17 answers

3 Month Old with Green Runny Poop

Hello moms. Our little baby girl has had a very runny/watery dark green poop for about a month now. She is exclusively breastfed and is at 95th percentile with respect to her weight. She has gained about 2.5lbs during this time. We went to see her pediatrician and because our daughter is healthy, happy baby who eats well, sleeps well and has gained weight in the last month, she doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with the baby. She suggested that I add more fat to my diet. I have noticed that the fat content of my milk seems to be lower than during the first two months. I am told by the pediatrician to add one serving of yogurt, eat more oily fish and nuts before we run lab test on her stool samples. I am inclined to get the lab tests done ASAP rather than waiting. Has anyone experienced this type of watery poop that resolved itself or experienced changes in breast milk that affected the stool?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My mom (retired RN, 80 yrs old) told me , when my kids were babaies, that green poop is SUGAR. If you are breastfeeding, are you eating lotsa sugar? Just a thought.

More Answers

What do you eat? I have noticed that whenever I eat certain foods (for example, spinach) it will be more green. (orange if I eat a lot of carrots/sweet potatoes) I can *really* smell my urine, which is also a lovely shade of green, if I eat a lot of asparagus! :-P

That may just be her normal digestive process - I'd change what you eat and see how it changes her poo. Just because it is green & watery, doesnt mean something is wrong (esp with her doing so well in all other respects).

Do you take vitamins or supplements? Do you eat healthy? If you do (and even if you dont) that may very well be causing that. All the "green vitamins" have to go somewhere. Or it could be a lack in the variety of vitamins/minerals/nutrients our bodies need.

I remember having shockingly green poop in diapers and wondering what the heck he or I ate to cause that?!?! Not to worry. Normal. (then once you're ok with green diapers, it'll be yellow! or orange! It gets *really* interesting when they start eating on their own!)

My mom (retired RN, 80 yrs old) told me , when my kids were babaies, that green poop is SUGAR. If you are breastfeeding, are you eating lotsa sugar? Just a thought.

I had the same problem and learned that she was lactose intolerant. It meant that I had to quit ALL dairy products and read labels. That improved for a while but still noticed some issues. It was soon after that I also learned that she had a soy allergy and therefore had to eliminate soy as well. once both of these were gone, her stool returned to normal - no matter how much fat or green food I ate, and despite the one side or two of nursing.

Best wishes on this problem, it might take some time to find the source but is well worth it.

I remember an issue like this with one of my daughters. It has something to do with her just getting mostly the foremilk but not enough of the hindmilk. Basically, I remember it had something to do with making sure she emptied my breast before changing sides.

H.,

As long as your baby isn't acting sick or overly fussy, I wouldn't worry about the poop.Especially since your baby is gaining weight etc. Breastfed babies have runny poop and the color changes depending on what you eat. Have you added something new to your diet in the past month or so? Keep a food journal for a few days and eliminate suspecting items-- see what happens with her poop. Good luck and try not to worry!

M.

If it will make you feel better and put your mind at ease, follow your intuition and tell the Dr. to test her poop. I'm like you, just get the test done so anything that could be wrong is ruled out. If somethig could be wrong, why wait. Good luck

H., I'm going to kind of agree with your pediatrician. Green stools in a breastfed baby are often the sign of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Which basically means your baby is getting more of the watery milk that initially comes out when breastfeeding and not enough of the fatty hindmilk that comes out later in a nursing session.

Eating foods higher in healthy fats like you mentioned can help. But how you nurse your baby can also greatly effect this. Are you feeding from both breasts during a feeding or just one? Are you timing how long the baby is at a single breast or just letting th feed until satisfied?

Of you are feeding from both breasts, try feeding from only one at each session. If after burping, baby is still hungry, place them back on the same breast and let them feed until satisfied. This will ensure they are getting to the fatty hindmilk in that breast instead of filling up on foremilk fr both breasts. Make sense? Then at the next nursing session only feed from the other breast.

Try doing this for a day or two. You should hopefully see the poop begin to go back to the yellow color. Hope this helps.

I have a friend dealing with this now with her 6 week old...She researched it and found out that green poop at this age and stage generally means there is a virus running its course through the baby's body. As long as the baby is not uncomfortable from the stools, I would just keep waiting it out, and think about giving your baby some water to help clear out any virus that might be in his/her body.

My daughter would get green poop when she wasn't getting enough hindmilk. The hindmilk is the milk your body produces later during a nurse that has a higher concentration of fat. If you are still nursing on each breast during a feeding session try nursing on one breast longer. I would actually give myself a three hour window when I would nurse from one side before offering the other (per Le Leache handbook recommendation. I saw changes within 8-12 hours. I would at least try to nurse longer on each breast in addition to working on your diet if you have been severely limiting your fat intake.

My son had the same and my doctor said that what is normal can vary by a lot. After he went on solid foods his poop changed to brown.

Do a google search about fore milk and hind milk. My baby had the same symptom and it is because he slept before he sucked enough milk down to get to the more fatty hind milk.
Once I kept him on one breast for 2-3 hours before switching sides, he was fine.

Breastfed babies tend to have unusual and ever-changing poops because of what their mom is eating. If your daughter is not having gas pains, trouble passing BMs and is gaining weight and healthy, she is probably fine. However, here a few things to think about/try out:

Babies that have jaundice may have dark or greenish colored stools. Does her skin look yellowish...how about the whites of her eyes? Three months is kind of old to just be getting jaundice, but it could be the bilirubin is building up rather than filtering out of her system. If there are other indications of jaundice, ask your doctor to check her bilirubin level.

Some breastfed babies are very sensitive to certain foods in their mom’s diet that can result in green mucousy stools, spitting up a lot, or skin rashes. She may be sensitive to something in your diet and dairy products are one of the most common causes of food allergies in babies. Try eliminating milk and dairy products from your diet. It may take a couple weeks to see improvements. If you’re not sure, try it for a few weeks and then try having a cup of milk to see what happens. If the symptoms come back, then dairy is probably the culprit and you should avoid it.

Green frothy-looking poops, can also be the result of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. When you breastfeed the first milk that comes out (foremilk) is thinner and lower in fat. After you have nursed for a bit, you will start to produce richer, fattier milk called hindmilk resulting in green stools and tummy aches. If you have been switching breasts a lot instead of letting her get a good long feed on one breast, this could be the problem. Feed longer on the first breast and don't worry if she doesn't feed the same amount of time on the second...let her eat enough to let down and if she is full, pump some off so you won't be uncomfortable and start the next feeding with the breast she did not empty.

Hope this helps you!! Take care.

I had a similar thing with my baby boy. His stools were greenish and frothy. It can be a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance OR too much food. My baby was nursing so much b/c we later found out he had contact dermatitis on his face (not just baby acne like the ped. told us) He wanted to nurse ALL the time. So his poor system was constantly digesting and processing. The green is excess bile coming out in the stool. Your milk is designed perfectly for your baby. Mine didn't have that much fat on the top (when I pumped) as compared to my friend's pumped milk -but she ate fast food and a lot of meat and I only eat chicken and fish and olive oil. It should resolve. Notice how often she wants to nurse. Is it more than 8-12x in a 24 hour period?

Hi H.,

This happened to us at the same time. From what I read this can be caused by too much lactose reaching the large intestine. You are right in thinking you need to increase the fat content of the milk to reduce this. The easiest way to do this is to do 2 feedings from the same side. The more milk that is pulled from one side the more fat is in it. As the milk moves through your breast it picks up fat (that is very simplistic!) so if your daughter only gets fore milk (the first milk) it will be lower in fat the longer she feeds on one side the more fat she will get. So if you feed her the next feeding from the side you just fed from that will will have a higher fat content right away. I started doing 2 feeding per side and the problem greatly reduced. What you eat will have less of an effect on the amount of fat in your milk that this will.

Hope that helps.
C.

So does my 3-month-old (although it's usually yellow, rather than green). This is NORMAL for an exclusively breast-fed baby!! It is also normal for her not to poo anywhere from every day to just having a monster poo once a week. You won't see solid poo till she starts eating solid food. Adding a bit of extra fat to your diet is probably still a good idea--those healthy fats and cholesterols help with your baby's brain development.

This happened to me and my baby too, she is now 2.5 years, but if I remember correctly she was about 1-2months old at the time we saw these green poops. From what I understood at the time, the breastmilk she was taking in was going through her system too quickly (which is why the poop was green- green=bile from her system. She wasn't taking the bile back in to her system, which is what normally happens when we digest our food) and so the doctor advised that I breastfeed on one breast at a time, that way she could get to the hindmilk at the end of the feed. When I started doing that (feeding one breast per feed) her poop went back to being yellow and more consistent. Do you feel like you completely drain one breast before switching sides? or do you just time your sides? (which is what I was doing at first) If you are pumping your breast milk, you could actually see if it was fatty (more opaque) vs less fatty (more clear). I'm sure that adding a little fat to your diet wouldn't hurt either- "good fat" of course! Sorry if my response is long and convoluted! Hope this helps!

Mine had that but he cried 24/7 for 3 weeks and I wore green poop the whole time! We had it tested after they blew us off for two weeks. He couldn't tolerate the protein in cow's milk. I had to cut it out and within 3 days i got my happy little baby back! just have it tested for that you have to push back. this is your gut instinct. best of luck

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.