digestive woes

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I am exclusively BF'ing my son who is 2.5 months old. For the past month we have been having some digestive issues. While he makes a normal amount of wet diapers-the dirty ones came further apart. I was told by the pedi that this was fine for a BF baby. However his gas had developed an awful sulpher smell and his poop (tmi) was incredibly orange and thick-like PB. In addition he is just plain miserable when trying to toot or poop. The pedi put him on lactulose-a laxative-which worked and then we went through a week where it did nothing. I was told to keep him on it but to also give him diluted prune juice and a supposoitory, I did and it worked then we had the other extreme. I hate keeping him on the lactulose because it seems to make his tummy crampy and gassy. It is very frustrating because I can't seem to find a balance yet to make him comfortable. Has anyone experienced anything like this? We have tried all the tricks before doing the lactulose.....I am beginning to wonder if it could be another problem? Right now he is getting the lactulose once a day and some diluted prune juice...seems a little less miserable today but I may just be optomistic. It's hard to see him so uncomfortable. Anypne want to weigh in on this?

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Rachael - posted on 01/18/2009

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Unfortunately his digestive system just might be a little underdeveloped. Usually by 4-5 months babies who have gassiness and tummy troubles outgrow it. If you feel that something more is going on though don't hesitate to have your doctor run more tests or look at the other possibilities. I am so sorry your little guy is in so much distress that must be terrible as a mother to have no solution and to see him like that. I really feel for you and I hope that you find a solution. Trying a gluten free diet for yourself might really help I have heard of a lot of people who that works for.



You may also research baby massage or even infant chiropractors....I have heard a lot of good things about both and success stories of both working to relieve tummy problems???

Laura - posted on 01/18/2009

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Yes! My daughter is 4 months and is just now starting to get over the tummy troubles. My doctor told me that breastfed babies rarely get constipated, its more like there are muscles involved in pooping that don't come natural...they are kind of learned and it takes a while to develop that and it might seem like they are straining but they are not constipated. I found that gripe water helped with the gas. I gave her some once or twice a day before a feeding and it seemed to help. There is also a method where you kind of massage their tummy for about 10-15 seconds and then put one knee up and press it in to their tummy a little bit. It helps get the gas out. The first time I tried that on my daughter she passed gas 5 times real quick. Hopes this helps!

Liz - posted on 01/18/2009

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I feel your pain. My son is 7 months and we have been dealing with this since he was 3 months and switched to formula. Breastfeeding seemed to be ok for him, but formula has not. We started by adding juice to his diet, pear always worked better for us than prune for some reason. But then that stopped working. So we were prescribed lactulose also. We experienced the same things that you have, gassiness and fussiness. It worked for a week or so, and then it stopped. I have read that gassiness is common with the initial dosages and that it should work itself out, but since it stopped working we never got to experience that. Our doctor just put us on miralax 2 days ago, I am not sure how that is going to work. It is too soon to tell. I was going to try flax seed oil in his bottle, because I saw on Dr. Sears website that he suggested a tsp ad day added to the bottle. Since you are breastfeeding, and he is so young, you could just add flaxseed oil to your diet. Also, if you are taking a prenatal vitamin, maybe try backing of on that a little and get your vitamins and folic acid through food. I am sure a doctor would not like that advice, but it might be worth a try. Final thought, If you are lactose intolerant he might be as well and I have read that people who are lactose intolerant will probably have a problem with lactulose. Good luck, I completely understand what you are going through.

Katy - posted on 01/15/2009

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Maybe if you are also lactose intolerant you could start there - NO dairy for a little while.  I feel your pain, for the first 3 months I felt like all I was eating was select veggies, fruits, and carbs.  I really think he will begin to grow out of it in time. You just feel so helpless when you see them in pain and there's nothing you can do...

Jacqueline - posted on 01/14/2009

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oh darling! that is normal for breastfed bubbas! mine would go for up to 6-7 days without a poop but at least 6-8 wet nappies. wen he would toot was an indication that he was gonna poop if not then by the nxt day lol hehehe! this may last till u put him on solids ( pured veggies) his poops changed n so much more frequently so b greatful for the lack of poop as the real stincky ones r comin.lol! if hes happy leave him, if hes a lil uncomfortable rub his tummy,do crunches or boil water with a piece of orange peel let it cool then give.

my bubba is nao 5 mths old still breast feeding with 2x farex n fruit n 1x pured veggies per day hes healthy n happy!

i wouldnt let it go past 9-10 days! everyone used to tell me it was something i ate then i realised that he was never in pain id just help him excersise n comfort him when he was uncomfortable i double checked this with my pedi when i took him for immunisation n she agrees. good luck hope i have been of help. jax

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Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2009

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Quoting Liz:

I feel your pain. My son is 7 months and we have been dealing with this since he was 3 months and switched to formula. Breastfeeding seemed to be ok for him, but formula has not. We started by adding juice to his diet, pear always worked better for us than prune for some reason. But then that stopped working. So we were prescribed lactulose also. We experienced the same things that you have, gassiness and fussiness. It worked for a week or so, and then it stopped. I have read that gassiness is common with the initial dosages and that it should work itself out, but since it stopped working we never got to experience that. Our doctor just put us on miralax 2 days ago, I am not sure how that is going to work. It is too soon to tell. I was going to try flax seed oil in his bottle, because I saw on Dr. Sears website that he suggested a tsp ad day added to the bottle. Since you are breastfeeding, and he is so young, you could just add flaxseed oil to your diet. Also, if you are taking a prenatal vitamin, maybe try backing of on that a little and get your vitamins and folic acid through food. I am sure a doctor would not like that advice, but it might be worth a try. Final thought, If you are lactose intolerant he might be as well and I have read that people who are lactose intolerant will probably have a problem with lactulose. Good luck, I completely understand what you are going through.



My neice had a ton of issues and is formula fed.  My sis started adding Cardiovascular Research Ltd.'s Essential Fatty Acid Complex to a couple of her bottles each day.  It has helped a lot.

Kathryn - posted on 01/20/2009

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Tisha-out of curiousity-what did your pedi gastro have you did to help with digestive woes? Did it have anything to do with your diet??

Kathryn - posted on 01/20/2009

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I am positive he isn't dehydrated as we have plenty of wet diapers. I am also not concerned about the color-or blood in the stools. If there was blood it probably wouldn't mix to make a perfectly orange color. Someone had mentioned that the lactulose will make him gassy/fussy but that will eventually ease up. I think that is what is going on now because he did finally have a HUGE diaper on day 5 taking the lactulose.Seriously-if I had been out somewhere we would have had big problems. He went right into the tub and that outfit went right out as there was no hope for cleaning that one up. I did stop the juice and think I am going to talk to a pedi gastroenerologist if things get worse. I have an appt. with my pedi this week and we are going to re-evaulate. Also in the past after a dirty diaper he was super happy-no now he is super gassy-probably the lactulose :-( Darned if I do and darned if I don't! I hate this game of trial and error. I am optomistic that I will get to the bottom of this-will keep you all posted on my findings.



Oh-and the four days before he went he slept at night for like 6 hours in a row....now we are up again all night due to the gas. Gripe water doesn't seem to be duing too much-as I said-it's probably the lactulose.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/20/2009

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as im reading everyones replies i realise of course not everyones methods will work for u as all babies r different.but.... u know ur baby,u know how u were fed,n any issues u may have had wen u or hubby was breastfed! go back to that. i feel that medication is doing more harm than good.or get a second opinion, change docs

my sons poop was also very orange but that was a breast milk thing there was no blood in his stools. if baby was dehydrated i would understand reason for blood.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/20/2009

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oh okay, sorry i missunderstood. i would boil water with an orange peel n feed it to him, when he (my son) was uncomfortable. my son was only uncomfortable when he had to poop as the other 6 days he was fine. but rubbing the tummy n doing crunches with him helped a lot. i never took him off the milk or gave him prune juice!

have u urself drunk prune juice? well.... u know rthat uncomfortable feeling u get just before opening ur bowels, well thats wat babys going through constantly. i would stop the juice as baby not pooping is normal.just give him warm water.

hope this is of help n u get some sort of result, n a happier baby.

Tisha - posted on 01/20/2009

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Hey there! I have an 8 week old baby boy who is also exclusively bf and he also has digestive woes. First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for you and your sweet baby. Secondly, I would like to recommend a pediatric gastroenterologist. I have been going since Dec.24th and it has been most helpful! These guys are specialized in needs of our little ones. Just maybe your baby will get some much needed relief. I must also say that I feel like I have the world's greatest pediatrician, but it was a lot of trial and error with him. We are too fatigued for that!!! LMK how things turn out:-)



Tisha Walker, Chattanooga, TN

Tasha - posted on 01/19/2009

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My daughter was having different poop issues--green runny poop with every diaper--but the same pain and struggling with toots and poops. It was dairy. I stopped consuming dairy and the problem cleared up within a few days. I also cut out caffiene to once a day. Now, at almost 7 months, I can consume a little more dairy, but it made the world of difference not to see her in pain. Hope that helps.

Rachael - posted on 01/18/2009

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Let us know how things are going or if you find something that works for him.

Mary - posted on 01/18/2009

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Oh gosh honey, I feel for you. Not just because of what your little one is going through, but also the lack of help your pedi has been. BM's could be orange because of blood in the stool. It makes sense really, his yellow poop and the red blood, make it orange. When this happened to my little guy we were told to take him to the emergency room because testing needed to be done. We didn't really get anything conclusive and he continued to have blood in his BM's. So our doctor referred us to a Pediatric Gastroentorologist, which he sees in 2 weeks. The very first thing they told me to do is cut out ALL dairy. I mean everything that has even the slightest bit of milk. For the gassiness we just use Mylicon Drops and they do a pretty good job of easing the pain for him. He still passes gas but isn't fussy when it happens. If you are exclusively BFing and he has no solids then his BMs should not be thick either. They should still be yellow, runny, and "seedy." I would reccomend that you cut out dairy and ask your doctor to test for blood in the stool.

Kathryn - posted on 01/18/2009

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I do think it is more of a problem where he just can't get the poop out by himself. My husband gives him a bottle at night and we put the gripe water in there and we think that has helped at night, but have not done that during the day as I have been trying to pump and save my milk for when I head back to work. He doesn't like the taste of the gripe water alone. I hope I am not over-reacting- and I will try the massage and look into the possibility of a infant chiropractor. Anything I can do that is a more natural approach I am in favor of.



Thanks again!

Liz - posted on 01/18/2009

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Again, I feel you pain.  My son is 7 months and we still have not been able to start any foods.  I hope that it works out for you.   I wouldn't dread the switch to formula, though, it might actually help since your child is having trouble with the breast milk.  You will have more options that you can try with formula. Good luck!

Kathryn - posted on 01/18/2009

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I just read about the flax seed oil on the sears website as well. I am sticking with the lactulose for now but plan to see the doc this week if things don't go well. We ended up giving him another glycerin suppository this past week and he was so relieved. A completely different child the days following. It is now day 3 after and we are taking the lactulose and this is usually when we start to see discomfort/fussiness/gas that will in the next couple days progress to screaming/crying/pain. My doc doesn't want me to continue to give the suppositories but so far that has been the only thing that has worked. My son will take a bottle and has since he was a few weeks old. I usually pump in the morning and my husband gives him a bottle at night. I will be going back to work in another month and wanted to make sure he would be okay taking a bottle in my absence. I think I will try the flaxseed and see how that goes. I am afraid when I go back to work I will most likely have to supplement with formula and don't want to even think about what could happen.



Someone suggested that goats milk (while pricey) is the most like breast milk and very gentle for babies and also someone swore by soy formula for her daughter. Seems like babies and there digestive track are a common concern. Another friend of mine told me her problems were solved once she started her son on solids. I saw her giving her son bananas and rice cereal the other day and wondered if we could ever eat those foods?



Thank you for all the advice...it is helpful to hear from other moms!

Kathryn - posted on 01/15/2009

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Just to clarify: the lack of pooping isn't a concern to me....I don't mind him not pooping its more his discomfort. There is a noticeable difference in my son when he is relieved. Otherwise he is screaming, crying, kicking his legs-all day long if he hasn't gone. He also doesn't sleep as well when this is happening. The days he is relieved he is happy, engaging and interested in the world around him. This is why I am so concerned about making him comfortable.

Shanyn - posted on 01/14/2009

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Have you tried cutting out gluten? Dairy and gluten are big triggers for digestive woes in babes. I had to cut out dairy completely with my son - it was like night and day, colic and crabby baby and then smiley and happy baby! :) Also, make sure you're staying hydrated enough that will help keep the juices flowing so to speak. And peanut butter poos were totally normal with my kiddos, so I wouldn't worry too much about that part. Hang in there and follow your mama instinct!

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2009

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yeah-I do need to maybe let some more time pass. I cut out my one cup of coffee a day....so sad....and no chocolate. I cut out all gassy foods on my part and I don't drink milk and my daily dairy intake is minimal because I am lactose intolerant SO...perhaps I need to be patient since he is so young. Just curious to see if anyone had problems like this because I don't know anyone personally who has.

Katy - posted on 01/14/2009

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It could be something in your diet, could just be that his system is immature.  We had some bad gassy issues which caused 'colic' for 10 weeks.  He's now 4.5 months old and doing much better!  Hang in there, it could just be a matter of time!

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2009

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Have you tried keeping a food diary to see if perhaps its something you're eating? I'd start there and then slowly cut different things from your diet to see if it helps. Please note, it takes about two weeks to clear his system of something that is disturbing him.

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