Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poop, Poop and More Poop

People always say that when you have either a dog or kids, you will constantly talk about poop. I honestly had no idea how right these people were and wish I had a nickel for everytime I even utter the word "poop" to anyone who will listen to me!

On Friday, I took Katie to the pediatrician for a follow-up appointment so she could further examine her, and for us to receive the test results for C. Diff (which were negative). While we were waiting on the doctor to see us, Katie had a very bloody stool, which really seemed to alarm the doctor - enough that she got us in for an appointment with a Pediatric GI doctor for tomorrow afternoon. While she and I were talking, she mentioned a couple times that there is a possibility that Katie is allergic to the lactose in my breastmilk - something that I cannot seem to even possibly comprehend or agree with.

I got smart that afternoon and called Northside Hospital's lactation department. I figured out of anyone, they should have some good knowledge in this area. Without going into too much detail, the bottom line is that the lady asked me a series of questions - the key two questions being:

1. How is her weight gain?
2. What color is her poop?

I proudly talked about her 1 lb gain in 6 days and mentioned that her poop has been green. It was at that point that she stopped me mid-sentence and said that her poop color was a problem! I guess as a mother, and after taking a Baby Essentials class, I should know that her poop should be mustard yellow, but when our pediatrician told me that green is normal I didn't question it! In addition, she said the fast weight gain is NOT normal - she should only be gaining a 1/2 oz to 1 oz/day - not 2 oz/day.

Anyway, she said immediately that it sounds like we may have a "foremilk/hindmilk imbalance", meaning that she is getting more of the lower fat milk as opposed to the higher fat milk. The three biggest syptoms are quick weight gain, green poop and bloody stools.

Oddly enough, Brad and I both had come across a website earlier today, which contains the information below, and is exactly what the lactation consultant described.

Babies of mothers with oversupply frequently have bowel problems because the over production of milk causes the baby to get more foremilk ( the lower fat first milk) than hind milk. Hindmilk is the higher fat milk that comes later in the feeding. Because the fat in the milk helps to slow digestion, a baby who receives more foremilk than hind milk may experience very rapid digestion. This would allow some of the lactose, a milk sugar, into the bowel undigested. Once in the bowel, lactose creates irritation that often leads to gassiness and explosive, sometimes green bowel movements. Irritation also further inhibits the bowel's ability to manage the lactose, creating a situation that often gets progressively worse. This bowel irritation sometimes becomes so severe it can cause bloody stools.

She asked that I "block nurse" Katie all weekend - meaning to have Katie feed on "one side" for the entire duration of the feeding instead of switching halfway through, and then for the next feeding have her eat from the following side. This will ensure that she will definitely get the hind milk instead of the foremilk.

After reading quite a bit over the weekend on this imbalance/oversupply issue, so many things started to make sense to me. 1. Katie will often times "thrash" around while breastfeeding, arch her back and more or less bite down on my nipple - this is a HUGE sign of a foremilk oversupply. Apparently, this is her way of trying to stop the milk from coming to her so quickly (imagine laying on the ground trying to drink from a garden hose that is turned on full blast). 2. She would often times choke/cough within a few seconds of starting to nurse. This is also a huge sign of oversupply because, once again, the milk is getting to her too fast.

Again, we will go to the GI doctor tomorrow to get their opinion, but if I could bet money I would say that we are NOT dealing with a milk-protein allergy whatsoever...especially sine after 24 hours of block nursing, Katie no longer has green poop!

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