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4mo constant straining - interfering with feeding

(3 Posts)
pigsunited Mon 29-Dec-14 14:47:44

4mo DS is mixed fed - bf at night, and on bottles of mostly EBM during the day, but has a bottle of formula about every other day.

He usually does a poo every day, consistency is runny/seedy and a mustardy yellow colour, but with mucus in it (occasionally green). This has been the case since he was a couple of weeks old, and I have mentioned the mucus to the GP and lactation consultant, but they didn't seem particularly concerned.

In the last couple of weeks, he has started straining after taking about 2/3 of his bottle. He then seems to still be interested in the bottle, but pulls off immediately every time it is offered. He is usually sick while he is straining too. I have tried everything - massaging his tummy, bicycling his legs, pushing his legs gently up to his chest, cooled boiled water etc. (He does hold his legs very rigid though which means I can't always do these moves).

Even when he does poo, he clearly doesn't get everything out as he is still straining afterwards. If I hold him upright, he generally seems to feel better and stops straining.

I'm feeling guilty now about giving him formula as I'm worried this is what is causing the problem. However, unfortunately I can't get him to bf during the day (a myriad of problems that I have posted about before), and I don't have quite enough milk to give him only EBM. I will take him to the GP or health visitor next week, but just wondering if anyone has any thoughts in the meantime?

pebPEB1 Mon 29-Dec-14 19:20:43

Hi, my dd strained/groaned an awful lot from approx 2wks of age. It ended up affecting feeds too (ebf until weaning) we saw paediatricians who couldn't explain it and I tried dairy/soya free for just over 3 wks but paeds consultant said to stop, I wish I'd persevered as I'm dairy free again now and I'm pretty sure it's made the difference. She's 8mnths now and always has been happy but is even happier now and no groaning straining or discomfort. She wasn't a particularly sicky baby but I always felt something wasn't quite right so I do think it's cows milk protein intolerance. I've stopped all soya too.
That's just my experience but go with your instinct and don't get fobbed off by its just colic. Especially as your ds has passed the 12wk stage where things are supposedly meant to settle. My view is you can do no harm by eliminating dairy and soya from your diet. Just discuss with GP and make sure you supplement calcium & vit d, from doc, and get hydrolysed amino acid formula or one of the other dairy free ones, also from doc. Good luck.

pigsunited Mon 29-Dec-14 20:52:15

Thanks peb for the advice. DS also strained and grunted a lot when he was a newborn, but having talked to friends with babies the same age it sounds like this is normal. He then went through a few weeks without any apparent tummy discomfort (~8-14w) but now is back to the straining. I wonder if the formula just tips him over the edge. He has had the occasional bottle of formula from 11w, but around 14w was probably when he started getting it every other day.

I did briefly try to eliminate dairy when DS had exclusively bm, but gave up after a couple of days and assumed our feeding issues were due to other things. I'm already vegetarian so it is difficult. Perhaps hydrolysed formula would be enough without having to go dairy free, as I'm not sure I could keep that up long term.

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