Head Meet Wall.

Okay, so here’s the deal.

I just spent 2 hours getting Ruby to sleep, so I’m going to sit here and pound out a blog post. If she wakes up, I’m hitting submit, regardless of where the post is standing.


Yeah, I’m writing about poop again. The low-down – Ruby doesn’t poop. From day one, she has never pooped normally. She passed her meconium, had a normal poop or two, and then stopped. She started stooling every other day… then every two days, then every three. Her little poops were getting firmer and firmer. When she got to four days without a bowel movement, I ‘helped’. (Yeah, it really sucks.) She went another four days without pooping, and I helped again. This time, her poop was entirely solid, clay-like and painful. She screamed. Her poops were streaked with blood, likely from fissures from being so terribly constipated.

YES, constipated.

YES, I know that breastfed babies can go days without stooling, and that’s normal.

What Ruby is experiencing is NOT normal.

Neither is the damn runaround I keep getting from any help I seek. I called my pediatrician’s nurse line, and was informed that I needed to drink more water, that would probably help.

WTF? I said my baby was constipated, not me.

Two days later, and more than a little irritated, I demanded to be seen by the pediatrician. She took me seriously, checked to make sure Ruby’s little pooper-hole wasn’t too small, addressed dietary issues, and then told me to give her prune juice or Karo syrup.

WTF? She was at that point only 6 weeks old. Sugar?

To take words out of my dear friends mouth, Breastmilk is supposed to be the PERFECT food. It’s not missing karo syrup from its ingredients, so it’s pretty likely that I don’t need to supplement with that. She offered me solutions to symptoms instead of looking for the problem.

My next step was to consult a Lactation Consultant.

I’m glad I did, because she IMMEDIATELY acknowledged that there is a physical problem here – breastfed babies should be having 3-5 poopy diapers a day between birth and 4-6 weeks old. Period. She was livid that I have been brushed off for so long, and swore to get us help.

But she also made me feel like an idiot more than a few times. She watched me nurse Ruby, saw her cough and sputter, pull off of the nipple and struggle. She made comments about my massive oversupply, and wanted to know why I wasn’t doing anything to handle it. She sighed, and “Tsk!”d and shook her head when I described the methods I had been trying in order to control my supply issues, and also to help Ruby any way that I could. She reduced me to tears 3 times in a one hour appointment. Her intent was to help, but her manner left me feeling dejected, like a failure. I appreciate her help, but I wish I had used my guts and stood up to her less-than-caring attitude.

Of COURSE I’m doing things wrong. I don’t know everything there is to know about lactation and breast feeding. Very few people do. And if we all did… she’d be out of a damn job.

But fuck it if I’m not trying my best, doing my best, and just wanting to make things better for my little girl.

Ruby’s up. I’m done. Will post the plan of action later.

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  • Oof. I am so sorry Mandy! It’s awful when doctors don’t know what they’re talking about/talk down to you. Simone’s old pediatrician was really big on the parenting advice, and had an awful reaction when they found out we were cosleeping. But I can’t imagine them totally overlooking a health problem…that is inexcusable.

    I do kind of doubt the “breastfed babies poop 3-5 times per day, period” thing, just because I’ve had multiple doctors tell me that every baby is different (at times Simone went up to 2 weeks between bowel movements, but they were always wet and normal poops, and she was never constipated). BUT clearly Ruby’s poop problems are not typical, and I’m happy that the lactation consultant realized that. I hope it all gets sorted out soon! (Though I also can’t believe the lactation consultant talked down to you like that…why is it so hard to find mama and baby-friendly health professionals??)

    • My bad, Cate! I should have said 3-5 poops from birth to 4 weeks old… Not ALWAYS, like I made it sound ><. Ronan had gone up to 10 days without pooping, also without being constipated! I updated the post to be a little more clear 🙂


  • I’m probably going to regret this, but what is a meconium? And I really don’t want to know how you “helped” her.

    I hope Ruby is doing better in this area soon.

    • Meconium is the lovely poops babies have right out of the womb – the nasty stuff they have to pass before their guts start really working. It comes out like black tar. ><

  • Mandy I am SOOOOO sorry! I hope you get some real help soon! 🙁 Praying for you all.

  • oh my friend, i’m so sorry that i’m just reading this now. reading this took me back to my ABSOLUTELY MANIA with the breast feeding issues i had with jackson. my heart goes out to you and i so hope that you and sweet ruby get some relief soon.

    • Thanks Nic <3

      I remember reading about your awful journey. It can be so stressful. I'm hoping we're over the hump now!

  • farrah

    hi my friend,
    i follow you since i saw in youtube how to tight sleepywrap easily.
    regarding constipation and related to breastfeed, why dont u refer to le lache league international or refer to kellymom.com.

    i used to refer them because it advice from my lactation in Malaysia.

    Have a nice day