Green Poo

When Anya was six weeks old her poo turned green. Hey, I had read somewhere that babies’ bowel movements changed, often dramatically at about that age; plus I had heard there was a range of colours baby poo came in all of which were healthy, so I didn’t worry.

Until, at about 10 weeks, I was in a ‘baby and me’ group and another mother saw Anya’s pooey diaper and said, and I quote: Ewww!

Her baby was way older than mine yet she seemed utterly surprised by its green hue. Could it be less than normal?

So, what could I do? I googled it.

The virtual oracle offered two possible explanations: food intolerances or an imbalance of fore and hind milk (resulting from an over-production of milk). Well intolerances were going to be much harder and take much longer to investigate [don’t I know it – as I am going through that now] so I thought I’d try the protocol suggested for dealing with over-production of milk.

First, let me explain this potential imbalance. As breastfeeding mammas will now, babies need to get both foremilk and hindmilk. Foremilk, the first milk that comes through at each feed, is more watery and thirst quenching. The hindmilk is richer in fats and will provide satiety. However, if you are producing too much milk (and or swapping breast too soon) your baby will get all foremilk and not enough of the essential fatty hindmilk which makes them full. And apparently this will show up as green poo (as the lining of the intestines gets irritated by the lack of lovely fat).

So, I did what the moms on this forum I found suggested and fed my child from the one breast everytime she chose to feed in one two-hour period and only then would I change breast. And, lo and behold, within the predicted 48 hours Anya’s poo was back to the normal mustardy-seedy yellow. Hoorah!

After thinking at one time that I didn’t have enough milk and despite my still really quite small breasts, it turns out I had an over-production of milk. This certainly is verified by her incredibly fast weight gain, she has gone up by 65 percentile points since birth – quite something, ei?

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