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Blood in infant's stool when breastfed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I would like to post something for all mommies like myself who are passionate about breastfeeding their babies and run into a snag.


I recently gave birth to my 3rd beautiful baby.  A boy.  He arrived in April at a healthy 8 pounds, and a little jaundiced.  However, he latched on perfectly and immediately after birth.  My milk came in a day or two later.  I waited for his poop to turn from the birth black to the yellow, seedy, breastmilk poop that it normally does within the first week or two after birth.  It didn't happen.  It went from black to green.  Never yellow.  Never seedy.  9 days after his birth, I took him to a local pediatrician.  (The pediatrician group I took my first 2 kids to was on the opposite side of town as we had moved last year). 


When I took the baby to the pediatrician on this side of town, I took a soiled diaper so I could show the doctor.  He took it from me and gave it to his nurse and told her to test it for blood.  At this point, I'm getting nervous hearing words like "blood in the stool" and "milk protein allergy."  The nurse comes back into the room with the results from the test and the doctor looks at the test, looks at me and says, "You have no hope of nursing your baby.  You need to put him on a special formula.  He has an allergy to milk protein.  He's basically allergic to your milk."


Excuse my french but WTF?!


I just looked at the doctor and said, "What are my other options?"

The doctor looked at me with a blank look on his face like he didn't understand the question.

I said, "I have 2 other children that I breastfed for 3 years each.  NOT breastfeeding my newborn baby is NOT an option for me.  What are my other options?"


The doctor got real grim and said, "Well you would have to virtually eliminate ALL dairy from your diet.  And milk is in everything.  Even things you don't think it is such as cake mix, crackers, bread, etc."


I said that it wasn't such a problem for me because I don't do dairy.  I don't drink milk, I drink almond milk.  I don't eat ice cream, yogurt, cheese, or butter.


He goes on to say, "The thing about allergies is that the body doesn't care if it's a little or a lot, it's still allergic."

He said it would take 3 days for all milk to leave my system.

He sent me out the door with a "good luck with that" attitude.


I left his office absolutely heart broken.  Defeated, discouraged, depressed, and disgusted.  For the next few days I paid close attention to every little thing I ate or drank.  I went absolutely dairy free on everything, but I couldn't help feeling like I was poisoning my baby.  Every time I changed his diaper, it would remind me that I am poison to my baby.  The most basic and fundamental thing in life was poisoning my baby!


I have a very good friend that is a nurse and worked in the NIC-U at the county hospital for a long time.  She said she thought because the baby was jaundiced that he was just eliminating all the excess red blood cells from his system via his stool.  I continued the sun baths and waited for the jaundice to pass in hopes that her theory was correct.


The jaundice passed, but his stool stayed green. 

I was practically driving myself (and my husband) insane with the dairy free diet, but still...green poop.


Finally, I decided to take the baby to the pediatrician I had used for my kids for the last 15 years (opposite side of town).

He gave the baby the once over.  Checked his poopy diaper, tested the poop. 


He said there is blood present in his stool but if there isn't red streaks in it, he's not worried about it.  He said if the baby wasn't complaining, not to worry about it.  He told me to continue nursing the baby.  So I did.  And I have.


I am happy to report that he just had a check up at 7 months and he is right on track with the weight, height, etc.

The nurse practitioner that saw him said that as long as he's growing and is healthy and happy, there is no reason to stop nursing.


So after that long story, I guess my point is that if there are any other mommies out there who are experiencing this:



post #2 of 13

Wow! I am driving myself crazy with my daughter's diaper issues; mucous in stools. Tearing my hair out and considering giving her hypoallergenic formula for a couple of weeks while I pump and dump. She isn't complaining and doesn't seem extra-fussy when she gets the mucous. Wish me luck. Instead, I have decided to eliminate all potential allergens from my diet for 2 weeks and checking. Phew! I need all the good luck anyone can send my way.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am sending you all the blessings and strength I can!  It's a big challenge.  Here's what La Leche suggested for me:


Option 1:  Eliminate all possible allergens and then gradually add them back in to your diet one at a time.


Option 2:  Eliminate one allergen at a time.  This was easiest for me since I was still nursing and needed the calories.  I would have starved to death with the first option.


Also, I tend to agree with my wise old owl of a pediatrician.  As long as baby is growing, is healthy, and happy and not complaining, then why worry? 


Of course I can say this now that we've made it through 8 months of successful breastfeeding even with blood in the stool.  It was VERY stressful in the beginning.


So once again...all the light and love and strength to you!

post #4 of 13

My son had visible blood in his stool, I cut out all dairy, it went away AND he was much more settled and happy.  That's crazy that you were told you have to give formula - I can see them giving that option, but really, just telling you that was what you had to do was untrue.



post #5 of 13

I have to clarify. No one told me to give her formula. That's just my desperation talking.


See? She doesn't have visible blood, just the occasional coffee ground-like things. And mucus. My mum says that it must be just cold coming down that way. Because the day mucus in her stool started, her month-long cold went away. And I hear that babies get colds very frequently. She had one from 1-2 months of age, then, mucus in nose was gone abruptly, and mucus in stools started. RIght after her first rotavirus vaccine. The ped said that it doesn't cause mucus, but it probably goes unreported because the peds assume that it is because of an allergy or intolerance to something in mother's diet. Perhaps giving many mother tons of heartache. How do they know that it doesn't do that? It is, after all, a weakened form of a virus that causes GI upsets.


For now, I decided to just be off dairy and wheat and nuts. That is quite workable. I don't eat eggs and shellfish anyway. I am a lacto-vegetarian. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a naturopath. She says that she has just the right probiotic for mucus in a baby's stool. My mum tells me to give her banana and that banana helps heal the gut. I think it is an Ayurvedic concept of certain things happening due to too much heat or cold in the body. They don't refer to actual temperatures and I don't quite understand it, but I started giving it to her yesterday. Today, she had her first solid-food caused poop ever. Mustardy paste with black squiggles (because of fibres in banana). What was I thinking, coming up, completely without thinking, with a song for her that goes, "Iggly Wiggly Squiggly Giggly, Iggly Wiggly", while feeding her banana yesterday!!!


Thanks for reading my vent and thanks for the best wishes. I am resisting the urge to dump all potential allergens because she's almost exclusively bfed. I need the calories. She needs me to eat the calories. And perhaps, I should listen to what they say, "If it ain't broken, don't try to fix it". She doesn't appear to be in any discomfort. She used to strain to pass stools earlier. Perhaps because she's more mobile now, stuff passes through easier.

post #6 of 13


Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

My son had visible blood in his stool, I cut out all dairy, it went away AND he was much more settled and happy. 


 How long did you have to wait Tjej until it went away?


My six-month old DD has blood in her stools every now and then and I'm thinking to cut out all dairy as well.

She does not seem to be in any discomfort, she is a healthy and happy chubby little girl (23 pounds!) and our ped (homeopath) does not seem to worry.

But still I'd like to know what is bothering her; I feel very bad every time I change her diaper and see the blood greensad.gif

post #7 of 13

Ok, weirdness! I cut things out for several days, mucus and blood went away and now, when I eat each one, she doesn't seem to have a problem. I started her on solids and she has those pasty poops that stick to her bottom. Pain to clean!


Question: Is it hard to see mucus or blood in solid-fed (along with bf) baby poop? Or was it really only the rotavirus vaccine and now that it has been 1.5 months (or banana helping acc to my mom)?

post #8 of 13

This all sounds very familiar. My son has had green, mucousy and often blood streaked diapers since he was 2 months. I went to a gastroenterologist and he told me the same thing, about how there was really no hope of me breastfeeding and that I needed to put my son on hypoallergenic formula. I told him no, that I would rather try the elimination diet and he sent me off with that same "good luck with that" attitude. I've eliminated diary, soy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts and still my son has symptoms so I've recently eliminated wheat and corn. It's an uphill battle but the bottom line is that if you have a baby that is sensitive they will probably have a harder time with any formula than with breastmilk. Also, research indicates that about 30% of babies will continue to have symptoms regardless of how you treat the problem (whether you switch to formula, continue to breastfeed after elimination of the allergen, etc). There is no clear cut answer, however it is easy to drive yourself crazy with guilt, not to mention the stress of a strict elimination diet. Just keep breastfeeding and don't let anyone scare you into thinking that formula is the only way (the Dr. I saw told me I was going to give my son colon cancer....jerk). Research also indicates that 95% of babies outgrow this in their first year so chances are that it too will pass.

post #9 of 13

OH and be wary of any probiotic you use to help your baby's GI problems....that was where it all started for me. Most probiotics have allergens in them, namely dairy and soy. I gave one to my son for thrush and his symptoms began after that.

post #10 of 13

Hi, there!  Hope things have improved for you and your little one! :)  Good for you for hanging in there! 


If it helps, every child is different.  My DS1 had mucousy and blood-stained poop when I ate eggs, and DS2 had it when I ate any amount of chocolate.  We discovered later that DS1 is allergic to eggs, and I'm predicting that DS2 will be allergic to chocolate.  I kept a log of what I ate to help discover the allergen by looking at patterens in my diet versus baby's poop.  Once those allergens were eliminated from my diet, then there were no more problems.  Sad for me, because I can't eat chocolate, but I guess I'll live! 

post #11 of 13

Hello everyone, Seems like it is resolved now (knock on wood). Eliminated soy completely. Yogurt is fine, milk is not (unless boiled very slowly, which is what Ayurveda suggests to avoid mucus). Eliminating wheat removed the mucus problem completely. Egg yolk seems fine too. Funny thing is, if I eat wheat products made at home, she's fine. Store-bought bread, she's not...


Her pediatrician told me to start "cheating" on my diet in a month and see what happens because, she told me, these problems usually resolve around 9-12 months.


Thanks for checking in!

post #12 of 13

I had the same issue with my 4 year old son. The pediatricians immediately pushed formula on me and so did my mil. I refused to give up breastfeeding and removed soy and dairy completely from diet until he was 1. On his first bday we tested the allergy with a regular cake and he was fine. He has not any problems with milk since then. I am so here for you. I felt so alone when it happened although my mom and husband were great supporters.

post #13 of 13

 My dd had horrible GI bleeding issues, I was told that my breastmilk was the issue, like so many others of you. I was preassured into using formula, and i tried to keep breastfeeding but like so many of u felt as though i was hurting my baby with my breastmilk, so i stopped. Went with exclusive formula, and the bleeding NEVER STOPPED. I was later told that her system was so sensative that even the special formulas where irritating her gut but at that time i had stopped lactating. I would have been SOOOOO better off sticking with my instincts to keep breastfeeding. Listen to your mothering instincts mamas.

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