Monday, June 13

Green vs. Yellow

Poop.  Warning: This is a blog post about poop.  So if you find talk about infant bowel movements to be disturbing... you are welcome to come back another day (and I hope you do).  Do if you read on and are offended, don't say I didn't warn you.

Bowel movements (BM) are something all parents of small children talk about.  Heck, I still talk about Turkey's on occasion and he's 7.  But it seems like the younger the child the more you discuss this.  Before you're a parent talking about BMs may make you feel uneasy, then you have your bundle of joy and you find yourself comparing poops with your friends, talking about it with your spouse and pediatrician, and looking for pictures of it on-line.

Turkey is a breastfeed (100%) baby.  And as such his BMs are expected to be yellow, slightly liquidous with small seed like particle.  It smells, but it doesn't stink; if that makes any sense.  If you're wondering what they look like; check here.

For me it is a nearly constant battle to keep Money's BMs yellow.  More times than I would like to see his BMs are green (and once we had some blood, poor little guy).  The green (along with the blood) are by-products of my oversupply.  Very basically an oversupply is a "too much milk", more specifically an imbalance of fore and hind milk (Although not all the experts agree on this point. I find far too many time the experts are not agreeing in the world of all things baby.)

I've heard many times (on-line and in my breastfeeding group) that some moms would kill for an oversupply, and how they just can't seem to produce enough milk.  And while I am sure this is a validated complaint; an oversupply is a curse.  Aside from the battle to keep the poop yellow, Monkey often chokes at the breast; especially early on during a nursing session as I have a very forceful let-down (milk coming down). A forceful let down is painful, very.  And is often associated with an oversupply.  My oversupply can also cause gas and spit-up for Monkey, and it creates a number of "annoying" habits while nursing.

I had had my oversupply in check, until I went back to work.  To correct it I had been "block nursing", which in my case was feeding from the same breast for 5 hour blocks (typically nursing moms feed from both breasts at all feedings, starting with the one they ended on last time).  But pumping, both breasts at the same time, at work for the last 3 weeks has increased my supply yet again.  For the last week and a half Husband and I have been on poop patrol; checking the color and hoping for the yellow to come back; and poor Monkey has been gassy and fussy.

This weekend I cut out one of my home pumping session and I increased my block feedings to six hours... and the finally late this afternoon we struck GOLD; well actually yellow.  Monkey's last two BMs of the day (he goes like five times) were yellow.  Husband and I were both thrilled.  We were positively giddy actually over the yellow poo.

Tomorrow at work, on the advice of a lactation consultant, I am only going to pump one side per session.  Part of me is afraid of decreasing my supply; but I keep telling myself with an oversupply like I have is this really an issue?  However, if I can't pump the same amount he's eating while I am gone I will stop.  Wish my luck, I need this to work as quitting my job to have an ideal nursing schedule is just not possible.  And I really need my baby to be less gassy and smiley and happy.


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