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Question for knowledgeable breastfeeding people ... tiktok? Is my doctor talking rot?

(46 Posts)
BollocksToThis Thu 04-Nov-10 22:27:11

DD is 6.5 weeks and gaining spectacularly. Couple of weeks ago she started pulling off and arching during feeds, grunting, straining and really struggling to sleep for up to an hour after feeds. Before this started she'd easily fall asleep on the breast or wherever she was. She's always hated sleeping on her back. She also makes lots of gulping noises, retches and chokes/stops breathing/whistles sometimes.

Doc says this is since she had a cold aged 3 weeks her nasal passages are narrow and blocked and she's pulling off to breathe. But I don't understand why that would make her so unsettled and painful after a feed. I suspect he's off the mark. Would you agree?

ginodacampoismydh Thu 04-Nov-10 22:37:09

colic? she possibly is doing the arching and pulling off to breath, but filling her tummy with air so the discomfort, dd used to do this but she was a frenzied feeder, i used to feed of both at each feed giving her 10 to 15mns between and wind her b4 swappng, she settled at about 5 months but did go on for quiet a while, not sure what current advice is on colic treatment, infacol before the feed was what i was adiviced. but she would vomit with the infacol, but worked with sis ds

Bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 04-Nov-10 22:37:44

If your baby is pulling off to breathe during a feed then perhaps that would cause her to be unsettled and uncomfortable if it is causing a bit of trapped wind.

My dd (now 2) was born in Oct and fed well from the start and gained well but she was constantly (it seemed anyway) with cold and congested throughout her first few months. She was not colicky but it did cause some problems with her feeding as it is difficult to suckle when nasal passages are blocked or constricted.

What dio you feel is the problem? - if you are not happy with the doc's response perhaps go back to your GP or see Health Visitor for alternative views?

I'm not an expert but I do have over 6 years of BF experience. Good luck getting to the bottom of it.

ginodacampoismydh Thu 04-Nov-10 22:39:50

i would place a folded towel under dds sheet to prop her back up slightly, so she was not totaly flat as did not want her on her front

BollocksToThis Thu 04-Nov-10 22:50:24

The thing is, although she is noisy/snuffly, she never sounds like she can't breathe. Even when she had the cold she didn't come off the breast and go rigid and grunt and flail. I guess she just seems perpetually uncomfortable and she's so distressed and overtired now, I'm thinking reflux is more likely. He was fairly convinced it's a benign snuffly nose, but she seems so much unhappier than when she actually had the snots - I'm really not sure he's right. We're meant to wait a week or two but I don't know if I should, think I might go back sooner.

Greythorne Thu 04-Nov-10 22:53:25

Have you got an oversupply of milk?

Just a thought.

With my DD, after about 8 weeks of bfing, i was producing masses of milk and she was being overwhelmed each time she fed. She would pull her head back and try to swallow anxiously and flail.

I had to clock feed for a few days to calm the supply down.

Might be something completely different in your case, but I had never heard of oversupply at the time.

BollocksToThis Thu 04-Nov-10 23:00:39

Thanks - I do have too much which I keep under control by block feeding

Loopymumsy Fri 05-Nov-10 06:46:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RubyBuckleberry Fri 05-Nov-10 07:53:11

my first thought was oversupply too. difficult to say really. she's probably changing. if she is fussing, just take her off and try again later. at some stage they do lose the ability/inclination to just fall asleep randomly. she may want to look around and see where she is grin.

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 08:05:59

At first I did think it was just alertness but she finds sleep so hard now that she's howling with tiredness by the afternoon. Her wee eyelids are drooping but she gets woken by a spasm and then starts crying again. I'm certain there's some sort of pain, especially since she's fighting feeds. When I had floods of milk around 3 weeks she was really windy, and that all settled down with block feeding.

Gah. My gut feeling is that something's not right, just watching her and the only thing that really seems to explain her behaviour is pain during and after feeding.

Loopymumsy Fri 05-Nov-10 08:09:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChocolateMoose Fri 05-Nov-10 08:22:05

I had lots of milk and a coldy baby around this age and breastfeeding in the 'biological nurturing' position was suggested (you lie back propped up a bit), baby on top of you). Milk doesn't rush out so much because of gravity, and baby might be able to breathe better.

Having said that, it didn't work for us, but everyone's different so I pass on the suggestion!

OmicronPersei8 Fri 05-Nov-10 08:23:09

6.5 weeks is the perfect time to go see a cranial osteopath. It sounds like mumbo jumbo (probably is!) but seemed to really help both my babies, including DD who would grunt for hours each morning. Not the same thing but it might help.

shelley72 Fri 05-Nov-10 08:35:41

not that im a bf expert at all but i agree with pp that from your op it sounds more refluxy than anything. dd had this from tiny (shes 5mnths now) and i found that feeding her almost upright helped, as did having her practically all day in the sling. she hated being flat so we raised the moses slightly at one end (though she prefers to sleep with us but thats another story!). we tried infant gaviscon but it didnt seem to help much in our case. however like OmicronPersei8 we went to a cranial osteopath and that really helped. have no idea what she did and it could be that dd would have improved anyway but it seemed to work for us. maybe worth a try? i would say trust your instincts. do you have a good hv you could go to?

tiktok Fri 05-Nov-10 08:53:15

Sounds like an over-generous supply to me - it's always better IMO to first go for a simple explanation than to go down the route of pathologising something which then may need treatment (eg reflux).

It is usually easy to deal with over supply, and everything about your post suggests it.

Babies whose noses are blocked do struggle and they do pull off the breathe, but that's not usually associated with distress after a feed, whereas over supply is.

shelley72 Fri 05-Nov-10 10:04:22

yes. what tiktok said re think of the simple solutions first - sorry my fault for not reading op properly blush

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 10:05:32

Thanks everyone. Tiktok, if it's oversupply and I'm already keeping her to one breast for 3 hours, what else could I try ... would I just extend that to 4 hours? My breasts are still very full much of the time, it's true, probably because when she gets overtired she wants to comfort feed for literally hours, which I'm fine with but not if it's causing all these problems.

DS had all these problems for 6 months and it almost broke me with constant crying and pain and being unable to get comfy enough to sleep. I never ever considered giving up BF but I just can't go through that again, for his sake I can't, and if I can't fix it and she'd cope better with formula I can see it being a solution

tiktok Fri 05-Nov-10 10:30:14

Some very, very, extreme over suppliers extend the block to four or even five hours, OP - try it and see

Beachcomber Fri 05-Nov-10 10:35:18

Both my DDs behaved like this and it turned out to be a sensitivity to cow's milk protein from diary products which passes into BM. l

This link gives sensible info on the subject.

I thought for ages with DD1 that it was oversupply but cutting dairy out transformed her. Could be something to keep in mind. good luck.

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 10:35:59

Ok, thanks for that. She never, ever refuses the breast! I love feeding her and I really want to keep it going, but given my last baby had this it feels like I'm hurting them when I think it could be my milk . I'll go to 4 hours for a few days and see where we are then.

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 10:37:23

I'm on day 6 of dairy free. Not a very inspiring diet but not too bad!

Franup Fri 05-Nov-10 13:51:26

I have oversupply and fast letdown and 2 of my 3 were very unsettled as a result (other one was happy but massive as a result!). I also completely and utterly agree with tiktok about being wary of immediately suspecting reflux that needs medical treatment, many, many newborn babies have reflux as the muscles at the top of the tummy are still strengthening. So I think she is refluxy, but I would let her come out of the newborn period (8-12 weeks) before seriously doing much about it in terms of medication or cutting dairy.

Anyway, what helped my own little nightmares. Block nursing as you are doing. Keeping feeds very quiet and calm, when I could, as babies trying to deal with a mad boob often cannot concentrate on anything else. Taking them off when the milk spurted and letting it spray into a clean cloth and putting back on when it was a dribble. Frequent but gentle winding and at desperate times using a wind product, like infacol or gripe water. A nursing cushion can also keep them at the right height for the full feed, other people lean back, when they can, or hold baby upright at the breast.

I would also help her deal with the after effects and the reflux which may or may not be pathological and make sure she is in loose clothing, nothing pressing on her tummy. Hold her upright for 20-30mins after a feed. Have all flat surfaces, including changing mat, propped up at an angle. Only change after a feed if you have to, otherwise do nappy before hand.

Hope some of this helps. If she is still refluxy at about 12 weeks, I would look for more help then.

Both my unsettled ones turned the corner from 20 weeks, not the traditional 12 weeks colic. I believe they would both have been nightmares on bottles too. I actually fed the second unsettled one until he was 2.5yo and it was SO lovely after he turned 6ms.

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 17:42:36

Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice. Because of the way she timed her feeds today she went nearly 6 hours between changing sides, and she had a 2 hour nap this afternoon and is asleep again now - unheard of and she seems comfortable. Maybe coincidence but I'll persevere

BollocksToThis Mon 08-Nov-10 19:44:18

Well I thought we were getting somewhere - great day yesterday and less full breasts. Then last night she was totally unsettleable for 5 hours and produced a ton of vile luminous green poo, slept ok but today has been uncomfy and sleepless all day and is now straining and crying again. I'm sure the block feeding helped quickly last time. I'm changing sides 4 hourly in the day. Can anyone tell me whether I am just being impatient and is it too soon to go up to 5 hours? I'm also a little wobbly about it in case this isn't the problem and I bugger up my supply but I guess at 7 weeks I'll be able to bring it back fairly easily if necessary ...

RubyBuckleberry Mon 08-Nov-10 19:52:56

i would have thought that if you are feeding in 4 hour blocks and still have loads of milk to feed your baby, you can probably afford to go 5/6 hourly, even more, whatever works! supply does fluctuate with the baby and can adjust happily to changes within reason (when it is well established - what the exact point of this is, I don't know) so should be fine. can you weigh her again - to check weight gain, although if she did a ton of poo she must be still getting plenty of milk. Unless she is ill? Is it vile smelling? Is there a fever? Small babies can be a bit of an enigma at times confused.

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