I deal with poop on a regular basis. The baby’s. The dog’s. My own. Today, for instance, I’ve already cleaned up one of Owen’s poopsplosions (you know, the kind where it begins to creep out the leg hole of the diaper and threatens to drip all over his outfit, my outfit, whatever wrap/carrier we’re using, etc.), and I’m about to walk Schnitzel to the vet and am hoping (?) to pick up a poop sample on the way. And it’s only 9:00am.
Recently, though, Owen’s had a bit of a change in his pooping schedule, and it threw me for a loop. Mostly because I think it was my fault, but I’m not entirely sure.
It all started when the pediatrician recommended I give Owen oral vitamin D supplements (since he is exclusively breastfed). Apparently in recent generations there has been an increase in rickets, which is a bone issue that is a result of a lack of vitamin D. And since most of our country is vitamin D deficient (and it isn’t transferred through breastmilk), many pediatricians and doctors are recommending vitamin D supplements. So there’s a liquid form of vitamin D that’s available at the drugstore called Di-Vi-Sol. You give the baby a dropperful each day. There’s also a super concentrated form of vitamin D that you only need to give them a drop of each day, so you can put it on your nipple or the nipple of a bottle. I went to the drugstore to pick it up the other day, but they didn’t have the super concentrated form, and actually all they had was Poly-Vi-Sol (also a liquid vitamin supplement made by the same people who make Di-Vi-Sol). It has the vitamin D he needs, as well as a bunch of other vitamins, plus iron. I called the doctor’s office to ask if that was safe/recommended, and they said yes. Apparently he doesn’t need those other vitamins, but they can’t hurt, and they mentioned that the iron would be good for him as well since he is exclusively breastfed, and many people are low in iron even if they don’t test as anemic. So I brought it home.
Since the stuff is a dark brown, sticky liquid, I figured I’d give it to him the first time in the bath, in case it all came right back out. Day 1 = success. He looked shocked when I put it in his mouth, and sort of gulped/coughed until it all went down. I had a drop of the stuff on my finger, so I decided to try what I was feeding my baby. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. It is beyond vile. I almost threw up, and was impressed that Owen took it like a champ. Day 2 = he did fine again. Day 3, Owen swallowed the mouthful, and then his eyes went wide and his face went red, and his little body started heaving like he was vomiting. VOMITING, not just spitting up. He heaved and hurled and screamed until it all came back up in a sticky, yellow, bubbly mess. The poor thing wailed like someone had just dropped him on his head, and nothing would make him feel better. I rocked him, I nursed him, I wiped his mouth out with a burp cloth. I felt horrible.
Now, back to poop. Starting around this day, Owen got super fussy. He is definitely in that 6 – 7 week peak of fussiness, so I chalked it up to regular fussiness. But it got bad. And I realized he wasn’t pooping. Like, at all. He had gone from pooping at almost every feeding (or at least 3 – 4 times a day) to not pooping at all! And it went on like that for 3 days! FINALLY, he pooped. And boy, did he poop. After some quick Googling and a call to my mom, I surmised that the iron in the supplement may have stopped the poor kid up. Believe me, I know that feeling (hello, pregnancy… and post-pregnancy… and, ok, while I’m being honest, pre-pregnancy…). That stupid supplement had not only choked my child almost to death (or so it seemed), it had also constipated him and made him fussy/gassy FOR DAYS. Honestly, that was sometime last week and although he’s pooping a bit more regularly now, I found a weird dark black poop in a diaper yesterday and I BLAME THE VITAMINS.
I asked around to my other mom friends, and it sounds like only about half of their pediatricians prescribed these vitamins, and since I know you can get vitamin D from sun exposure, I vow to leave my baby half-dressed and take him outside for 10 minutes a day to get his vitamin D instead of pumping him full of vile medicine. I truly believe that my breastmilk should be able to give him everything he needs, isn’t that how nature intended it?
Do you give vitamin supplements to your infant?