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Hungry baby or windy baby

(9 Posts)
cheekycheeky Thu 15-Dec-11 14:26:47

DD is 6 weeks old, I am bottle feeding breast milk (60%) and formula (40%) approximately. Feeding on demand.

In early weeks had good signs for feeding, but now she seems to go from sleepy to hungry in 2 seconds flat so no feeding cues (that I am noticing anyway). As soon as she wakes up I give her a bottle.

On occasion she seems to want to cluster feed which surprised me as I didn't think a bottle fed baby would do this, but I just go with it. But I am getting a bit confused, during the periods where she seems to cluster feed but I am not sure if it is wind or she is hungry. I am trying not to get too caught up on amounts but sometimes she just seems to eat an enourmous amount i.e over 200ml at one time? She occasionally is sick after feeding but doesn't happen every feed or even every day.

Today she woke up after three hour sleep so I imagine hungry, gave one bottle 120ml breastmilk, then topped up with formula 2 x 60ml but she didn't finish all of the second bottle. If I stop to wind she gets really upset and cries, so I presume she is just hungry.....but sometimes it looks like she might be in pain, kind of writhing, her legs jerk out....tummy is not hard. The only thing that consoles her is feeding. I am just not sure if it is hunger or wind...I gave infacol and gripe water today - no big burps, did tummy massage and cycling, no burps but some big and little farts. Eventually she just falls asleep feeding.

I am not sure if I am overthinking it all, would a windy baby drink? I am really worried I am overfeeding her, or now worried that she is actually hungry and I am faffing around worrying about wind but she is really hungry?!

Any ideas or advice?

TruthSweet Thu 15-Dec-11 16:57:29

These two links might help sort out the 'am I over/under feeding' dilema here and here.

This might help with spotting the feeding cues.

Does she take a dummy, or suck a finger/thumb? It my be she wants to suck but if she sucks on a bottle she just gets more and more full and uncomfortable.

Do you use slow flow teats or a bigger size?

How much is she having a day? You say you gave her 240mls (though she didn't take all of it) in one feeding (but over 3 bottles). That says to me she might well want to suck for comfort not suck to feed as you would expect a baby of 1-6m to be taking an average of an ounce/30mls an hour.

cheekycheeky Thu 15-Dec-11 22:00:51

Thanks TruthSweet, those links were really useful. Have been looking online and I wonder if she is experiencing lactose overload. Her symptoms fit exactly....she has really watery, explosive poos (especially today) which have been really watery and a bit frothy (sorry TMI) and they are quite acidic as her bum is a bit red!

She is definitely wanting more food as apparently this can ease the pain, which may be why I am getting confused as to whether it is hunger or might be both but the hunger signs masking the pain signs if that makes sense.

I am not sure if I am making things worse by combining formula feeding with expressed breast milk (they say in breast fed babies the foremilk can cause lactose overload so recommend expressing a bit first) maybe my expressed milk is contributing or maybe I should actually mix breast milk with some formula, at the moment I give breastmilk on its own.

Or this is all complete madness and I have been reading too much on the internet.....but the symptoms fit perfectly.

Anyone have any experience of lactose overload (in formula fed babies)?

DD has easily drunk 800mls today with at least one if not two more feeds to go, this is over the recommended intake for her weight (9lb 6oz). The only thing is to cut down on the formula, but this kind of goes against all my instincts as thought demand feeding was best. She will take a dummy but not all the time. Trying to space out her feeds feels a bit wrong but maybe that is the best thing.....arrggh not sure now.

Any advice anyone?

TruthSweet Thu 15-Dec-11 22:13:14

I wouldn't stretch the gap between her feeds but after she has had a reasonable amount of milk you could try a dummy or your/her finger to see if that helps soothe her?

Do you ever do hand expressing post pumping (I'm assuming you use an electric/manual pump)? That can increase the amount of fatty milk that you get. I have expressed for lots of different reasons (me being in hospital, baby being in hospital, baby not bfing directly, etc) and I always found that if I did breast massage, then pumped with compressions and then hand expressed that I still had milk even after expressing a few minutes past no milk coming out. That milk was always very creamy looking.

At the risk of 'Diagnosis Internet' have you considered reflux? Some reflux babies eat and eat as milk going down is soothing so have can what appears to be an excessive appetite.

Forgive me for asking but is there any way that bfing direct would work for you or your DD? You don't say why you are EPing rather than nursing baby so I hope I'm not speaking out of turn.

cheekycheeky Thu 15-Dec-11 22:50:16

Will try a dummy but she doesn't particularly like it and she quickly figures out that there is no milk coming out of my finger!!

Am using electric pump but have never hand expressed. Had very "traumatic" breastfeeding experience with first DD, lack of support, DD ended up in hospital with jaundice, but just generally could not get the hang of it and despite all the bloody breast is best being spouted I found most health professionals severely lacking in any skill or support (including our local midwife team that neglected to turn up for first five days of DD1's life). Sorry can you tell I am bitter. I would love to be able to breast feed, and yes I am sure someone will come along and tell me I can! I have tried, really tried. It was actually affecting my relationship with my children and could see I was heading down route of PND.

Tried breastfeeding again this time but main problem was the latch, confidence already shattered from first experience, and it really was difficult emotionally and physically, and even harder this time with an older child to work around. I feel like a total failure but that is a whole other thread.

I have considered reflux but she is fine lying down, very good sleeper but will look at it a bit more.

Do you think it could be that the breast milk is only foremilk and no hindmilk so could be setting it all off?

So confused, but it does feel like it's esclalating and want to nip whatever it is in the bud....we have had enough feeding problems already!

cheekycheeky Thu 15-Dec-11 22:53:05

oops escalating!

Just thought, I gave breast milk at 12.10 feed this afternoon, I wonder if that "triggered" the afternoon feeding frenzy, or am I just jumping to ludricous conclusions.

TruthSweet Thu 15-Dec-11 23:02:06

BM is only one kind of milk. Foremilk & hindmilk were an 'artifact' from an experiment (taking milk samples from before a feed and then after). More details on BM composition here.

I'm really sorry you were let down so badly with your DD, it sounds really traumatic. Did you get any help with the PND?

This is a good site for EPing mums to get support and advice. EPing can be a strange place to be, I felt stuck between the bfing and formula feeding worlds but nothing quite fitted for me.

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Dec-11 09:27:10

Firstly - if you're feeding a 6wo 60% expressed bm then that's no reason to feel a failure - you're a star!

I'm a 'failed' bf-er though having had tongue tie diagnosed with dc4, looking at dc 1-3's mouths extensively (they think I'm nuts grin) I think that possibly was the main cause with me - but I really do feel your pain for things not going as you planned and hoped.

With regards to intake, with formula, the calculation is body weight in kg x 120mls to find out the min or x 180mls to find out the max recommended amount. If you want it in oz then simply divide the answer by 30. Please bear in mind that it is a recommendation only - my 17lb14 ds is consuming under the amount for his weight and regularly pukes loads back (sever reflux) and is still gaining 6-8oz per week (he is 22wks). I don't know about bm calculations as it's obv a much harder thing to measure but I believe kellymom has a guide?

I don't know much about lactose overload but I do know about CMPI and dairy allergies. Would it be worth eliminating dairy from your diet? How good is your gp? Would they consider prescribing a dairy free formula for you to try? Nutramigen AA is what we're on but you may find them a little resistant - it's massively expensive (along the lines of £500pm).

Do check out reflux more - some babies fit the descriptions perfectly but some don't. For eg, prior to meds, ds was fine lying down at night, but screamed during the day which is the opposite of what is 'normal' with reflux.

I hope you get some answers soon.

alvinareagan Sun 14-Feb-16 22:04:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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