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Bright green stools in breastfed newborn

(26 Posts)
onceipopicantstop Thu 20-Mar-14 19:39:48

Hi ds2 is nearly 7 days old. Breastfeeding seems to be going well, feeding every 2-2.5 hours and seems satisfied after a feed. But since the meconium finished his stools have been quite liquidy and pea green in colour. He seems perfectly well otherwise.
But I remember ds1 having yellowy colour stools when he was breastfeeding, so wondering if there is something wrong?
I've had a look on line and one cause seems to be a lack of hindmilk? I'm feeding him on one side only usually. Have been quite sore and engorged so had been alternating a bit more for my comfort, but certainly since yesterday he's been having one side for each feed. But my breast is still very full even after he's finished. Should I be using the same side for the next feed even if it's a couple of hours later?
Has anyone experienced the same problem?

onceipopicantstop Fri 21-Mar-14 07:07:06


littlealien01 Fri 21-Mar-14 09:14:30

I had this early on with dd and would feed off the same breast twice in a row, but be careful you dont get engorged, maybe hand express a bit? Is she feeding for long enough on the 1 side and so uninterested in 2nd?

Think green poo can also be caused by antibiotics and a few other things

tiktok Fri 21-Mar-14 09:25:17

Speak to the midwife - you can call the midwives and ask.

Pea green is within normal. In a healthy, thriving baby it means nothing. You certainly don't need to do anything about it. You can feed him according to his needs - it's good practice to offer both sides at each feed, not to deliberately keep him to one side only. In your case, he doesn't want more than one breast at a time at the moment. Use the other side next time.

onceipopicantstop Fri 21-Mar-14 10:40:00

Thanks for your replies. Breastfeeding advisor called round and thinks its because my milk supply is quite high so he's filling up on the foremilk. She's suggested expressing for a few minutes before each feed. But wasn't overly concerned.

tiktok Fri 21-Mar-14 10:51:04

I would be very concerned about that advice.

Breastfeeding advisers, unfortunately, are not necessarily well-informed about these issues and to suggest to a new mother she needs to do something fiddly and sometimes difficult to 'correct' a non-existent problem is out of order, IMO. 'Filling up on foremilk' is not a good 'diagnosis' either.

For some mothers, messing about with expressing would be enough to put them off breastfeeding.

Does she expect you to do this long term?

<eye roll>

casper11 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:53:57

When my daughter was younger. She kept having green poo. My breast feeding health visitor. Said it was caused by wind. Daughter did suffer from colic for a few months. Then it settled down. X

tiktok Fri 21-Mar-14 11:40:15

Wind does not cause green poo, at least I can't see why it would smile

In a healthy, thriving baby, green poo happens (in most cases) because the poo has been eliminated before it turned yellow - that's all.

Yellow colouration is the last stage of 'processing' in the lower gut.

If the gut is working a bit faster, then the poo will come out more quickly.

If a baby is fighting a virus - he's not poorly or anything, he's just doing what he needs to do to stay well - his gut will work faster. If he has had a large volume of milk, his gut will work faster. If the milk he has had is slightly lower in fat on a particular occasion or even every time, his gut will work faster (because fat slows down the processing).

Unless there are other symptoms of the baby's lack of well-being, nothing needs to be done to change green poo.

Poppy954 Fri 21-Mar-14 14:31:49

Is he gaining weight? My baby's green poo accompanied by no weight gain was caused by tongue tie resulting in not getting a good latch / enough milk (despite feeding constantly).

OrangeBlossom2 Fri 21-Mar-14 16:42:03

Congratulations on your new baby.

We've had all shades of green poos when I've been on antibiotics, when I've eaten green food (spring vegetable pie), when DS has had a cold, after injections, when pooing out jaundice, sometimes just randomly with no particular cause. He's 5 months now and still has them occasionally but is perfectly fine.

We had these for the first time about 7 days old too (more of a forest green!) and I called the breastfeeding helpline they said it's very normal and nothing to worry about unless accompanied by other signs of baby being ill eg a fever and that there is no such thing as fore/hind milk in current thinking. My HV at the time said it's fine as long as it's not every poo.

onceipopicantstop Sat 22-Mar-14 09:41:30

Poo is still very green everytime but he's well. Have now got a pump and steriliser so will give it a go I guess. She was vague about how long to do this for, and practically I can't see how I would do it when out and about, but I guess there's no harm in trying. My nipples are very full so that he does have difficulty starting a feed and maintaining a latch - I have to reposition him frequently or it is painful for me, and there are alot of slurping noises from him - so I wonder if expressing might help with this too.

PeaceLillyDoge Sat 22-Mar-14 10:11:03

My LO is 16 days old and her Poos didn't turn yellow until about day seven or eight. Don't think she was getting enough d food in the very early days but she had never been dehydrated and had always wee'd and poo'd well. Getting an electric pump and then expressing immediately after every feed and then topping up had helped us but you might not need to do that. Baby defo doesn't have nipple confusion and the main thing is that she is getting fed! Good luck

PeaceLillyDoge Sat 22-Mar-14 10:13:41

P.s. in terms of going out and about we bought a little avent thermos bag for about a tenner which Let's you take a couple of bottles or with you which stay cold or warm for up to four hours. Our has really taken the pressure off bf when out as o know if she is struggling to latch then I can gybe her a bottle of expressed milk. I use medela bottles and they fit perfectly, would highly recommend

NiMhurchu Sun 23-Mar-14 02:33:21

Your supply needs to establish and reduce, expressing any 'extra' foremilk will only hinder this in the long run.

If you search oversupply or foremilk imbalance on kellymom you will get more info and see if this sounds right to you. I fixed my oversupply by block feeding. But this may be very uncomfortable for you if your milk production is so high. You could express a little from the other side when block feeding from one side. But only enough to relieve you. By not removing the milk it sending signals to say we don't need this much milk so production will decrease.

It took about 2weeks of block feeding to sort mine out. I figured it was sorted when I wasn't so full on the side not fed from after 2 feeds. But I did see an improvement on poo colour in about a week.

Hope that helps with time-frame.

By doing what your HV will only prolong the problem, it will need reduced eventually. And I doubt the milk you express would be any good for feeding/freezing as it's only foremilk.

However if your LOs weight gain is a issue you may be better going with HV and give LO plenty of hindmilk until his weight is up.

NiMhurchu Sun 23-Mar-14 02:38:21

Foremilk contains lactose which would speed up any gut processes. Lactose is a laxative which would explain watery poos. And being green by being excreted before it turns yellow is because of the lactose!

redcaryellowcar Sun 23-Mar-14 02:46:06

To echo what a couple of others have said, if baby healthy then green poo is ok, you don't need to worry about expressing etc, sounds like you are doing fine!

tiktok Sun 23-Mar-14 08:01:33

Nothing wrong with foremol

tiktok Sun 23-Mar-14 08:04:06


It's certainly fine for feeding and freezing.

But expressing off when there is no good reason is indeed not a good idea.

Green poo is ok!

NotQuiteCockney Sun 23-Mar-14 08:08:29

And all breast milk contains lactose. It is milk sugar. And not a laxative. (Early breast milk contains colostrum, anyway, which is a laxative)

onceipopicantstop Sun 23-Mar-14 11:21:06

Have tried expressing a couple if times, and took off 30ml or so. 3rd time I expressed couldn't get anything so gave up and fed him. And I'm afraid I haven't bothered overnight. It's just a faff having to wash and sterilise the expressing kit each time he feeds - especially in the evenings when he's cluster feeding. Is that awful that I'm not following advice? I guess I'm not convinced its the solution or that it's sustainable long term.
On a positive note his poo was more yellowy and less liquid this morning, so think will see how things go today and then decide what to do.

tiktok Sun 23-Mar-14 11:36:25

Look, once, I rarely post criticism of hcp advice on here unless it is clearly based on poor knowledge and unless I can be confident in predicting it won't help the person concerned. I am always wary, because we rarely know the whole story after all.

But in your case the advice to express was RUBBISH!

Just continue to feed responsively and enjoy getting to know your sweet baby without the complications!

uvavu Sun 23-Mar-14 11:38:02

My breastfed 9 week old has consistent green poos, they're very rarely yellow. Often bright green like you described.

I have been worried about it but there's nothing wrong with him. He's put on 5lb since birth, healthy, very alert, meeting milestones etc.

I've just accepted it's the way he is.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sun 23-Mar-14 11:45:21

Totally agree with tiktok. I was given similar advice about green poo, expressing just caused me to make even more milk and it was very uncomfortable.

I spoke to a breastfeeding counsellor who advised me to do nothing - putting on weight, you are a great job, dont worry about nappy analysis of greenness, just enjoy the time together. Best advice ever, because when I stopped expressing and getting stressed, milk supply regulated, I am much more comfortable and in time his poo went yellow anyway. At no point was he distressed - just me by following bad advice in the first place.

enormouse Sun 23-Mar-14 11:57:00

I echo what everyone else says about it being normal. Ds (7 weeks) has done a fair few green poos and I initially panicked thinking he was getting too much foremilk. But my hv and bf support counsellor have said it's perfectly fine. And he is happy and putting on weight.

His poo is now mostly yellow with a few green moments every now and then.

onceipopicantstop Tue 25-Mar-14 16:20:14

Just thought I'd report back to say that poos are now yellow! Didn't continue with the expressing as stools seemed to be changing of their own accord. Thanks everyone - your advice was really helpful.

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