please advise - scared to night feed baby stopped breathing while breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
Ele2013 Wed 06-May-15 02:40:17

I wanted to see if this has happened to anyone, please!!! DD of almost 4 months stopped breathing while she breastfed. I had to do emergency pumping on her for what felt like few minutes! and we also ended up in ER. She tends to gag on breast but this time instead of gagging and coughing she froze up not breathing.

Also I am now panicked about breastfeeding her at night. She is only 4 months old tomorrow, so she may want to eat and also my breasts are over full if I don't feed her.

Has this happened to anyone? Did It happen only once? How do you overcome the fear after what happened and did you continue with night feeds?

TheSweeper Wed 06-May-15 06:02:58

No experience of this, I'm afraid, Ele2013, but just wanted to bump and offer a listening ear. Perhaps you can call a breastfeeding organisation today for some advice? smile
I don't really understand what emergency pumping on her is - not cpr, surely?

Booboostoo Wed 06-May-15 07:02:03

What have her doctors advised you? Surely you have some kind of follow up care to investigate this? Sleep apnea may be a possibility or problems with swallowing...i don't have any idea to be honest but surely this needs looking into ASAP by a specialist.

Meanwhile can you express and feed her or does she have the same problems with a bottle?

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 07:05:45

Hi there,

This sounds pretty serious. Did you try anything else before what I assume was CPR?

My third baby used to stop breathing in his sleep, and somehow I woke up when he stopped, and shaking him didn't work and I blew on his face and that made him start breathing again.

It happened several times but never to the extent that I needed to use CPR.

I think you need to see a paediatrician to follow up on this.

Ele2013 Wed 06-May-15 07:52:44

Yes CPR, I was lost for words.

00100001 Wed 06-May-15 07:56:41

Did she start breathing on her own again?

Can you try feeding her from a bottle?

Ele2013 Wed 06-May-15 07:57:13

Or rather, I used CPR because I didn't know what else since that's the only thing I knew, I was in panic
Drs said it happens, but this is MY daughter, I can't accept this to happen, I am terrified to cause it.
When you say you blew on his face, how often did this happen? How come you blew? Thank you....

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 07:57:16

Sleep apnoea is fairly common, but when it's a LTE (life threatening event) it's less common and should definitely be followed up. There are things they can do to help.

I would advise being very near your child in the meantime, your breathing will help to regulate hers. Not too close so that she has no free space around her, but close enough to hear her breathing.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 07:58:39

It happened about 4 times when he was about the same age as your dd (ie under 6 months old).

I blew on his face as I think I had read that it was a method to start them breathing, and it did. He took an enormous long gasp and began again.

He may have begun again on his own, many babies do, but I wasn't about to wait and see.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 07:59:39

How long did she stop for OP?

Mine stopped probably for about 10-20 seconds. He didn't go blue or anything. But it was dark so I can't be sure.

squizita Wed 06-May-15 09:22:27

Mine has done this for 5 seconds or so, then she takes a huge breath. Not just when feeding - when excited or sleepy. However it's not scary iyswim in my case.

How long was it for? Did the Dr feel you gave CPR but it wasn't needed - could you get a second opinion?
I find it hard to imagine an infant cpr case not being followed up but know young A&E Drs can be dismissive.

If you genuinely feel it is/was life threatening get a second medical opinion. If it was (hopefully) a one off shock then it may have triggered fear/anxiety in you that you need support with.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 06-May-15 09:25:48

Did you tell the doctors you gave CPR?

Ele2013 Wed 06-May-15 14:49:47

HetzelNatur, when did he stop doing this?

She didn't turn blue either, may be she did what your baby did too, just paused, but it was long enough to feel different. It was also dark, so all I knew she was stiff and didn't breathe. At the hospital they just said, that I did all the right things. And I guess they were looking for those other symptoms...I just really hope it's not going to happen again. But I will try blowing too, as I use blowing to calm her down...Also Dr. said you thump them hard on the back just between ribs on the top, as she lays sideways. However I am not sure I ll have the nerves to be patient enough and won't go for chest compressions right away.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 15:48:36

It is very difficult when you wake, you sense they aren't breathing, when you're barely conscious yourself - and you panic and do the first thing you can think of.

It's hard to know when they stopped, whether they are able to begin again on their own, or what.

I wouldn't thump her on the back unless the blowing doesn't start her breathing again. Also chest compressions are for a stopped heart which is a bit different.

If she really won't breathe then dial 999, and keep giving her quick breaths directly into her mouth until help arrives. Hopefully this will start her again but you cannot be too careful.

Mine stopped doing it around 6 months I think. He only did it a few times; the doctor wasn't interested apart from to tell me not to co sleep (wrong advice imo, as it's been shown to assist with breathing regulation, and I needed to be that close to know when he stopped)

if you google sleep apnoea in babies you'll find various discussions and studies - there are dangers if the infant has life threatening events, as they are called, when breathing stops for long enough for their sats to be reduced and their lips to go blue.

It is pretty common otherwise and they often grow out of it apparently.

Good luck and do go and ask if you want more reassurance from them. Also continue night feeds. I don't think feeding at night increases the risk at all. In fact common sense says they may reduce the likelihood of it going unnoticed, as you will be more alert/awake during the night.

Newquay Wed 06-May-15 16:30:12

Have you got a sense pad monitor? Like an Angelcare? It sets off an alarm if baby stops breathing. I've used it for both my babies just for reassurance.

Booboostoo Wed 06-May-15 18:51:54

Can you go to your GP and push for follow up care?

Be a bit careful with chest compressions because if her heart has not actually stopped beating you may do more harm than good.

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