People who say that having a good milk supply and forming a perfect latch are the only things which they need to worry about the most, clearly don’t know about any of these symptoms. Sometimes breastfeeding is uncomfortable and your baby doesn’t have a way to tell you that he is not satisfied. You would have to work it out yourself.
Even though most of the problems/discomfort you face are normal and fade away within the first month of breastfeeding. Some of them should not be ignored. Just check in with your doctor once, if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned below.
Your baby’s poop/pee are not normal
A young baby will have around 3 bowel movements a day. An older baby might have less than that. The first bowel motions a baby has are black and sticky. This is the meconium present in the baby’s digestive tract before birth. By day 2, the bowel motions should be softer but still dark in color. Over the next few days, the bowel motions change to a greenish-brown and then to a mustard-yellow.
The stools coming after colostrum transitions to milk is yellow and seedy. As the colour changes, they become less sticky and larger in volume.
If the baby is formula fed, then the stools will be brown/yellow but not that runny. It will have almond butter type of consistency. Formula fed baby will also pass fewer stools.
Baby can have some chunks in the stool if some of the milk is not digested, it’s nothing to worry about.
If the baby’s poop is
- Green: It could be because of the iron supplements he is taking. If your baby is older than 6 months, it might be because if any green solid food which you might have given him.
- Black: Black poop generally means that the baby has ingested blood from mother’s milk. Bleeding Breasts are generally normal at the start. If, however, the bleeding continues then it could be a symptom of Mastitis.
- Runny: Runny poop with water like consistency is never a healthy sign. You need to consult your pediatrician straight away because it might cause dehydration in the baby. They don’t consume any extra water and if the water from the breast milk also comes out then it might cause serious problems.
- Pebble-Like baby poop: Pebble like baby poop means the baby is constipated. Constipation can start when you introduce a new formula or solid foods in the baby’s diet, which his digestive system is not used to process.
- Red Poop: If you have given your baby any red colored vegetable like beetroot/tomatoes then the red poop isn’t a sign of concern. Red blood otherwise with a runny poop could either indicate a bacterial infection or a milk protein allergy.
- White Baby Poop: This is a warning sign and the baby should be taken to the doctor straight away. This indicates a lack of bile in the baby’s liver, which could hamper his digestion.
- Mucus in Baby-Poop: This should like greenish jelly-like consistency in the stool. It indicates an infection which needs to be treated immediately.
At least 6-8 wet nappies or 4-6 very wet nappies should go into the diaper genie each day. The urine should be odorless and clear/pale/yellow in color. Dark urine means baby needs more breastmilk.
Over the first few days, you might notice a strange orange color on the nappy, it’s the salts of uric acid that is leaving his body. Consult your pediatrician if the same color appears after a week.
If you notice a red stain in your toothless’ urine, you need to consult your doctor immediately. Make sure that the stain is not pink and the blood is not from a diaper rash. In both these cases, it’s perfectly normal for the baby’s urine to have a reddish stain on the diaper.
Note: To know if the amount of urine he/she has passed is enough, wet a dry diaper with 2 tbsp of water, the wetness should be equal to that. As the baby grows older the wetness might increase but this is the minimum from where he/she will start.
You are ill
Do not take any medications without consulting your doctor. Many medicines might not suit you or your baby. You will be prescribed medications depending on your situation, so don’t rely on the internet to proclaim something is safe. Because it might not be safe for ‘you’.
Breastfeeding should not stop. A low fever and pain might indicate mastitis or a clogged duct. But even during these conditions, your doctor will definitely advise you to feed more often. This will help relieve the pain.
Contact your doctor immediately:
- If your breasts bleed continuously and breast milk has mucus in it.
- Breast Milk has lumps and has gelatin-like consistency.
- Baby is not feeding. This might indicate that the milk has higher sodium or chlorine. This will make babies resist feeding.
Pain between feedings
A little pain while breastfeeding is normal. It generally goes away after you and your body gets used to it. Pain which is due to engorgement is also pretty normal and generally goes away after you are done with your breastfeeding session.
However, if your pain is continuous and is very sharp then do get yourself checked. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to be painful. The most common reasons for pain in breasts are:
- Thrush: If your nipple is sore and has a pink/red rash, check your baby’s mouth for white deposit. This is called thrush and can cause sharp, stabbing pain while you are nursing your baby.
- Mastitis: If your breasts are lumps, you have a slight fever and your breast has a red, hot, very tender area, then it might be because of inflammation due to mastitis. This condition is very common and affects more than a million women in India each year.
- Tongue-Tied: If it feels like the nipple is getting pinched while nursing then it’s time to check your baby’s tongue. Take your baby to the doctor instead of self-examining her yourself.
- Plugged Duct: If you feel lumps inside your breasts even after your baby is done breastfeeding, then your breasts might pain. Try to pump and save the milk for future or otherwise donate it. Warm Compresses can also help with plugged ducts.
Inverted or flat nipples
Place your hands on the edge of the areola and check if the nipple protrudes outward if it doesn’t then your nipples are flat or inverted. However, keep in mind that if you and your toothless are comfortable with the breastfeeding, then it shouldn’t be a problem. After all the whole point of breastfeeding is to provide your little one with nutrition.
Consult your doctor if your baby is not able to latch properly. He will probably prescribe you nipple formers like these here. They can be worn while breastfeeding. They will help your baby to latch and will also help the nipples protrude with time.
Baby isn’t gaining enough weight
Most newborns would lose at least 5-10% of their birth weight initially. After the first week, your baby will start gaining weight. By week 2 he should be back to, at least, his birth weight.
This is the perfect criteria to judge if your baby’s gaining enough weight. You will find out his weight at the weekly appointment, but do get immediate help if the baby gets weak suddenly.
These 5 symptoms are something which is worth remembering before your toothless arrives because obviously there wouldn’t be time after that. Have you experienced any red flag and fought it like a super-mum? If yes, Tell Toothless Community your story in the Comments Section below.