Green Poop & Blood in Poop of Breastfed Baby

Updated on May 29, 2008
K.W. asks from Acworth, GA
14 answers

Hi All- I have a 4 1/2 month old who has had issues with green, mucous poops. Once, he had visible blood in his diaper also. The pediatrician said that the most common cause for this was an intolerance to the dairy in my diet. She tested his poo for occult blood, & it was positive. It's been 16 days, and I have eliminated all dairy products from my diet. He seems a little better - sometimes the poo is yellowish, but there are still lots of green episodes. I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen, & what they had to do to continue breastfeeding. We go back to the dr. tomorrow to have his poo re-tested, but my gut feeling is telling me that there's still something wrong. He is perfect in every other way - happy, developing normally, in the high percentiles for weight, etc. He does have a lot of issues w/gas & fussiness - I cannot eat tons of veggies or salads without having gas drops in hand for him.
My husband is starting to think formula; however, I would rather keep trying to nurse. He has a co-worker who went through a similar issue, & she had to eliminate dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, and nuts from her diet. Her milk dried up at 7 months.
That brings me to two concerns: 1: keeping my supply up, and 2. staying healthy modifying my diet. I am still taking prenatal vitamins & calcium supplements. I don't drink alcohol or smoke,etc. If I have one bad vice, it's one can of barq's root beer. Otherwise, I have no caffeine or other carbonated beverages - it's water after that; at least 2 liters/day.....

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So What Happened?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone for all of your advice & encouragement!!! I am really dedicated to continue nursing - giving up & switching was really not an option for me - I felt that by re-arranging my diet, we could better take care of little man & his tummy issues. Thankfully today went very well at the doctor visit. First, no blood in the poo!! We're still going to send some just to check & make sure there's nothing else going on. My pediatrician is also not for stopping nursing at all, & having that support helps as well. I think DH was mentioning formula just b/c he didn't want things to be too difficult for me. I actually think it would be tougher on me to not nurse - I really want that for DS.
The websites & articles you all sent were great - this led to me taking a little more note of how long he was nursing - during the day, it's very brief - I think it may be some overstimulation from the rambunctious 2yr old big brother, & I am going to try settling the environment a little more to aim at getting more hindmilk into him (I also usually only nurse one side at a feeding as well). I am starting to think that the hindmilk/foremilk imbalance may be the issue. At night, he nurses longer (after big bro is in bed, etc.), & the morning poo is almost normal. During the day - the "express feeds" I think are leading to the problem. I am going to keep the dairy out of my diet, & alter foods one thing at a time to try to make him happier. I am an RN, & thankfully, I have access to a lactation consultant at the hospital - I have an email in to her as well!
The dr. said he was definitely gassy - I am really trying to go easy on those foods as well, but she's not too concerned b/c he has no other symptoms - happy, giggly chunky baby, gaining & developing great. This is a really good learning experience for me - I think this may be the allergy baby in the family - I have food allergies: banannas, avocado, all melon, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts, as well as latex. Not just hives either; my throat swells, so this has put me on alert early for him. Big brother has no food issues, but I waited a LONG time to introduce the foods I am allergic to - I can't even get a kiss from him after he eats watermelon, which he loves!!!
Thanks again for all of your input - I will keep reading if anyone has any other tidbits!! Sorry this is so long, but it was my first post, & you were all so helpful!!
Have a great week everyone!

More Answers



answers from Charleston on

With green poop, sometimes it's that the baby is getting more foremilk (mostly water) and not enough hind milk (cream). You could try nursing him longer on each side or on just one side. Also nurse ON DEMAND, as a previous poster said, it's a supply is equal to demand. So no schedules. Also, in keeping up supply try Mother's Milk Tea, fenugreek, or get a hand pump and pump and freeze some milk for times when you can't be with him.

From Kelly Mom re Blood in stool:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

K., I know it's challenging to breastfeed a child who may be allergic to things you eat, but formula is much, much more allergy causing. So, be encouraged - you're doing the best for your son.

I did have this happen. Eliminating one type of food at a time and giving it enough time to get it out of my system and then going on to another food, helped. When she was better, I slowly tried adding one food type at a time back in to see if I'd eliminated any she could handle.

But, what if it's only that you're not getting good letdowns? You may want to see if you can do some feeding at quiet times and get some really let downs, which will bring down some of the cream stuck to the walls of your milk ducts.

You'll continue to make breastmilk, just like women in famine conditions can, as long as you feed her responsively, and drink enough, (but don't over drink.)

Even if you have to eliminate cow's milk from your diet, I found that my children could handle me drinking goat milk and eating goat cheese.

Hope this helps,
D. S, mom of 5

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

Hi K.,

I actually did deal with this with my little one when she was small. For her, it resolved on it's own with nothing done. They did test her and couldn't find any known reason. In her case, she also went very infrequently which concerned us as well, but her stools were soft so it was alright.

Some suggestions though - is the baby taking any vitamin drops? Sometimes stopping these temporarily will help. It can sometimes be a reaction to moms diet. Sometimes the bleeding can come from the nipples of mom as well. There are many possible reasons, but in general it's harmless to baby unless baby seems sick in other ways.

As for formula feeding, I wouldn't make the switch as it tend to be harder for babies to digest than breastmilk. If his stomach is already sensitive, switching to formula could send you on a wild goose chase for a formula that doesn't make him sick. That's much harder than taking an ingredient out of your diet and the babies tend to get more sickly as well.

As for milk supply, plenty of fluids (WATER AND MORE WATER), lots of nursing as it's supply and demand. There are some herbs that can help, such as fenugreek, and a Mother's milk tea you can buy online from the There's also something called domperidone that is used widely in other countries to cause relactation. It's been very helpful with the Chinese quakes and all of the orphaned babies. Women are opting to relactate and feed these orphans.
More than anything trust your gut. If your child doesn't seem ill, this is probably one of those things that will pass as it usually does. Sick children get worse without treatment. If he doesn't appear uncomfortable, feverish, or in otherwise poor spirits, just be patient. Babies digestive systems are young and often times just need a little time to operate in a manner in which we are accustomed.

I did find a concise overview of the many reasons this can happen. Here is the link to the article. Also, anytime a decision like stopping breastfeeding is on the line, I'd suggest a second opinion. That decision is a hard one for mom to make without knowing it really is for the best. It never hurts to go to a second doc. Heres the link:

Good luck and I hope some of this helps! :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

Sorry to say I don't have much advice (I pumped exclusively for about 10 months because of latching problems, and thankfully my supply kept up and we had no allergy issues) but I just wanted to tell you it sounds like you are doing a great job. Breastfeeding is such a hot issue with people -- you have to remember to do what's best for you and your family, whether that's sticking with a restricted diet and doing what you can to make it work, OR switching to a formula that works, OR a combination of the two. Whatever way you go, you have to remember you are doing what is best for you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Generally speaking, green poops mean that the milk is passing through the baby's digestive system really fast. This could occur for a number of reasons. If your Dr rules out digestive issues, you may want to see a lactation consultant. They are usually associated with a hospital. It could be that the baby is not getting enough of the rich hindmilk and is only getting foremilk. This happened with me but is was accompanied by other symptoms. It is easily treatable and the consultant can help with that (ironically, babies who are doing this gain weight very well). I was also off of dairy and that did help as well, but I had to take EVERY trace of dairy out of my diet - reading labels for hidden milk was not easy, but worth it. Good luck with this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sumter on

I had this issue with my son and unfortunately I had to (for his sake and mine) stop breastfeeding. I switched to similac alimentum and he was cured almost overnight. I know that you may feel guilty about stopping the breastfeeding, however if it is causing your infant pain and discomfort it is probably best.



answers from Atlanta on

While breast feeding my daughter i had to cut out all dairy and eggs. She had reflux and after elevating the head of her bed and eliminating these foods it really helped. I was able to keep up my milk supply by eating lots of protein, drinking lots of water and eating almonds. Almonds are known to increase milk production and it definitely worked for me. Good luck it is not easy to have a food sensitive child. :)



answers from Atlanta on

If you son is having allergy/food sensitivity problems with small amounts of allergens in your breast milk, I can only imagine the difficulty he'd have with formula (whether soy or dairy based). I would seek out support from a lactation consultant and the women with La Leche, who have plenty of support, experience, and knowledge to offer for free. For supply, you may want to add a bowl of oatmeal to your diet each day, keep up with water, meats for protein, rice-based carbs, and fruits and veggies that don't cause gas. If you eat packaged foods, just carefully read labels, b/c milk derivitives are in SO many different foods! It will become second-nature to you in a few weeks, and the health benefits for you and your son are very well worth the extra effort!! Good luck!!



answers from Atlanta on

Blood if from dairy which is hidden in all prepared foods as well as the obvious. Green stool is from too much fore-milk and not enough hind-milk. When a baby starts nursing he gets the fore-milk to quench his thirst, then comes the hind-milk full of the fatty stuff, its kind of like the food portion. When a baby doesn't get a balance of the two, it will result in green stool. Make sure the baby is nursing long enough on each side, don't switch before the breast is empty. If you do feel empty, try nursing on the same breast for two feedings and then switch to the other. If you need anymore help let me know. Good luck...



answers from Atlanta on

Hi K.,

My son is now 8 1/2 months old and I had the same issue with him right around the 3 month old mark. I'm happy to report that I'm still breastfeeding and he's doing great. Hopefully my experience can help you.

First, the green poop. My son's poop was yellow and seedy (normal for breastfed babies) for a long time, then it started to turn green. I was told by my pediatrician that as babies get older and begin to nurse less often (no longer every 2 hours), their poop gets darker and begins to turn greenish. I believe it has something to do with the milk being in their digestive system longer.

Second, the mucous and blood in the poop. For my son, it was a definite allergic reaction to cow's milk in my diet. I immediately eliminated all dairy - milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc. My pediatrician told me I could still eat eggs, but I decided to cut back on that, too. Prior to eliminating the dairy, my son was EXTREMELY gassy and I was giving him gas drops at every feeding. He was also really fussy at times. Once I stopped consuming the dairy, I noticed that he was less gassy and the the mucousy poop stopped. He also stopped having blood in his stool as well. I was told that it can take 2-3 weeks for dairy to get out of your system. I don't know if that's true, but I think I noticed a complete change in my son's poop (and fussiness) around the two week mark.

Eliminating dairy was kind of challenging for me because I'm a non-meat eater and that was a good source of my protien. So, I still consume a lot of soy (which has no adverse affects on my son), beans, whole grains, and nuts. I also eat a lot of veggies and salads, but I found the best way to do that in the beginning was to eat smaller portions, for example, rather than a really big salad. Certain veggies can produce more gas than others, i.e., broccoli and cabbage. You may just need to experiment with the veggies to see which ones you can eat in smaller amounts.

I think there are many factors that can contribute to a mother's "milk drying up." But, from my experience and research, it's very important to drink TONS of water during the day. Also, our breasts produce milk when they are empty, so the more you nurse (and the longer your baby stays on the breast), the more milk you're likely to produce. It could be that your husband's coworker stopped nursing as frequently or there was some other change that caused her milk supply to lessen.

Two very good resources I highly recommend are and Le Leche League (you can find them online as well).

Most importantly, though, is to go with your motherly instincts. If you feel something is still not right with your son, definitely keep getting him checked out.

I hope this helps!



answers from Atlanta on

I had the same problem with my daughter. The dr. told me it could take 4 weeks for the dairy to get out of both of our systems (2 for me, 2 more for her). You may also want to eliminate soy and/or gluten too. Many children who are allergic to dairy are allergic to soy and gluten too. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. I still get a little soy as they seem to put it in everything now days, but I try not to get too much of it. My daughter no longer has green stools (except after i feed her peas or green beans as she is now 8 months old) nor blood in her diaper. Also, if your concerned with your milk supply, you can always pump and give bottles.



answers from Spartanburg on

please keep bresatfeeding and find the local la leche league meeting in your area. they have years of experience and have helped me tremendously. they should be able to answer any questions and the meetings offer a great support group to moms facing the same issues with breastfeeding.



answers from Atlanta on

I don't know if this will help at all, but, green poop can also mean a virus. When my son or daughter has dicoloured poop it is always in the company of a runny nose. I am vegan so I know for us it isn't a dairy allergy. your milk shouldn't dry up if you drink lots of water and Mother's Milk tea is good, a tincture of Alfalfa also works very well and you can find that in most natural grocery stores.



answers from Spartanburg on

Make sure that you cut out casein, casenates and whey also. My ped forgot to tell me about those. If you go to formula, you'll have to use one of the dairy free ones and most peds suggest not using soy either (most kids allergic to milk protein are alos allergic to soy). The formula is $25 for a 1 lb can, so keep nursing if you can.
Also, if there's blood, it's not just an intolerance, it's an allergy. Intolerance is gassiness, blood is the intestines fighting the protein.
There are lots of places to get menus for dairy free food. You just have to make most of your own food. Nearly everything processed has whey or casein. I did it for 6 months and struggled for a while, but it got much easier after that. Make sure to keep your calcium up with OJ or calcium fortified rice milk.
Good luck. Hopefully the poop test comes out okay. Let us know!

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