What if your breastfed baby suddenly has foamy poop?

What might be causing this, and is it a reason for concern?

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Mom’s Question:
I have 3.5 week fully breastfed baby. He used to have yellow mustard poop with the seedy things inside. He often passed gas with it. He always strains when having a bowel movement.

But in the past 5 days, his poo has become more watery and less seedy, sometimes is a little bit slimy and foamy. The color changes between yellow and bright orange. He strains a lot now, even though his poop is more watery than before. Sometimes he strains too strongly which makes him hiccup.

He is a little bit fussier than before and seems to have discomfort in his stomach before pooing. He will move his body a lot like there is something on his stomach, and this will sometimes wake him from his sleep.

I eat normal food, no dairy products. I just don’t know what causes this.

I have oversupply breast milk. But as far as I know, if there is an imbalance in the milk, the color of the poo will be green. It was foamy green one time, and the pediatrician advised me to give him Infacol to reduce the gas in his stomach, but it didn’t help. Just wondering whether Infacol could cause this.

Could you please help as my son is having less sleep because of this? The pattern of his feeding has become random now as he sometimes awakes for 6 hours just because he has to spend more time on straining and pooing.

Lidya Hiandinata
(Pagewood, Sydney, Australia)

Reasons For Foamy Poop In Breastfed Baby

At your baby’s age, breastfed babies normally have four to eight yellow-greenish, semi-solid to liquid stools a day. This will slow down at around 2 months of age.

The color of the poop should be of no concern. Anything from yellow to green to orange is normal unless the baby appears ill. Very slimy poop can indicate that a cold is on its way. In such a case, you’ll know within days.

Babies often grunt, strain, or turn red or purple during bowel movements. This is usually normal, and if the stool is soft, this does not mean the baby is constipated. (Breastfed babies do not get constipated if they are healthy.)

Your baby is now getting more fat and nutrients in your milk than he did before. Your milk changes consistency through the first few months. (You can read more about the components of breast milk here.) This is normal, and it happens no matter what you eat. Your body produces what the baby needs at different stages of growth.

The change in your milk can cause the poop to be slimy and foamy and cause your baby to be gassy. Make sure you continue to watch what you eat, so if he gets too gassy, you can eliminate certain things from your diet. (Learn more about what foods to eat and avoid while breastfeeding here.

You can give him Mylicon drops for the gas. (Although many parents don’t feel that they are very helpful. But you’ve got to try on your baby.) I would take him to a pediatrician immediately if he has severe stomach aches.

Since you have over-supply, you must let your baby eat on one breast for a long time before you switch. I had the same issue, and when I switched to only letting the baby have one breast per feeding, things turned for the better. If you have a lot of milk, you might have to feed him twice or more from each breast before switching.

So to conclude, your baby’s stools seem quite normal, but the oversupply may affect them a bit. Check the post on what to eat when breastfeeding (above), and try feeding your baby with just one breast per feeding.

I hope this helps,
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Carin

    Whoever suggests CDiff because of a newborn with yellow poop should not be an RN!!!

  2. Tina

    If you already have an oversupply, you have an imbalance too. I read that the fat of the hindmilk kind of sheds off of the walls of the milk ducts at the end of a feeding, so if your baby doesn’t finish the foremilk, the hind milk cannot be produced. Also, if you’re full after your baby sleeps for a long stretch, don’t pump. Your supply will increase, do some research on how to level out your supply, there are multiple ways, but what worked for me was feeding on the same side for three feedings, then eventually two feedings, and sometimes, when the process makes my milk low I switch to one feeding, but briefly, or it gets out of hand again.When the other side is really feeling the pressure, I just express a little bit to keep from getting clogged ducts. I never pump anymore because it throws off the balance for a week!

  3. tara

    Fore contains lots o protein, hind = lots o fat :) Give same boob for feedings til at least 30 minutes has been accomplished.

  4. Tiff

    I am 23 I have cdiff. I also have a 20-month-old boy that was breastfed. No, the symptoms do not sound like cdiff. When I have my flairs I have dead-smelling puss with blood and severe cramping that makes me crumple over in pain worse than labor pains. Yellow seedy even foamy poo is definitely normal, and don’t worry about weight gain in your babies, because if they are breastfed they will gain slower and be lean. My son is barely 31 inches tall and 23 pounds. Sorry, this is late also I just came across the post.

  5. Alice

    This is normal and it is because you have an over supply of milk. Your baby is probably getting too mych foremilk which will cause green to yellow poo with mucous, gass, and fussy baby. When the baby gets mostly foremilk, they are still hungry because the hunger is satisfied with hindmilk. You can do “block feeding” which is nurse on one breast for about 4-6 hours and pump the other breast if it becomes too painful. This will ensure that your baby gets hindmilk. It will take up to a week if not longer for the symptoms to get better and if you see no improvement then I would think about other causes. You can also pump a couple of ounces and discard it; it will be only foremilk. My 8-week-old boy had the same thing and the lactation consultant said it was a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Sometimes it takes a month to correct but your body will correct it eventually. Use mylicone drops with every feeding and use the “block feeding” technique. It will help!!

  6. Verena

    Having too much foremilk IS a problem if your baby has a sensitive stomach. It contains more lactose and if they get too much lactose, it can cause their little tummies to hurt. Once I started nursing on one side until my son completely drained me, then next feeding on the other side as many feedings until he drained that one – the cramping got better. The poop got a little better but I ended up having to stop due to a possible MRSA infection and he is now on formula.

  7. Helena

    Hi Everyone;
    You are bound to have an oversupply for up to the first five months of a baby’s life. It won’t cause the baby to have a different poo. The fore milk just makes them hungrier earlier than the hind milk will.My baby also has a yellow runny poop . The color is normal; The runniness is not. It is due to diet. It should be the consistency of toothpaste. I now have to be on a strict diet due to my baby’s intolerance to some foods. A common one is Dairy – there is a protein in cows milk that a lot of humans cannot tolerate. Another one for me is sausages…
    hope this helps

    1. Laura

      Just wanted to correct this comment. Breastfed baby poop should be liquid. Formula fed babies have poop the consistency of toothpaste.

  8. kirsten

    I also had an oversupply, foamy watery or green poo, fussy baby, everything that was listed before. So my conclusion is that my baby was getting to much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. I did research and asked La Leche League members and found that if I nursed her on one breast for multiple feedings so that she was finishing one side completely before switching sides worked well. After about a week of this, I saw a difference. Sometimes my breasts would be full on the side that I was not nursing on, but this only was so for a short time. My body regulated. I stopped overproducing milk, and the baby wasn’t having inconsistent bowels. But I found the most help through the le leche league. I hope this helps.

  9. Sofia

    It sounds like your baby is getting too much fore milk and not enough hind milk. I had this same issue around 3 months and am pumping daily. I wouldn’t pump enough or wait too long between feedings/pumping, and she would get very gassy and fussy. Then she would poop this horrible vinegary green poop. I called them atomic poop bombs…lol. So instead of feeding on both breasts at one feeding (like the lactation consultants recommended), I feed her on one breast then switch to the other on the next feeding. When I pump, I go about 20-25 min vs the 10-15 I was doing before, especially if I am busy at work and have to wait to pump.

  10. Valerie

    This is not C.Diff. I recently had the same problem and don’t have an oversupply. My friend, who is a midwife, said this is perfectly normal; therefore, there is nothing to worry about. I hope that helps.

  11. RN

    This sounds like cliff. Cdiff is short for Clostridium difficile. It is a bug that is very contagious and causes diarrhea. I’m an RN, and I see cdiff infections often, usually in older adults, but babies are susceptible also. This is often described as a seedy yellow mucousy diarrhea with a particular odor. I see that this has been a while since you made this post, so you have probably figured this out by now but I hope this helps

    1. Tana

      I am an RN also. Please don’t scare moms by making them think their babies have cdiff. yellow sweet poop is normal for breastfed infants, and you should know that. My baby is 6 weeks old and had the same problem. It is not cdiff.

  12. BABA

    Is the oversupply of milk really causing our baby’s tummy system? If it’s true, I’ll feel bad for my baby because I was happy that I had so much milk for her, and I even pumped and save it for when I’m going back to school.
    I’ve tried many ways to help her, but they all didn’t work well. I’ll try to reduce my supply and let see if that was the cause..

  13. Pam

    It seems to me like an oversupply issue. My son is five months now, and we used to have similar symptoms, so I treated it as an oversupply issue. I started by feeding on one breast for about twelve hours and then the other for around the same time; as the supply got less, I went to fewer hrs until I was doing two feeds on one breast and then the next two feedings on the other. You have to work with it according to your “oversupply”. Some people can fix their oversupply issue by just feeding on one breast/feeding; others may need a whole 12hr period on one and another 12hr period on the other (extreme cases). Then as you regulate the supply, you also have to consider the baby’s different changes. I made the mistake of continuing to feed him for two feedings on one breast when he was going through a period of not eating as much because of teething, and I didn’t realize that my supply was dwindling fast! Then he could barely get any milk! I had to work ER style to get my supply back up again. Not a fun experience when your baby depends on it. Anyway, good luck, and remember to follow your own gut feeling. Everyone has advice, but only follow that which resonates with you.

  14. Jenny

    My 8-week-old daughter is having the exact same symptoms; I was told it was because they swallow too much air. I have oversupply as well; I’m trying to manually express a little bit of milk onto a towel before feeding and try not to let the baby get too hungry so that she doesn’t gulp. Does anyone else know what to do? Our Dr. told me it was nothing to worry about.

  15. jsk

    I have a 4-week-old baby boy and have very similar symptoms, and I also have an oversupply of milk. My biggest concern is his slow weight gain. He was born big at 10 lbs 8.8 oz and did not gain his birth weight at 2 weeks. I am returning to see our pediatrician again today to see how much weight he put on. I doubt he gains anything, though, because his anus is always wet with constant poop.
    Could this mean he has some problem in his intestine or something?

  16. Lu

    My 10 weeks old daughter is having exactly what you guys described. I also have an oversupply of milk; I had no idea that could be the cause, but reading your posts made me wonder. Actually, my baby is sleeping through the night now, so in the morning, my breasts are all full, and it is usually after that first feeding that the poop is all foamy. Maybe I need to pump for that first feeding of the day.

  17. Livia

    Hi there!

    My baby is passing by the EXACT same things you mentioned! He even has hiccups at this very moment. I also have an oversupply. Do you think there is a connection? My baby is 11 weeks old.

    If you have any clue, please let me know!


  18. Nicole Jackson

    foamy green poop and insufficient weight gain especially when mom has an over supply of milk are indicative of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance OR that baby is getting too much lactose in foremilk and not enough of t he hindmilk. This can easiy be remedied by pumping or expressing off some of the foremilk and reserving it for the end of the feed. Pump off some of the foremilk, put the baby on the breast to empty the breast and then offer the foremilk in a bottle at the end of the feed if they are still hungry. That way they are getting the richer more fatty milk and lower lactose first. This will help with weight gain, and get rid of green foamy poops.