What if your breastfed baby suddenly has foamy poop?
What might be causing this, and is it a reason for concern?
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.
(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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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.