I always said I wouldn’t become one of those parents that talks about poo. But one of the inevitable outcomes of the feeding process is the start of the seeming conveyor belt of poo. As sure as night follows day, as a new parent, you will discover that poo is closer to the centre of your world than you ever thought possible.
Discussing this wonderful topic is really thrust upon you as, from the outset, people are genuinely interested. Admittedly, most of these people are linked to the healthcare profession – midwives and health visitors who want to make sure baby is progressing well – but, either way, they have you focused on poo for (hopefully) the first time ever.
There are many types of poo when it comes to new-born babies. Initially, meconium (there’s no other cutesy name for this stuff, it’s evil) which sticks to your poor little ones nether regions like molasses (especially frustrating if, like us, you are using cotton wool and water instead of wipes in your baby’s early weeks to protect their skin for as long as possible). Wipe away, you’ll be attending to each nappy change for a while at this stage. Interestingly, I learnt recently that colostrum actually has a laxative effect which helps to clear this horrid substance, yet another amazing part of the body’s natural process.
Next comes something I shall refer to as “the night of poo”. Once baby’s system kicks in, when you have established feeding and the milk has started to work it’s way through, you will inevitable experience several poos in quick succession. For me, this has always resulted in a night of nappy after nappy, first filled with meconium but then gradually turning to a dark toffee-type consistency. Yum.
Following this, and I don’t know if this is a privilege associated just with my kids, comes “the live show”. I innocently started to change my first born’s nappy having sensed a poo was in residence, and was met with an ongoing, veritable ice-cream factory of poo. Keep on wiping; just as you are ready to whip the new nappy under their cute little bottom, more will undoubtedly emerge. Combine this lovely experience with the inevitable bleary-eyed haze of tiredness and it can get messy.
Ultimately, all the midwives and health visitors will tell you that you are aiming for chicken korma poos. A nice, mustard yellow colour and korma sauce consistency. That curry will never taste the same again. All I can say to reassure you is, when breastfeeding, nappies are rarely offensive. In fact I actually think they have an oaty loveliness about them, a pleasant aroma that is inherently natural. But then I’m definitely sleep deprived as I now have baby number two waking me every few hours and baby number one, at just 18 months, hasn’t finished with us yet so don;t take my word for anything!
Other poos of note include the lesser-spotted flying poo – I experiences this one with my first-born. It flew past my shoulder and slide down the wall. A lesson that links directly to “the live show” above – never assume it’s finished…
Exploda-poo is something I hear mentioned frequently amongst my mummy friends. Often these appear mid-feed and can be loud enough to make everyone jump.
But, hey, we are focusing on the messy output of feeding. Of course, there is also the hugely rewarding process of watching your little one gradually gain weight and strength. If they are anything like mine, you will eventually be rewarded with a pair of chunky thighs to be proud of. My favourite saying when my first-born was little was “I made that”. To think this chunky little monkey was all made of my milk was as satisfying as it comes. I felt real pride at an achievement so different to any others in my life so far.
I’m looking forward to watching my new little bundle get stronger and fatter – weigh-ins will soon be a time to smugly smile at the power of the boob – yet again.