Silent Refluxer: Hates breast feeding, no issues with formula. Any ideas why?(17 Posts)
I've posted quite a few times regarding my DS - now 18 weeks old - who has suffered from silent reflux since around 2/3 weeks. He has been EBF up until last week when I introduced a bottle of formula because he was incredibly fussy and I was worried that perhaps I simply wasn't able to get him to feed long enough to take in the quantity of milk he needed. Anyway, he fed happily from the bottle with no complaints at all (this all in the wake of 4 months of nightmarish feedings on the breast with the poor little one pulling off, trying to reattach, crying in pain, arching back etc.).
I can't understand why his reflux wouldn't bother him equally regardless of his being breastfed or formula fed (I gave him just normal Aptimil). Has anyone else found this? Could it in fact have been something to do with my milk that has been/still is distressing him so much? I don't think it's a supply issue as I always seem to have a good supply of milk.
Any suggestions welcome - increasingly confused
It may be that he already associates bf with pain? My DS is now 6 months and has horrible silent reflux plus a dairy allergy and once I cut out dairy, the fussing during feeding got a lot better, but the fussing and screeching afterwards is not greatly improved. Probably not much help to you as I am guessing no dairy problems if he was fine with regular Aptamil? How is he with expressed milk in a bottle? But I do sympathise with the kick in the teeth feeling you probably have - bf is hard enough without all the fuss (especially in public) so is just plain insulting to be so fine with a bottle...grr!
Ps is he in on any meds for the reflux?
Thank you for your reply. He is on Ranitidine and Donperidone (the latter we've only started in the last couple of weeks, which has really helped keeping him calmer during (breast)feedings). You're so right - weeks of self-imposed house arrest due to my poor little one's manic feeding episodes and my subsequent determination not to breastfeed in public. Plus trying to cut out dairy. I think you must be right with it - breastfeeding - holding a negative association for him although he still seems quite happy to feed at night.
As long as he keeps me on my toes ;)
I was interested to see your post as we've found the same. Our DD has silent reflux and will take bottles of expressed breast milk without any problems, when she's pulled away from the breast crying.
I have no idea why - I don't think it is association as sometimes we do get a good calm breastfeed. And it's not the milk itself, or she wouldn't take it from the bottle. Bizarrely, night feeds don't seem to give her the same problems and we usually manage to breastfeed without the crying, arching, etc.
I've found it very stressful trying to breastfeed, battling with the crying and pulling away, but am persevering. It does mean that unfortunately any free time I do have is spent either expressing with the breast pump or washing and sterilising bottles.
So, no answers I'm afraid, but you're not alone!
Thanks RecklessRat - it is a real struggle, I completely understand where you're coming from. I haven't tried DS on expressed milk but like your little one; he will occasionally have a good calm feed from the breast, and night time feeds are no trouble for him at all. I can't figure out why or what exactly it is that's bothering him, and my GP (who I feel like I see on almost a weekly basis!) is none the wiser.
Everyone keeps saying it will get better, am clinging on to that x
We had this issue and turned out it was a supply problem, I didn't have enough milk. I could have sworn that I did as I could hear baby swallowing, but he would pull off and cry and arch back. I thought it was silent reflux and got ranitidine and domperidone from paediatrician, she also gave us neocate formula (due to milk allergy) as she thought that I may have a low supply. She said he looked angry when he pulled off rather than in pain. I started topping him up with the formula after feeds and he settled right down, didn't use the meds as concluded myself that it was obviously low supply and not reflux.
I topped him up after feeds for about a month gradually weaning him and my supply increased. We still have issues a bit with fussing during feeding but no where near as bad as they were. I looked into everything it could be as was driving me insane.
Can you hear him gulping when feeding, every time he sucks? That is where I was going wrong, my LO wasn't dong this, he was just swallowing occasionally, after maybe 3/4 sucks. Which was basically just swallowing saliva from the sucking and maybe a bit of milk. Now he gulps at every suck!
It could be an issue with your let down, maybe too fast/too slow? Have you looked into this?
Hope that helps, good luck, I know how frustrating it is!
Also, my LO is much better with the night feeds, I have put this down to us both being calmer....meaning that my milk is let down a lot quicker and he gets the amount he wants IYSWIM?
That's interesting, and tbh I've wondered if the issue could be more to with supply problems but DS appears to show other symptoms of reflux (very strong back/neck, waking as soon as he's put down (even if he was in a deep sleep), very alert from a very young age, frequent hiccups (although these are much better now). But then again, I feel like I've been trying to figure out exactly what's wrong with his feedings for so long, I'm pretty shattered with it.
I do think I can hear him swallowing most of the time...
Out of interest, how long was your LO on the meds for before you opted to take him off? And did you wean your DS off them or just stop cold turkey? Am hoping obviously to get my LO off R and D at some point (hopefully soon).
Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, it really helps x
Not read the whole thread but have a read of this on tongue tie. Does any of it sound like what is going on?
Tongue tie can often present as silent reflux.
You might also want to ask this to be moved to the breast & bottle section
I read your post and the first thing I thought of was tongue tie. In my experience, if it was severe reflux it would not be improved by moving to bottle feeding.
Often babies with TT cannot 'milk' the breast effectively - bottle feeding is usually easier.
It is almost certainly not anything in your milk, by the way.
I didn't really put him on the meds for any length of time because i tried the top ups first and he responded well. There were a few times when he would still scream and i think he may be a bit refluxy as well so gave them as and when. But only did this about 5 times.
If it helps, he showed all the signs you are describing too, i didn't realise they were associated with reflux!
He also had a very severe posterior tongue tie, but i didn't suggest that as my overriding symptom was pain with that, however, they don't have to cause you pain, and he did show all the signs you mention before he had his tongue snipped at 4 weeks old.
I really sympathise with you, i read in to all the symptoms so much, and tried to go through everything it could be, in hindsight, he was telling me everything i needed to know, but i couldn't interpret what he was saying because i already had my own ideas about the problem. Have you tried going to a breastfeeding clinic? Some are quite good and it may help put you on the right track?
Could it just be a position thing? I doubt you hold him the same way when giving a bottle of formula?
My DD was fine with feeding in a medical sense but she was a nightmare to feed from about 12 weeks, really fussy, pulling off, whingeing. She is ridiculously impatient which didn't help. But the major problem was that I hadn't adjusted how I held her as she grew and she was really straining to get comfortable on the breast. It was all sorted by a BF peer supporter at my local children's centre.
In your case I wonder if it could be that he's not so comfy in terms of his tummy while BFing, but if you haven't yet I really encourage you to hunt out a Bf group as the ladies and peer supporters have lots of ideas and empathy!
Tongue and over supply result in the same sort of symptoms as silent reflux... So you need to rule those out.
Oh and my ds was on ranitidine - I took him off gradually at 9 months. I'd read that it could prevent the absorption of some minerals and wasn't comfortable with him being on it for too long.
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