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General health

green poo

27 replies

Jj · 20/11/2001 23:03

My eight week old has had a few days of mucous green poos. He's entirely breastfed and allergic to milk, so that's completely out of my diet (ie, it can't be that). He's also got a bit of a cold. This is normal, isn't it?

Alibubbles, if you're out there, I did a search on the boards and found you had mentioned you are a doula and knew about these things...


OP posts:
Bloss · 21/11/2001 01:41

Message withdrawn

Eulalia · 21/11/2001 08:00

Yes my baby had this - it is indeed too much foremilk. Try feeding your baby on the one breast for longer or expressing your milk.

Pupuce · 21/11/2001 11:21

My daughter also has this (14 weeks old) and it's mainly in the evening. I didn't know about the lack of hindmilk.... I have been told it's either over or under feeding... which I found useless....
But I'll keep that in mind.

Alibubbles · 21/11/2001 12:04


This is some information I found on a web site, can't find the address, but hope it helps

Green Stools:
The occasional green stool is not unusual in the breastfed baby. Consistently green stools, however, are not normal for the breastfed baby. Most doctors don't seem to recognize this as a potential problem because they often define "normal stool" as that of the formula-fed infant.
Consistently green stools in the breastfed baby can indicate:

  • an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk.
    *Ê a sensitivityÊto something in the mother's diet, such as cow's milk products.
    *a sign that baby has an illness. Babies with an intestinal virus or even a simple cold will sometimes have green stools.
  • a lot of green vegetables or something with green food coloring in mom's diet.
  • If baby has started solids, that could also account for the change in color (this is normal with the change in diet).
    Foremilk has a large amount of lactose and is "digested" quickly, hindmilk has more fat and is "digested" more slowly. When the baby gets too much foremilk and not enough of the fattier hind milk, the baby gets a large amount of lactose and not enough fat.
    This means that the foremilk moves through the baby's system very quickly, and the lactose is not able to be fully digested. As it continues moving quickly through the baby's system, it draws extra water into the bowel and ferments the bacteria in the bowels. This causes excessive gas and very green, liquid, and highly acidic stools.
    The baby will usually be quite fussy. Sometimes mom can hear his or her tummy "gurgling". These babies nurse quite often because they are not getting enough hindmilk. Nursing actually will help to ease baby's discomfort, at least for a little bit, because it helps to move the gas. Babies often will pass gas and have a bowel movement either during their nursing sessions or shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, the cycle then begins again. This cycle often will result in a diaper rash due to the high acid content of the stools.
    To avoid or reduce the risk of an imbalance you should allow your baby to completely finish the first breast before offering the other.
    Moms that have an overabundant milk supply will often experience an imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk. A change in her nursing patterns can often help in resolving the problem.
    There has been some confusion over foremilk and hindmilk and "when" one changes from one to the other. To help try to resolve some of the confusion here's one good description (thanks Kelly!) of how the breast works:
    A woman's breast really only makes one type of milk, and it's what's normally called "hindmilk," nutrient and fat rich milk.
    There is no sharp distinction between foremilk and hindmilk - it is a gradual change from the moment of the let-down (and there are several per feed, although most mothers only notice the first one).
    Because the composition of the milk changes as the feeding progresses and because every baby varies in the amount of time it takes him to receive his fill of hindmilk, allowing the baby to feed for an unlimited amount of time on the first side is important.
    In between feedings, milk collects in mom's breasts. Fat globules stick to the walls of the alveoli, high up in the breast, near where the milk is made. Between feeds (since the fat is stuck higher up), some lower-fat milk (foremilk) gradually moves down to fill the milk sinuses. This is where baby accesses the milk, and this is the milk that is available before letdown.
    When the letdown reflex is triggered, the milk is 'squeezed' down the ducts so it becomes available to the baby to milk out. As the breast starts to empty, the fat globules start becoming dislodged and move down the ducts. So the further into the feed, the higher the fat content of the milk coming out the nipple, as more and more fat globules are forced out.
Slug · 21/11/2001 12:34

Alibubbles, I can't thank you enough. I was just idylly looking at this thread and recognised the sluglet's behaviour of the last two nights. She's been mistress fartypants, whining for hours on end, and wanting to feed every half hour, but only for ten minutes at a time. Hopefully we'll have a better night tonight.

Alibubbles · 21/11/2001 13:26

Glad to help, I have lots of info on lots of things from my Michel Odent course (waterbirth pioneer) I can't aways retrieve it quite so quickly but will do my best to help

Jj · 21/11/2001 14:39

Thanks for all the info! I'll try to get him to take all of one breast before he starts the other. He usually does only take one for a feed, but he has loads of snacks, so I'll keep offering him the same one for a couple of hours. Does that sound about right? We've also got some colief and I might try that.

Oooh, Alibubbles, you might be sorry you mentioned that. Thanks for the hindmilk info. Just last night my husband was asking me exactly how that all worked.

OP posts:
Slug · 22/11/2001 12:49

Just an update, I expressed both breasts and offered that to her in a bottle before topping up from the breast before she went to bed last night. She slept from 11pm till 4am, the longest she's managed so far, and settled easily after her 4am feed. RESULT!

Pupuce · 22/11/2001 12:56

Slug, good luck ! It is always good for the morale when things start improving ! How old is your "sluglet" ?

Bugsy · 22/11/2001 13:38

Good news Slug & thanks Allibubbles for that brilliant post about foremilk and hindmilk.
I had a massive oversupply of milk with ds, breastfeeding was a nightmare for lots of reasons so I expressed for 3 months. Very early on, it got to the point where I couldn't empty my breasts with expressing as I would fill the 9oz bottle I was expressing into. DS had appalling colic and I wonder now if he was constantly getting too much foremilk. He did have slightly greenish poo, but I put that down to the bottles of formula we used to give him in the evenings.
I am very keen to successfully breastfeed Baby Two, so am avidly reading all these posts.

Alibubbles · 22/11/2001 14:47

Bugsy, I know just how you feel, I wish I'd known this information 14 years ago with my son. If I expressed and gave him milk in a bottle he would sleep for hours. He would also sleep through the night at five weeks,( he was 13 lbs though) if he had a bottle of breast milk but not if fed from the breast! I had so much milk I could fill a bottle from the other breast whilst feeding! No one could tell me why this was happening, or about hind and fore milk. He also had awful colic, he even had it in hospital when he was born, the nurses said he would be trouble to settle, they used to pump his legs up and down to try and get rid of the wind! The doctor ended up giving him Merbentyl which is banned now because of it's association with cot death.

It was also interesting when I look back, my daughter born only a year before would only feed from one side, she'd feed for about 25 minutes and would refuse the other side, she was a very contented baby, slept through from about 4 weeks old, probably why I only had a year between them!
I also fed her until she was 9 months and I was six months pregnant!

I think more information should be given on the process of breastfeeding, even some of our NCT b/f counsellors didn't know this (then,) I think they do now. I learned it on my doula course. Contact La Leche League for lots of help. Good luck!

Bron · 23/11/2001 10:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jj · 23/11/2001 13:30

He's had a few yellow poos now, a few slightly green ones and none of the deep green mucous ones. Thanks for all the advice.

Bron, I don't get the round nipples part.. is it something you're supposed to do?

OP posts:
Bells2 · 24/11/2001 16:33

Our 2 week old daughter has had had green poo for the last 24 hours. I am sure it is not enough hind milk as it is a struggle to get her to feed for more than 10 mins or so before falling asleep. Does anyone have any tips for waking up a small baby? She is sleeping for England - especially during the day.

Suedonim · 24/11/2001 19:44

You could try undressing her, Bells, to wake her up, or feeding her in a less light room. That's a new one to me, but apparently, if there's too much light they don't want to open their eyes. Lifting her jaw up gently may help, too, and making circles on her feet with your finger. If you think she isn't getting enough hind milk, try feeding her from the same side at the next feed. Hopefully, she will then receive the richer stuff. HTH

Bells2 · 26/11/2001 10:03

Thanks suedonim - tried a combination of your suggestions and the nappies are now heading back to yellow.

Suedonim · 26/11/2001 21:44

LOL, lucky you, Bells! Seriously, I'm glad she's okay.

Pupuce · 26/11/2001 22:26

Bells 2 - good for you ! I thought it was last week that you were having a bit of a leak... but it must have been 2 weeks ago.... time flies.
Glad to hear she is sleeping well. Is she number 2 ? My number 2 (DD) is 15 weeks old is also an amazing sleeper... I guess if we are more relaxed so are they !
BTW mine "poos" green every so often... in the evening and since reading this thread she hasnt... I have tried to give her more hindmilk.

Bells2 · 27/11/2001 10:00

Yes Pupuce - she is number 2 and I still can't quite believe how easy she is. Makes me wonder why I seemed to be always still in my nightie at 3 in the afternoon with number 1. Irritatingly however my husband is about to go off for 3 days leaving me with both of them for the weekend - just in time for me to look frazzled and exhausted for the Mumsnet lunch on Saturday!.

Pupuce · 27/11/2001 10:11

Great you're coming.... with her I guess ?!?!? I am leaving mine at home (DH said he can cope) !
Don't you have a neighbour who can watch your oldest for 1 or 2 hours on Friday during your daughter's nap ? Or do you have video tapes.... I have to admit putting Winnie the Pooh on when I want 30 minutes of peace !!

Bugsy · 27/11/2001 11:18

Bells, it is really good to hear that all is going well for you. Our ds, now so sweet butter wouldn't melt, was the angriest, coliciest, unsleepiest baby for first 3/4 months & I am desperately hoping that our second will follow a similar pattern to yours!
Give you another few weeks, & then I'll be hoping for some "top tips" from an experienced mother of two.
Hope it continues so smoothly.

Bells2 · 27/11/2001 12:35

I will be bringing her but have arranged for someone to look after our son. Do I have videos????? The 3 hour bumper edition of "Ivor the Engine" is primed and ready to go for the weekend...

akimbu · 30/10/2008 04:03

my dd is 5 weeks and EBF. I've been giving her Dentinox infant colic drops about 4-6 times per24 hours for the last week to try to relieve some of her windy pains and reflux. She passed a VERY GREEN POO tonight and my first thought was that it was the Dentinox then I read about the fore and hind milk in this thread. Some of her poos have also been thicker and darker the last week. Has anyone used Dentinox and found the same? any insights appreciated!

KiwiKat · 08/12/2010 22:51

I have been having great difficulty with my 4.5 week old daughter re feeding in the night - very frequently, resulting in very little sleep for us both, and her also having problems with wind. I'm also concerned that her poo has been green for the last three weeks. Then I found this thread which seems to give some answers.

So I mentioned yesterday to the HV on our first visit to baby clinic about the problem, and the suggested reason, and she told me that foremilk and hindmilk were just a myth, and there was no such thing. WHAT?! ShockConfused

I have to say that I have greater faith in the combined wisdom of Mumsnet than I do in this woman.

Any further thoughts or advice on the deeply interesting issues of green poo and frequently-feeding month old babies?

KiwiKat · 10/12/2010 17:16


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