If you’re like me, then you likely look at quite a bit of poop. It happens all the time: convenient; inconvenient; during a meal; while playing; bath time–you get the picture. If your baby is EBF (exclusively breastfed), like my son, then there’s a color spectrum of mustard yellow to pea green where the poops fall.

But what happens if they don’t…?

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The day after I stopped eating soy and dairy we went to a wedding reception. Food was a challenge here.

About a month ago, when he was a little over four months old, my son began having flecks of blood in his poopy diapers. Bright red blood, to be exact. With the first diaper, I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, or maybe from a small fissure somewhere in his GI tract. But, it happened again. I called our pediatrician who said that I should stop eating all dairy and soy, give it the weekend, and come in if it happens again. Well, it did. There are few things scarier to a mom than blood in a diaper. The blood was accompanied by mucous, and was noticeable. Things were different.

We went to our appointment and he was happy as can be. He wasn’t (and still isn’t) fussy, and he doesn’t show any signs of distress. The pediatrician poked his belly a bit, swabbed his bottom, and, since he decided to have a gigantic poop, checked his stool for blood. There wasn’t visible blood in that one, but there was microscopic blood. She said that since he’s not in distress and eating well–he was 20 pounds at that appointment– to continue avoiding dairy and soy in my diet. In two weeks we would have a follow up.

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Milky snuggles after a long session of cluster feeding. This boy is growing like a weed!

Two weeks passed and we had been blood free the entire time! I took in a stool sample, just in case, but I was certain it would come back clean. She checked it and no blood. He had gained a full pound in the two weeks, and was just as happy as the first time we went in. So that means no dairy or soy for me for a long time. I don’t mind, I’ve lost about five pounds in this short amount of time, and am only five away from my pre-pregnancy weight.

But, last night, the blood returned. While I know it can take some time for the dairy and soy to clear both of our systems (4 weeks!), it makes me nervous. The pediatrician said to keep an eye on it and if the amount increases, the blood sticks around, or his demeanor changes, to make an appointment immediately. So far, we are doing okay. The blood hasn’t increased, but it hasn’t left yet, either. He’s also been such a happy baby the entire time, that I can’t imagine he’s in any pain. But, blood is terrifying.

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My happy boy

I’ve been meticulous about avoiding dairy and soy. It really does cut out all eating out, most snack foods, and a surprising amount of beverages. Next week, I will give you guys some insight into what eating this way is like: how it’s affected my life, our breastfeeding relationship, and if it’s changed my milk supply.

Please note: I am not a medical professional. If you notice these symptoms, please, please seek medical attention for your child.

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A photography project founded in late 2014 by Alexia Garcia, photographer a Alegares Photography. Breastfeeding World aims to promote breastfeeding and encourage new moms to nurse their babies through the art of photography and story telling.

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