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Pediatrics/2 month old digestive problems with breastmilk


Hello Dr.

My daughter is two months old and she is 100% breastfed.

Here is my problem: She had reflux and showed discomfort while burping her during her first month, so the Dr, tested her stool. She tested 3+  twice at a 2-week interval for a test called reducing substances and my pediatrician recommends that I stop breastfeeding and put her on formula. I tried giving my daughter a bottle with breastmilk in it 3 times and she hates it! She cries for 30 min or more and I end up giving her the breast. I feel that my pediatrician might be eliminating the problem instead of fixing it.
She does have explosive poops, and they are pretty greenish. I did find one poopy diaper with a little bit of bright red blood streaks, which alarmed me!!
My question is: Am I harming my daughter if I keep breastfeeding her? She is gaining all the necessary weight and maybe even more.
I also read that an oversupply of breastmilk could be a cause for loose stools and irritation of the bowel due to unabsorbed sugars.
What can the cause be, and what should I do. I have always believed that breastfeeding is best, but I do not want to harm my daughter's digestive system.

Hi, Laetitia,

I think the advise to stop breastfeeding was not correct.  I suspect this is a problem with foremilk/hindmilk balance.  The first milk is high in lactose and the hindmilk is higher in fats.  If she just gets predominately foremilk, she may have explosive, green stools and be uncomfortable.  Once she gets to the hindmilk, this is less lactose and more fat and babies tolerate this better.  

Please see a lactation specialist in your community and they can give you some details that will help.  Stopping nursing for this seems silly to me.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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