Monday, 24 February 2014

Mucosy Stools and Screaming Baby ... Are they related ?

July 26, 2013

My son was born on July 12 and like all newborns do ... the intense crying starts after a couple of weeks or so of being born. I suppose there is varying degrees of crying for new mothers to tolerate. My son's crying was intense and long enough to completely break my heart and send me to tears. It happened at anytime of the day or night. He could be peacefully sleeping and all of a sudden his face would scrunch up as if in pain and he would let out a piercing scream would sound from his beautiful little mouth. I was horrified. At first I thought it was my fault somehow ... Did I not feed him enough? Did I not burp him enough? Does he need another diaper change? Did I not cuddle him enough? Did he not get enough sleep? Am I missing a cue he is trying to communicate to me?

I tried to remedy all the above only to have him screaming in my arms, while I wept silently into his shoulder thinking that I must be the worst mother on the face of the planet.  These episodes carried on for hours. I rocked, bounced, cuddled and kissed him hoping that he would settle and be a happy and peaceful baby ... like most babies should be ... right?

Then ....

With a diaper change this day (July 26), I noticed mucous in his stool. As a paediatric dietitian and knowing about what baby poops should look like, I knew this wasn't a very good sign. It could be nothing, but it could be something.   I have heard that some foods such as garlic, onion, and cabbage could sometimes be very upsetting to babies'  tummies causing fussiness.  I also know that an allergy to cow's milk protein can cause extreme irritability.  If babies are allergic to cow's milk protein, symptoms may include loose stools (possibly containing blood), vomiting, gagging, colic and skin rashes, like eczema. Well, my son had only one symptom out of all of these.

Now with the mucosy stools, I needed to do something and make a change. I was desperate, it was so difficult to hear him cry and scream. I was exclusively nursing at this point and had copious amounts of breastmilk. I decided to avoid milk to drink (not all dairy) and see if his screaming would stop and hopefully normalize his poops. I had no idea what was causing his colic, nor his mucosy stool and I had no idea that this could be an allergy.  I just thought, well...I'll give it a try for a couple of weeks, I have nothing to lose.

As I changed my son's diaper through blurry, teared eyes, I hoped that as easy as it was to take out one simple food, would be as easy to clear up my son's screaming and my never-ending tears once and for all.

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