies are usually yellow with curds but as the day goes on they become increasingly foamy, mucousy and green

I've tried cutting out dairy but it didn't make much difference so I think it must be a milk imbalance

I've tried expressing a bit of the foremilk off before feeds, I've tried stopping her from comfort suckling but the poos are still green, she seems perfectly happy so I don't think she's ill, I'm still bf my toddler on request (a few times a day but not at regular times), I wondered if this could be messing up my milk production?

As an experiment, I expressed some milk into a glass and left it to separate - it was about 2/3 watery, 1/3 creamy - is this about the right ratio?

I don't want to take her for her first immunisations until the green poo problem is fixed (I've heard immunising with an upset tummy is a bad idea), so obviously I want her to get better asap - I'm terrified of this whooping cough that's around at the moment so I'm anxious she gets immunised soon, but I don't want to risk damaging her gut by getting her immunised when her digestive system isn't right

I'm wondering much longer I should persevere with breastfeeding? Should I just switch to formula now, as two weeks is a long time for her not to be 'right', I'm also concerned that if it's a milk imbalance she isn't getting the nutrition that she needs, ideally I'd like to keep breast feeding but am not averse to formula feeding if it'll solve the problem quickly and make her better

tiktok Wed 17-Oct-12 16:00:21

Please do call any of the bf helplines. Your baby sounds fine.

Green poo can be normal. Foremilk hindmilk 'imbalance' is rarely worth worrying about. Assessimg ebm is pointless - a 100 per cent waste of time - as fat content of milk is dynamic, driven by volume of milk in breast.

Changing to formula would be madness smile

TheProvincialLady Wed 17-Oct-12 16:11:44

Green poo is nothing to worry about in an otherwise healthy, weight gaining baby. My GP told me that when I was worried about DS2. He had green poos for several weeks and then they just turned yellow again. I think it would be a real shame if you gave up BF just because of green poos, and I am sure that if you spoke to a healthcare professional about your worries re immunisation and green poo, they would reassure you that there is no link between an upset tummy (which your dd does not seem to have) and gut damage by immunisation. I wonder if this concern has arisen amongst parents because some children with autism have digestion problems?

Pooka Wed 17-Oct-12 16:11:50

If she's still pooing and producing good wet nappies and gaining weight then sounds fine.

All three of my dcs had periods when their poo would be odd - so not the sunshine yellow curdy stuff, but greeny and foamy. Usually it seemed to be when they had a cold, but by no means always.

I'd still get her vaccinated - the colour of the nappies doesn't really indicate an infection or bug, and you say that she is well. When my ds1 was older (so about 5 months) he had a stomach bug (was doing the rounds at dd's school) and he vomited (not posset) and was producing foul and hideous dirty nappies at a rate of about one an hour. Fed through it and it eased in a day or so. Suppose am saying that the greeny nappies don't necessarily mean she has a stomach upset, if that is the only symptom she has.

iloveshortshorts Wed 17-Oct-12 16:13:13

your baby sounds fine to me too. smile

could you see your health visitor with any concerns?
my baby had a few green poos but generally had yellow mustard ones and she was fine too (she is breast and bottle fed).

mawbroon Wed 17-Oct-12 20:42:35

Green poo can be caused by quite a few different things, but one of them is tongue tie.

Does she have any of the other symptoms listed here? Milk Matters

discrete Wed 17-Oct-12 20:47:25

Other than the colour of her poo, do you have anything to indicate that your baby may be unwell?

fraktion Wed 17-Oct-12 20:56:26

DS had reflux and mostly had green poo. If she's putting on weight it's not a reason to give up BFing unless you have other concerns.

SamSmalaidh Wed 17-Oct-12 20:57:36

If she's happy and gaining weight I would assume she is fine.

GoldenGreen Wed 17-Oct-12 21:00:01

Another one here with a dd who had green poo more often than not. She was also sick a lot but was a "happy chucker" so no other problems and she certainly wasn't in any discomfort. Had her immunisations etc no problem. I think it just happens in some babies.

tiktok Wed 17-Oct-12 21:03:44

If the only thing 'wrong' with a happy, healthy, thriving, growing baby is green poo she does not need investigating for anything else - and that includes tongue tie, wouldn't you agree, mawbroon?

mawbroon Wed 17-Oct-12 21:28:51

I would agree tiktok that OP shouldn't be dashing off to her GP to have the baby checked for tongue tie, but there is no harm in alerting her to the fact that tongue tie can cause green poo.

Some tt babies can feed perfectly well, gain weight fine etc and so the tt goes unnoticed. Untreated ties (tongues and lips) have some serious consequences which I wouldn't wish on anyone. We are dealing with this with 7yo ds1 at the moment.

Some tt babies do green poo, so I think it's only sensible to point the OP in the direction of some decent info about tt (because there is loads of inaccurate stuff out there).

If she reads it and finds that none of the other stuff applies, then great, she can forget it. But if she reads it and notices that some of the stuff does apply, then she can take it further.

Another poster a while back posted about green poo, and I said the same thing to her and she followed it up and discovered her LO had tt.

It's more common than people realise.

tiktok Wed 17-Oct-12 23:29:33

I agree that TT is often missed, and that it can cause problems at the time or later. I think it's good you are raising the issue of TT here on mumsnet and raising its profile.

But in this case, I ask can green stools ever be the only sign of TT? If this does happen (that the only sign of TT is the fact the baby has had green stools for a couple of weeks), then it would still be important to show the benefit of intervening prophylactically, with a baby who is healthy, happy and growing, just in case there are TT problems later.

I actually do think there is a risk in suspecting TT in a baby who is healthy, happy and growing, and who happens to tick that one single box on the TT checklist - it's pathologising normality, and green stools are normal.

SquidgersMummy Wed 17-Oct-12 23:46:32

My DD had orange poo till 8 wks - then mainly green with some orange - she's 10wks but seems perfectly fine and gaining weight on 'her' percentile no problem. EBF on demand. Mainly having soya milk as think cows milk def gives her more gripes/colic - actually sort of coincides with this. My first so had no idea green was wrong.

Tiktok - should I tell HV??


tiktok Thu 18-Oct-12 08:46:39

Squidgers, you mean you are having soya milk?

No idea if the type of milk a mother has is likely to change the baby's poo colour sorry. Yes, ask your HV but when a baby is happy, healthy and growing, most people would not be worried smile

mawbroon Thu 18-Oct-12 09:08:40

tiktok, she only mentioned one thing off the tt list in her op, but who is to say that there aren't other things going on which she hasn't mentioned?

That's why I posted the list, to give OP further information as she is the only one on here who has the whole picture.

thesmallestpotato Thu 18-Oct-12 09:09:01

Thank you for your replies, some really good advice here.

I've just had a look at the milk matters website, she does actually have a few of the things on that list!

Feeding isn't painful (there is no feeling at all which i assume is normal), but my nipple is a bit squashed and pointy after a feed. She also grunts a lot in her sleep, she has huge possets all the time, during feeds, after feeds etc, I just assumed this was normal as DS did this too for a few months. Her weight gain is fine. Interesting about tongue tie running in families - DH has a tongue exactly like the 'heart shaped' picture, he also had real problems with his teeth and had to have quite a lot of dental work over a number of years in his teens. I will try and get a look at her tongue when she wakes up in an hour or so.

WantAnOrange Thu 18-Oct-12 09:16:06

The foremilk/ hindmilk thing is now known to not be true so dont worry about that.

tiktok Thu 18-Oct-12 09:50:24

OK, mawbroon smile

Interesting if the OP does think her baby has a TT - even if it doesn't appear to be causing feeding problems.

tiktok Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:34

I will of course eat my words if the baby does have a TT and she is advised to get it snipped smile

thesmallestpotato Thu 18-Oct-12 10:08:16

I've just had a look in her mouth (very easy - she puts her tonge to the roof of her mouth when she smiles), there doesn't seem to be a frenulum at all? I've just had a look at mine in the mirror and it's really obvious.

She had an extremely green nappy last night but perfectly yellow this morning, maybe it is something in my diet if whatever it is is out of both our systems by the morning?

BertieBotts Thu 18-Oct-12 10:22:06

It might be, one of my friends had a green-pooing baby and she found that taking lecithin helped, but it made her milk come out really thick almost like silly string! She was worried about choking so stopped the lecithin but the baby carried on having green poo. Conclusion was that green poo is sometimes just green poo... not a symptom of upset tummy or any kind of imbalance or anything at all.

I also found that DS's poo used to go green when it had oxidised a bit, e.g. if I hadn't noticed that he'd pooed straight away and it had been sitting in the nappy for a few minutes.

Don't let the poo stop you going for the immunisations if the baby seems well overall. smile

StuntNun Thu 18-Oct-12 10:27:46

I wouldn't switch her to formula just on the basis of green poo but if you really think it's a problem would changing to expressed milk in a bottle be an option?

TheProvincialLady Thu 18-Oct-12 10:35:47

Stuntnun the amount of work involved in changing from breast feeding to expressing and feeding in a bottle is colossal!

Crimebusterofthesea Thu 18-Oct-12 10:55:43

My DS had green frothy poo for what seemed like weeks! He also suffered with terrible wind, but I just thought to myself that switching to formula was not the answer, as it could have brought its own problems with it. We are now over 9 months in, so I would definitely say stick with it!

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