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The green poops, colicky GERD babe and wiped out mama saga..

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I so need to vent this, when realy I should be sleeping, but I'm hoping desperately for some idea I haven't heard or an "I've been there".

DS and I are now in week three (he's almost 5 weeks now) of what is turning into a nightmare. He was such an "easy" babe at the start, but things seem to be snowballing.

He started having green runny poops at 2 weeks, and I immediately cut out all dairy and started investigating a possible fore/hind milk imbalance. Things didn't change, and he started getting real colicky for about 3 hrs a night. We had a well-baby visit with the Ped, and she basically said "deal with it", but that it might be Gastric Reflux.

Three and 1/2 weeks, everything was getting worse..... poops still green, and now when he would try to nurse, he'd latch on great, swallow, and then you could w/in 5-10 seconds hear awful noises in his stomach, and he'd pull off the nipple *screaming*. This went on for almost three hellish days when a family practitioner finally was able to see us. He told me that I either needed a wet nurse or to put DS on formula, and that my milk was "poisoning" him. I left the docs hysterical, and a nurse at the clinic got me an appt. with a pediatrician (ours is on vacation).

The ped said DS might have GERD (reflux) or Colitis, and prescribed Zantac. We're using the Zantac (we were at wit's end), and while the colic and discomfort is there, at least he can eat. he had started losing weight, and I feel like he's not gaining well (we'll weigh in on Monday again). Giving him the Zantac is almost as bad as the reflux- he gags and sputters and screams bloody murder.

Meanwhile, I've tried everything else to help my DS with the pain he seems to be in. Homeopathic remedies, gripe water, Mylicon, positioning, vigilant burping, and going on the elimination diet... I've cut all dairy, wheat, corn, soy and veggies except squash out of my diet. The diet is miserable, I feel hungry and malnourished, and I'm at wit's end with sleep deprivation. Still, nothing has changed-- he's way colicky, and the poops are even greener and more mucousy. The biggest consolation is that DS is able to nurse, and he's smiling when he's calm and comfortable.

Someone please tell me it gets better!!!!!!!
post #2 of 17
I don't have a BTDT story, but hang on. It sounds like you are really trying a lot for him. And giving it you r all. What a great mom you sound like!

It seems like sooner or later you will find something that works. I have heard a lot of folks say that it can take a fairly long time to get all the dairy, etc. out of the body (2 wks i think).
post #3 of 17
Well, I've BTDT, but in a different way.

Anna is 5months old and far from figured out. We stopped bf'ing at 4 weeks after being soooo scared it was my milk that made her so pissy about eating. We did the zantac/reglan thing for the screaming. It helped some. We switched to prevacid a month later for more reflief from the vomit and screaming feeds. We're far from a solution still. She hates to eat... anything. We've started occupational therapy to help this. Reflux is a very sensitive situation that can cause lots of damage downstream if not taken care of upfront. You're doing the right thing trying to address the problem. Anna didn't get to start her meds till 2 months old and I kick myself for not pressuring sooner. There's a wonderful website called PAGER at www.reflux.org

They have discussion boards too and the folks there can be very helpful with BTDT . The mucus and loose stool sounds like a milk and/or soy protein sensitivity to me. The previous poster is very right about those things taking time to exit your system. You may need to cut it out *all* dairy though - no cheese, etc. Read labels.

If you have any questions feel free to email me. Feeding reflux babe's is hard work, especially emotionally... and yes, when they're not eating they look perfectly normal and happy. If it's really bad then most also have trouble sleeping.

Best of luck - you're not alone,
post #4 of 17
BTDT! Hang on, mama! It WILL get better. I went through several months of misery trying to get help for my babe, and what saved us was seeing a naturopath. (I had never done that before.) He used applied kinesiology to test her for food sensitivities, and I went home with a huge list of stuff to avoid. It was incredibly daunting, but 36 hours later, she was better. The change was just unbelievable. The stuff I cut out included some of the usual culprits (like dairy) but also some surprises, like oats and pork. I did struggle for two or three weeks, thinking that I was pretty likely to starve and finding eating to be just a big, unpleasant undertaking. That got better, too, though, and after a while it was easy to eat like that. It just became second nature. The good news is that most babies outgrow most or all of their sensitivities. My daughter is now 13 months, and I'm eating just about everything. It was absolutely worth doing this. The difference between a hurting baby and a happy one is incredible. FWIW, I've also heard some great stories about craniosacral therapy for babies with belly problems.

You're doing such a good thing by nursing your babe! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And feel free to PM me if you need some extra support. I remember how hard and scary it is. It gets better, I promise.

post #5 of 17
I had a friend with a child with an extreme dairy/soy sensitivity. Her diet was absolutely insane. Are you sure that you have eliminated absolutely ALL dairy and soy from your diet. She found out that things that she was eating while out that she thought were safe really weren't many breads have milk products in them, many in minute amounts, but it was enough to send her child into hysterics. She had a nutritionist help her fetter out things that she would be able to eat, such as breads that have no milk products, etc. You may be surprised at what you are eating even when you are sure you are avoiding dairy.

If it were me, I would also have the testing done to find out where the sensitivities lie. Yes, it may be a real bummer during and right after, but imagine how much pain you will eliminate from his life in the long run.
post #6 of 17
Okay, I'm still there with you. It's so hard and it seems like it'll never end but it gets better. It does. Your body adjusts to the diet and your mind will follow suit.

What saved our hides in combo with the elimination diet (mine was just as extreme as yours) was GRIPE WATER.

It's natural. It's going to probably do what the doctors think the Zantac should do.

Run, DON"T WALK, to buy you some. Trust me on this. It changed our lives.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies... DH is currently doing the "happy hour(s)" dance with DS; looks like we might be in for a doozy tonight.

Sarah, we tried Gripe Water from the get-go. Unfortunately, it wasn't the panacea we were hoping for, but it does seem to help in the long stretches between the Zantac.

Jish, I've been absolutely meticulous about eliminating things from my diet. The list of what I can eat is much shorter then what I can't. Basically, only rice, chicken, rice milk, and well cooked vegetables. I have had a few fresh salad greens and almond milk, but otherwise am on the beige diet. I'm checking labels for casein, whey, all that "sneaky" stuff. (and CRAVING things like fresh cherries!) But it is so worth it, if it will help him feel better.

Rachel, thanks for the BTDT. I may PM you if things quiet down here. In the meantime, I'm going to cut out oats, too.

Kerc and jogirl, thanks for the support. Jo, I checked out PAGER-- very cool site, and great to know that there is so much out there in dealing with this. You are right, it's SO emotionally draining, and we aren't sleeping much either. When he wakes to feed (about every 11/2 to 2 hours at night) I'm generally up with the spitting up and keeping him upright for about and hour, and then it seems like in no time we're back at it.

I know that I'm being a good mom (trying my damndest at any rate), but when your babe is hurting and crying and red in the face and arching his back, my god, there's nothing like it. I tell you, when we get to the smiles, I hang on to those moments like found treasure. They give me hope that it will get better.........

BTW, he seems colicky at night to boot (though at this point it all seems to blend)...I'm a bit suprised that we're having all these issues, b/c he was at least 2 weeks late, and I thought "late" babies had more developed systems. *sigh*
post #8 of 17
That's too bad about the gripe water. I'm so sorry!

If it comes down to it, you may have to use formula. I hated the idea of it too. Fortunately for us we hit a level playing field around three months and the diet started working.

It takes time for your system to clear things out. Especially dairy and wheat.

But please, if you have to switch because of this do not punish yourself and berate yourself.

You are obviously a caring mother to have done this much already.

This is such a hard thing to go through. I wish I could rub your feet and back and make time fly forward to a land of nonpained babies.

I'm still there with you!

Some people gave me grief when I decided to change to forumla. But those people aren't the ones that had to watch my baby hurting.

The funny thing is he wouldn't take formula after my month long agonizing decision process. So we had to tough it out.
post #9 of 17
Some thoughts from a BTDT Mom.....

My son had severe reflux from about 8 weeks until about 4 1/2 mos. By 6 mos. there was not a trace of reflux left.

I tried elimination diets and NOTHING was the culprit. So I stopped trying to eliminate things. My ds was put on Tagamet at 8 weeks and it wasn't effective until we got the right dosage figured out when he was about 12 weeks old.

It was a very difficult time. It is so hard to see your precious baby in so much pain and to feel so helpless in helping them. I know what you're going through and I want to tell you that it does get better!!!

I also want to say to not feel bad about using Zantac or Tagamet. The risk of permanent damage to the esophogus is worse than any risk of side effects from the meds.

Hang in there!!!
post #10 of 17
Oops - i didnt' read your post carefully enough and see now that you've already checked out the fore/hind milk balance thing. Couldn't delete this post, so i'll leave it for other's info;

my dd had green poops before 3 mo - I remember cos it was then i went to the lactation consultant.
she told me that green poop is because the lactose in the milk is not being digested properly. this, she said is because the baby is not getting enough of the fatty hindmilk, and too much of the more watery foremilk. there needs to be a balanced intake of both for proper digestion. so she suggested that in any 3 hour period i feed dd from the same breast. so if she feeds every 2 hours, then the second feed will be from the same breast as the last feed, to get more of the rich hindmilk.
It worked; goodbye green poops!
I don't know if there are added factors in your case, but hope this info helps.
post #11 of 17
I don't have a babe yet and have no experience personally but I'm a ND and have seen castor oil applied topically to have amazing results..just rub it on their belly and it helps with the colic and crampy pains. Good luck!
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, we seem to be making progress. After eliminating EVERYTHING from my diet, and having no chnage in the poops, I've started slowly adding things back.... I've added corn and soy back, and we seem to be ok, although I'll give it a while. No wheat or dairy yet....

The Zantac, while not a panacea, has the GERD manageable. He's feeding with minimal fuss most of the time, and when he spits up (which seems like after every feeding), he doesn't scream in pain-- if fact, it doesn't seem to bother him much. After a scary weight decline, he's regained and seems to be slowly on the up and up.. we'll weigh in again on Wednesday.

The crazy thing about the poops is that every now and then, seemingly very randomly, he'll have a "normal" yellow poop! I get so excited, and then by the next one, we're back to green and mucousy. It's making me think maybe it's that fore/hind milk imbalance, although I'm going like 4 hours before switching sides!

It's amazing, dealing with a bit of colic without the severe GERD symptoms on top. When he gets to fussy time, I can tell he's not in the same kind of pain he had before-- makes it so much easier to deal with, although he still has painful episodes, esp. early in the AM and late night. Is it possible he's slowly growing out of this?

I'm eager to try the castor oil massage-- how does it work? He does seem to like ab massage, especially right above his hip joints.

Ahh, what a journey this is.
post #13 of 17
hindmilk/foremilk....a friend of mine swears that it helps to sit back as you nurse...rather than lean forward. Helps to get the hindmilk flowing she claims. Might be worth giving a try.
post #14 of 17
Castor oil massage is very easy, add it to his belly like you would any oil and then put an onesie on him to prevent if from staining everything. It really helps if you can use a bit of heat, like a warm towel or water bottle but you might burn him if you aren't really vigilant about the length of time or temp...leave it on for about 45 minutes and then wipe off the residue. you might need to leave it on for less time in the beginning since it is really stimulating and might want to start with 15-20 minutes to watch his reaction. good luck!
post #15 of 17
Sorry this is so much after the original posting, but I just wanted to add a few things. I didn't have the poop issues, but had the GERD. It was overwhelming and I had good luck with Prevacid.

You didn't mention having problems with getting the meds in, but since we had so many problems, I thought I would pass along what finally worked for us. Prevacid is a capsule filled with little balls (that don't float). Make a mixture of baby cereal just thick enough to keep the balls from sinking, suck it up in a syringe thingy (no needle, just the stopper part) and slide it into the side of their mouth while they are breastfeeding. Usually the suction from them eating will pull the meds into their mouth, but if not, you can just slowly depress the stopper.

Also, it really helped to nurse him with him vertical. It looks really goofy, but it really seemed to help if he wasn't laid back. Try to avoid ever having him at the angle that the car seat has him in...that is the "perfect" example of the exact wrong angle that aggrivates the GERD.

At around 6 months watch for the GERD to all of a sudden appear to be worse....If that happens, either you will need to up the dose, or what you are seeing is a side effect of the meds because the GERD is gone and he is suddenly overmedicated. (The latter is what happened to us)

post #16 of 17
Anna has severe reflux and we're on prevacid as well. Be very careful with zantac.. if you see his symptoms getting worse as he gains weight then get his dose increased. Many babies develop a tolerance to zantac, which is why dose increases are very common and why most people end up switching to a PPI, like prevacid. Anna gets prevacid mixed in Caracream (see www.chocobase.com). It dissolves the beads and adds a flavor. It also increases the effectiveness of the drug and allows it to be consumed with a meal instead of 30 minutes before. Some babies like the flavor enough to eat the medicine (I personally think it's quite tasty ). If feeding a baby prevacid with a spoon - use applesauce and do this 30 minutes before a meal. The beads need that time to dissolve and get absorbed. Applesauce is important. I forget why, but it's on the prevacid website. We're seeing wonderfiul results with the caracream. She still won't eat awake and without screaming, but she'll humor the bottle now and at least consider it. Best of luck - feeding GERD babies can be very time-consuming and emotionally draining...
post #17 of 17


green poop is iron!
or that is what doctors told me

formula babies almost always have green poop because of the great ammount of iron.

your bm might just contain a lot of iron. no need to worry about color!

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