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Breast Feeding

Gassy Breastmilk?

07/05/2005

Question:

My baby is 7 weeks old. in the beginning I exclusively breastfed but around 2 weeks I got ill and feverish and My milk diminshed. my milk never came back as strong I tried teas and pumping around the clock but I couldn`t produce enough to satisfy him so I have been alternating one feeding on the breast next feeding on bottle.

Everything was fine at first he was the perfect quiet baby. But now all the sudden he is gaseous and fussy. He constantly needs to be burped and not just after feedings but all the time. He rarely sleeps for more than 30 min. The gas wakes him up. He refuses to sleep on his back period. He wakes up within minutes of being laid down screaming as if in pain, grunting, and stifenning his legs. He calms down after he`s burped a little but within minutes he`s crying and needs to be burped again.

It takes forever to get through a breastfeeding because I have to stop so often to burp him. The same goes for the bottle. He seems to be in pain when having a bowel movement and won`t have one for days at a time. I switched the formula to lactose free and then to soy but that hasn`t helped. I`m afraid it`s my milk. I`ve tried eating a better diet but that hasn`t helped either. Plus, I am not eating anything I wasn`t eating before and he wasn`t gassy then.

I`ve thought of maybe trying the formula exclusively for a while to see if anything changes but my breastmilk supply is low already and I don`t want it to get lower due to lack of feeding. The only thing that seems to keep him calm for any extended amount of time (5min or more) is to hold him up in a forward sitting or standing position or to put him over my shoulder. But after a while my arms get tired and I have to put him down or switch his position and the crying/burping starts all over again. He cries in bouncers and carseats even though they sit up. I`ve been using gas drops, they don`t work at all.

I can`t get anything done right now, I have no time to myself, I can`t get in many showers and barely have a spare minute to eat, no one will baby-sit anymore because of his fussiness.

HELP! I AM ACHING FOR A GOOD NIGHTS REST! I love breastfeeding and he definitely prefers it. He won`t go to sleep unless it is on the breast, I can`t hold him without him strugling to reach my breast, and sometimes he refuses the bottle and insists on having the breast. I don`t know what I would do if I couldn`t breastfeed! I hope to breastfeed for a few more months but I don`t want him to be in discomfort. In the end if giving up breastfeeding is the only way to make him feel better I will.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Fussy babies can really be a challenge!! It is especially difficult when you are tired, and it sounds as if you are not getting much rest, which may also impact your milk supply.

First, do you have help with your son? Someone whom you trust to hold him and provide care for him while you sleep or rest? If you don't have that available to you now, see if you can get some help soon!! Also your diet may be a factor. Try decreasing all gas producing foods that you eat (beans, cabbage etc.) and milk products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc.). Milk products may take two weeks to be out of your system, so don't give up too soon.

It's hard to say if total bottle feeding would correct the problem, it may in fact make it worse. I'm inclined to suggest that you feed your baby from both breasts at each feeding, and then ONLY if he is telling you that he is hungry should you give him a bottle of artificial milk. You should not feed him much of this artifical milk, because the more that he nurses the more you milk supply increases. Sometime it takes a day of two of "constant" nursing to get your milk supply back up. This can be a very trying time for you and other family members, and you will need a lot of support from friends and family during this time.

Do you have a lactation consultant in your community? If so, I would suggest that you talk with her. If not see if your community has a La Leche League, these women are very knowledgeable about breast feeding, and can very helpful. HOWEVER, this group is extremely pro-breastfeeding at all cost. They don't know your individual situation, so don't be pressured by them.

Good luck!!

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati