Breastfeeding Moms: Dairy Sensitivity or Fore/Hindmilk Imbalance? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Breastfeeding Moms: Dairy Sensitivity or Fore/Hindmilk Imbalance?

Hi, ladies,

FTM EBF a six week old. She used to have healthy mustard colored stools and, somewhere along the way, they started turning green.

She may have silent reflux, but I don't think it's a virus, bacteria or parasite because sometimes they'll go from green to mustard in the same day (I don't think it would fluctuate if it were a virus, etc).

Does anyone have experience with a dairy sensitivity or too much foremilk that may be able to she'd some light on my situation? I'm eliminating dairy starting today to see if that helps.

She spit up twice last night, but normally she doesn't spit up, but is hard to burp sometimes and seems uncomfortable when she needs to have a BM. (Is not constipated, though.)

Thank you in advance, mommies! It's so hard to see our little babies uncomfortable and feel helpless.

Re: Breastfeeding Moms: Dairy Sensitivity or Fore/Hindmilk Imbalance?

  • You sound like you are describing my baby exactly! I emailed her doctor specifically referencing all the things you mentioned and she said all sounds normal. I was worried about the fore/hind milk imbalance because I feel like I have a huge supply. I have been feeding on only one side at each feeding since she's been home to try to adjust to her demand.

    Are there symptoms she is uncomfortable other than when trying to have a BM?
    Married DH 08.28.10
    Pregnancy #1: BFP 04.10.11 EDD 12.23.11 DD1 Born 12.4.11
     Pregnancy #2: BFP 5.12.14 MC 5.20.14 @ 5wk4d
    Pregnancy #3: BFP 11.1.14 EDD 7.5.15 MC 11.13.14 @ 6wk4d
    Pregnancy #4: BFP 1.31.15 EDD 10.5.15 DD2 Born 9.23.15
  • PlainJane8350PlainJane8350
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited October 2015
    She gets hiccups a lot, but since she got them a lot in utero they claim it's unrelated. She's hard to burp, but has gotten a little easier the last couple of weeks and has also started passing gas.

    I've been getting the most support from one of my local La Leche chapters. Our pedi diagnosed me with oversupply, but La Leche has been most helpful. They don't think that it's a dairy sensitivity because they said that food allergies are usually accompanied by blood in the stool. Yikes! Thank God I'm not seeing that because I'd freak. They're leaning towards oversupply and recommend just what you're doing, feeding several feedings from the same breast.

    When she gets fussy on the breast, I try to burp her (usually unsuccessfully) first, then I'll switch breasts in case it's more empty than I realize.

    When she's not feeding and she's fussy, 99% of the time she needs to burp or have a BM.

    Let's keep in touch and let the other know if you find anything that works!
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  • FYI, you don't always see the blood in the stool for an allergy! It can just be trace amounts, there is a test the doctor can do to see if there is blood in the stool. It's a little card thing that they smear a small amount on, and then drop a chemical on it to see the reaction. (Daughter had blood in her stool for months and I never actually saw any.) If you think there's something going on, call your pediatrician.
  • PlainJane8350PlainJane8350
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited October 2015
    Thanks, @Squirtgun, I never would have thought of that! Waiting on a call back to pick up a kit, the doctor had to put an order in for it.

    Did they find out what was causing blood in your daughter's stool?
  • Thanks, @Squirtgun, I never would have thought of that! Waiting on a call back to pick up a kit, the doctor had to put an order in for it.

    Did they find out what was causing blood in your daughter's stool?

    Hopefully they will find that there is no issue with your little one, but it's always better for your own peace of mind to know for sure, in my experience :).

    Daughter has allergies. She was tested originally because she had vomit issues and Dr. was ruling out viruses, then when the blood was still there weeks later, it had to be something else.
  • How did they find out what she was allergic to? I called an allergist today. The receptionist wasn't sure, but she thought that six weeks was too young for skin tests and that they'd have to take blood.

    Also, how old was your LO when she was tested?
  • This is my older daughter(she's 20months now) so it's not quite relevant to a six week old. Anyway, She had hives for a while, and we were trying to figure out what they were in response to at the same time as the blood in stool was going on. Then she had a spectacularly scary reaction to eggs-- projectile vomit, swelling, the whole nine yards. She was around 9months old, I believe. It wasn't the first time she'd had eggs, and reactions can get worse each time you are exposed to an allergen. so the doctors believe that the other symptoms were flaring up when all of the antihistamine was out of her system from the last time she'd had the hives, etc. She had the skin scratch test at 11 months old, and the allergist put her on Zyrtec for a month to clear out her system of any lingering allergens.

    I have an egg allergy as well, so it was not an issue before she was eating solids. Most of the time if a doctor suspects a food allergy in a breastfed baby, they recommend that the mother goes on an elimination diet, and that can help pinpoint the allergen.

    (I'm a little nervous that my new little 3wks will end up having similar issues, but at least I'm more aware this time around!)
  • I'm sorry that happened to her, but I appreciate you sharing your experience...and congratulations on your newest addition to the family!
  • I'm currently working with his ped to determine if LO has reflux or dairy protein intolerance. His symptoms are fussiness during feeding, spitting up, constant hiccups, straining and crying to pass gas or have a bm and excess phlegm. I am currently dairy free as well as breastfeeding 5-10min each side before switching. My ped also told me to wait 3-4 hours between nursing time (he is 8 weeks) to let his tummy completely empty but not to let him get too hungry. One of the two solutions has helped, I plan on eating dairy this weekend to see if he reacts.

  • Please let me know! I've only been dairy free two days so far, but her diapers are still going back and forth between mustard and green. So frustrating!
  • I'm having the same thing happen to my 3 week old daughter, which started about a week ago.. Her poops will change from green to yellow in the same day and she's super fussy during feeding time sometimes refusing the breast altogether.. I know I have an issue with an overactive letdown so I think she might not be getting enough hind milk? I was going to eliminate dairy from my diet to see if that's the issue but if it was, wouldn't all of her poops be green and this happen since she was a couple days old rather than it showing up every so often starting at 2 weeks? I have an appointment with a lactation consultant on Wednesday but just wondering from the experiences of others? :)
  • I have a 16 month old with a dairy and soy allergy.   The first few months as a newborn were HELL until I successfully got all traces of dairy out of my system and were not passed through my breast milk.  She was severely colic pretty much all hours.  Initially she had loose stool and pooped about 12 times per day.  Then her stool turned mucous green with small streaks of blood around 4-5 weeks. She was difficult to burp and farted like a truck driver. Her tummy was clearly full of gas.  She would scrunch up her legs, clench her eyes closed, and her face would turn purple while she screamed in pain.  We used little remedies gas x and gripe water.  That seemed to help a little.   

    After the doctors told me to remove dairy from my diet, I didn't initially do it correctly.  I thought getting rid of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, etc would be enough.  Not the case.  EVERY TINY TRACE OF DAIRY NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM YOUR DIET.  You must examine every single food label.  If it says "casin" or "whey"…that is dairy. Check even your spices.   I will be forever grateful to the pediatrician who told me to go back and double check my spices.  Sure enough….the chicken bullion cubes and one other spice I had been using had milk in them!   Once I removed those from my diet too, my baby turned into a totally different baby.  She became an angel baby.  

    I should add that I had also removed all forms of soy, nuts, corn, gluten, spicy foods, acidic foods and anything else that was a common allergen or GI irritant.  I was that desperate to solve the problem!  I get PTSD just thinking about that experience.

    If you choose to use formula, Similac Alimentum is one our daughter has been able to tolerate.  They say they grow out of it by 12 months usually, but our daughter has not.  If she has anything with milk or soy she still gets loose stool and a terrible rash appears within 30 minutes on her labia and butt. 

  • Oh and about the foremilk vs hindmilk imbalance… one point I had questioned if that was what caused my babies GI problem and spoke with a lactation consultant.   She informed me that the foremilk is watery and harder for babies to digest and the hindmilk is this thick and has a higher fat content.  She said that you should have your baby completely empty one breast before feeding on the other one.  Then on the next feeding start with the opposite breast and have them empty that one before switching to the other.

    Doing this did seem to help my baby a little, but didn't fully since it was the allergy that was the problem.  But the lactation consultant did say that a fore milk/hindmilk imbalance can mimic colic or an allergy.
  • Hi, ladies!

    Just wanted to update: Saw her pedi this morning and, while I still don't know exactly what the problem is, she's confident that it's an allergy: either dairy or the iron pill that I've been taking since delivery (seven weeks). Apparently iron pills can cause explosive diarrhea.

    Anyway, she referred us to a G.I. (who hasn't called yet). She tested her stool for blood and it was negative, so I'm still going to go dairy free and I quit my iron today until we know for sure.

    And @Louddog, thank you for being specific! My best friend didn't go all of the way dairy free, but on Friday (I started testing the dairy free theory on Monday) my mom cooked me teriyaki noodles. That evening my baby was so fussy that I dug the bag of of the trash to check the ingredients even though my mom swore that it was dairy free: lactose!
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