Fractious feeds in 3 week old windy bf baby - advice from tandem feeders esp appreciated

(11 Posts)

Am currently breastfeeding 2.9 yr old dd and 3 week old ds.

Feeds with ds are getting increasingly difficult at the moment. He has always had a lot of wind (both burping and farting varieties), and needs help bringing it up. I am therefore winding him several times during a feed.

Sometimes he will do a huge burp and then bring up loads of milk (usually undigested, though occasionally it will be curdled sicky stuff), which I know is pretty normal, so am not worried this per se.

When he starts a feed I can hear him gulping and swallowing quite fast, and if he unlatches during this I do tend to squirt milk fountains! I wind him after this initial bit and he manages a big burp.

He then continues to feed for a good while, but frequently gets distressed, turning red faced and squirming a lot, sometimes clamping down and twisting my nipple and other times releasing the breast, but nearly always drawing up his knees. I lift him up to wind, but he screams hysterically for the whole time he's off the breast, and often refuses it even if offered again.

Sometimes well into a feed he gets fractious as though there is no milk flowing and he wants it NOW! I have never felt a letdown in my life so have no idea how spaced this behaviour is from a good flow.

I realise now that this post is getting a bit jumbled, and am not entirely sure what I'm asking any more, but if anyone can offer any advice to stop me having 3 hours of screaming/feeding like last night I would be most grateful.

I think that one of my specific questions is whether it's possible/likely that ds is getting so windy because I have a lot of fast flowing foremilk, and whether this is more likely to be the case because I am tandem feeding. DD was having 3 feeds most days prior to ds' arrival, but is now having slightly more, although only 1 breast per feed now whereas she would previously have insisted on both.

Should have also said that some of my concern is driven by the fact that dd was milk intolerant and affected by dairy in my diet, and if ds' behaviour is caused by the same thing then I don't want to leave it too long before I try an exclusion diet again.

DD also had silent reflux, and since ds will only sleep if being held semi-upright by us, and gets lots of hiccups, I am also conscious that this could be a contender.

pistachio Mon 03-Nov-08 18:56:03

CSWS- only thing i can think of that's bothering my DS is s fast letdown- we have a few minutes of frantic feeding then he starts choking and has to come off, cry, burp, then start again. It's worse when he's not fed for a while and the milk flows quicker.

I wondered, as you have said, whether it's too much foremilk. I'm not tandem feeding so can't blame it on that!

ajm200 Mon 03-Nov-08 19:02:15

CSWS - I had similar problems with DS last time round and was told that a lot of his problems were down to the speed of my milk flow. It was a bit better if managed to express so milk off before he latched on.. (not always possible as I'm hopeless at expressing milk). He was impossible to wind and would bring up large amounts of milk.

He also suffered from reflux and was still a sicky baby at 9 months so we found dentinox helped.

There are some feeding positions that help babies to cope with fast/over supply. I was shown some by a BF counsellour but there is also info on the web. I'm struggling to find them at the moment with both DC's crying in tandem

Hopefully one of the BF experts will see this and give you some better advice..

Thanks ladies. Am pretty certain after last night that it's not just fast flow that's an issue. He acted like my milk had poisoned him after a few sips last night. He was lying down at the time, so I'm now veering towards silent reflux or a reaction to something in my milk. We are off for some cranial osteopathy this morning, so will see what that does before going milk free, but that will be the next step I think.

cheesemonster Tue 04-Nov-08 10:39:18

Hi,
WE had the same problem & I was tandem feeding. had very fast flow & DD was unable to keep up so would splutter & be full of wind. I tried hadn expressing a little off before the feed or using DS to take off the first bit. I also fed lying propped up at about 45degress with DD lying on top, so milk had to go uphill so making the flow slower- or thats the theory I think! It worked. Wee also would feed lying down most of the time as she was more relaxed, my flow seemed slower & it was a more satisfying feed for her!
I watched my diet but didnt pinpoint anything in that causing me problems. We also saw a cranial osteo- we found that beneficial.
Having lot of friends who tandem feed/ fed- this does seem to be a fairly common problems among them, as does over-supply issues. I was told by someone that it is because the body thinks it is feeding twin babies & takes a while to adjust but I dont know how accurate this information is.

Thanks cheesemonster. It helps to know that others have found the same problem, even if there isn't a ready solution.

We had an awful night last night in that ds just couldn't settle at all (though wasn't screaming in pain, so an improvement in that sense), and he was quite refluxy (though not actually throwing up much). Still not sure whether the reflux is a symptom of too much foremilk, or the cause of the problems though.

Did any of you find that your dc were still regurgitating stuff a long time after a feed?

Saw the CO yesterday and have another session booked for next Tues too. Am also now cutting down (but not yet out) dairy.

cheesemonster Thu 06-Nov-08 13:33:43

CSWS. Cant really remember if DD regurgitated a longtime after feeding so probably not, think its the kind of things I would remember. Have you tried carrying DS in a sling, he may find it more comfortable & soothing, which may in turn make it slightly easier when feeding. A relaxed baby is much easier to feed than an agitated upset one. I went through a phase of dancing while breastfeeding as it seemed to soothe ds & am convinced that it made the flow slower!
Sounds like you are trying all the right things.

Just to update you cm, we have now confirmed that ds is milk intolerant , and feeds are much calmer now that I've cut out dairy completely.

LeonieD Sun 09-Nov-08 14:44:56

We had that behaviour at 3 weeks and now we have it again at 6 weeks. I just assumed it was growth spurt associated and slogged through it...

LeonieD Sun 09-Nov-08 14:45:57

CSWS - i had to do the same and it has made a load of difference for us ....

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