Breastmilk making baby scream

(22 Posts)
lem31 Tue 16-Jul-13 00:13:35

Hi
Just wondering if anyone else has had this. My 5 week old baby was fine on the breast until a couple of weeks ago when sometimes he would fuss and cry and scream, seemingly in pain. Assumed it was gas, kept burping him etc.
Gradually this got worse so went to docs, considered it could be reflux. Suggested upright feeding, holding after feeds etc, all of which I do.
Now he screams within a few minutes of every feed just about, rarely finishes a feed as he s in so much pain. Tried him on bottled formula and no problems at all, food went straight down.
So, I expressed and put in a bottle - sure enough screaming after a minute. Switched to formula...no worries.
He is sick a lot so wondering if this could be symptomatic of reflux...?
I'm feeling pretty crappy about it as he wants the breast or comfort still but I now am bottle feeding until I can get to the docs and can't give him the breast as I can't stand to see him in pain like that! I'm also worried he will start associating the breast with pain so would rather bottle feed until I know what's wrong and he can start to enjoy the breast again.

Any one else had this or got any ideas on it? And for the record I drink decaf tea/coffee, avoiding spicy foods, stoned fruits etc so not think its my diet. And if a milk allergy the formula would surely also set it off...

Please help!

Splatt34 Tue 16-Jul-13 05:35:48

Sorry no advise other than I would try to get to a breast feeding cafe / counsellor. I doubt the GP will have any knowledge re this. Good luck.

Sunnysummer Tue 16-Jul-13 05:40:05

Definitely worth speaking with a breast feeding specialist - hope you can get to the bottom of it!

lem31 Tue 16-Jul-13 06:25:12

Thanks or the replies. I spoke to one yesterday who seemed pretty stumped. They gave me the number of someone else to try, which I will today, but its very frustrating! Just hate hearing him in pain...

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 16-Jul-13 06:32:21

Could it be that you have a fast flow? Try expressing just a little before feeds and also try feeding lying down. Could it be thrush? Do you have any pain? We kept passing thrush to each other, I had it in my ducts and the let down pain had me doubled over. It's so hard when it seems as if there's something wrong. Hope you get it sorted.

lem31 Tue 16-Jul-13 07:57:40

We are just finishing treatment for thrush, but he has no signs of it at all (checked by hv and doc). He has had treatment anyway so it should be getting better not worse in theory I think.
I thought of fast flow, but he is normally ok for the start of the feed and as it goes on he gets more agitated. Also appears to be the same when I give him expressed milk in a bottle - crying in pain, but formula he is fine! It seems to be my milk causing the issue which is hard to take.
The only thing I can think is that it is reflux and the formula is a little thicker so stays in his tummy better. But most advice says breast is best as its more easily digested, meaning it should be the other way around...? So confused!

pugoff Tue 16-Jul-13 08:45:59

Sounds like my LO and reflux. It could be the dairy in your diet or something passing thro your milk which isn't in formula. Try to persist with breast feeding, expressing if nec so as not to dry your supply up but get to docs asap. Infant Gaviscon or other treatment for reflux did wonders for my typically happy but at times screaming baby to keep the acid down and pain at bay.

lem31 Tue 16-Jul-13 10:13:12

Docs this afternoon so fingers crossed we can get this sorted! Thanks. X

ab00 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:25:39

Could well be reflux. Ds2 would start to feed & as the feed went on would get fidgety & start crying & screaming. Could also be getting frustrated as wants breast for comfort / too soothe pain & it's not. Regarding taking your milk from a bottle (or not in this case) breast milk & formula taste different so maybe he only wants your bm directly from you as this is what he associates it with? Have heard of some bf babies refusing milk out of anything other than a bottle so don't see why this couldn't be the same for a bf baby with bm? Our ds was prescribed infant gaviscon & ranitidine which made a huge difference. Also have you had him checked for tongue tie?

KeepTheFaithBaby Tue 16-Jul-13 15:06:32

One thing that helped my DD's reflux was me cutting out caffeine. It made a huge difference. Might be worth considering? Hope it goes ok at the docs.

Splatt34 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:52:24

Another thought on something in your diet. A friend of mine had to cut out coffee, strawberries, tomatoes and spicy food. Maybe keep a food diary & see if there's a link?

stargirl1701 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:56:38

I would recommend videoing a feed on your phone and showing it to your GP. DD had silent reflux and the GP diagnosed it watching the video.

duende Tue 16-Jul-13 21:58:47

My DS did exactly that and exactly at 5 weeks. I saw 3 bf consultans and 2 hvs, nobody could work out what his problem was. I started dreading feeding, as within 20 seconds of starting to feed, he'd begin to arch away and scream. Strangely, just like your DS he was taking formula ok. I mix fed for another 3 weeks or so and eventuall switched to formula. Unfortunately, within another few days, he started behaving in exactly the same way with formula feeds. It took us a couple more months before we figured out that he was lactose intolerant, had cow milk protein intolerance and really bad acid reflux. In retrospect, I'm really disappointed none of the professionals suggested reflux, as the signs were really obvious. I would recognise it now.
It was lovely MNetters who helped me figure out what the problem was.

Anyway, I hope you get some help and things improve for you.

milkyjo Tue 16-Jul-13 22:54:49

It could be a lactose imbalance. The foremilk has more lactose in it and an immature digestive system sometimes has trouble breaking it down resulting in painful trapped gas in the intestines. You could try colief, although very expensive and faffy as you have to add it to warm expressed milk - just a few mls though. Or look at techniques to get to the hind milk such as breast compression. Have a look on kellymom website, it's really useful to work out breastfeeding problems when you have no breastfeeding specialist to hand at 3am!

lem31 Wed 17-Jul-13 07:17:28

Ok, so back at gp and now have infant gaviscon. So far Its not helpful as trying to get it down him is making him scream so feed times are just as stressful!
Diet tips all very useful, so thanks. Will try cutting strawberries, tomatoes etc. is decaf coffee/tea ok? That's what I currently drink.
Any more details on the lactose? I was told that as he takes formula it was unlikely to be a milk allergy issue, but be useful to read more on it.

Duende, that's interesting. Also my fear is that ill stop then we will have the same problem. Will try to persevere...

As an aside, anyone know how often I should give the gaviscon? Is it every feed? I've been told 1/2 a sachet during feed, but not how many times a day!

Thanks again for help.
X

stargirl1701 Wed 17-Jul-13 07:39:22

Gaviscon is a PITA if you are bf. give it a week and return to the GP to get Ranitidine.

trixymalixy Wed 17-Jul-13 07:59:47

Sounds like something in your diet. The symptoms sound similar to those of my DC who have multiple allergies. They reacted to cow's milk, eggs and soya in my diet.

I would keep a food diary to see if you can spot a pattern.

lem31 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:13:10

Am seriously thinking about switching to formula. Trying to get gaviscon and gripe water down him during a feed while he is already in pain and crying is just a nightmare. At least if it goes in formula it's only 1 thing to get down him....

ab00 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:08:49

The gaviscon is a bloody faff when bf! The way I used to do it was using a calpol syringe between boobs. I believe you can give up to 6 times in a 24hr period but double check the instructions. The way it is supposed to work is that it thickens the milk in his tummy to help stop it coming back up. Although with ds2 it helped the ranitadine made the biggest difference as it's a proper antiacid so stops what they bring up from being so painful.
It really is frustrating & heartbreaking when something life this happens & seeing your baby in distress. You just want to make it better for them. You are doing fantastically well!

milkyjo Wed 17-Jul-13 12:09:43

All breast milk has lactose in it you cannot eliminate it as it is what your body produces, unlike cows milk protein you can eliminate from your diet. I wouldn't think it is cow milk allergy though if baby is fine on formula. Foremilk is more thinner and contains more lactose, therefore if you have full boobs and baby is just drinking the foremilk they may get an overload of lactose. Babies generally are not lactose intolerant but an overload of lactose can make them temporarily intolerant. My dd suffered with painful trapped wind, stinky trumps and reflux. I used breast compression to make sure she was getting the fatty hind milk and just rode it out. She's got over the wind issues now at 4 months but it could be that her digestive system has now matured and my milk supply has settled to enable her intestines to break down the lactose.

milkyjo Wed 17-Jul-13 12:26:20

If your baby is OK with a bottle try mixing up the gaviscon with water to the dose on the packet and give it through a teat or bottle, same with gripe water. I used to choke dd trying to give gripe water and end up with large gulps of air being swallowed.

lem31 Thu 18-Jul-13 01:54:58

Milkyjo - tried that, led to tears and it being refused. Been expressing as much as I can to mixin a bottle. Other than that I've switched to combination feeding. I just can't handle the stressful feeds and need him to get food down him in this heat. I feel a bit sad about it but there ate less tears and a happier baby so far....

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