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BF baby with reflux - No sleep!

(5 Posts)
purplecat27 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:55:24

Hi all, I'm a FTM, feel like I'm struggling and looking for some advice or just hand holding.

My little girl will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, she has been exclusively breastfed since birth. Since she was just a few days old she's had symptoms of reflux, her symptoms include:
- Spitting up and vomiting larger amounts
- Nasal congestion (milky when aspirated)
- Choking and gagging when lying on back
- Struggling to breathe when lying on back (I've seen thick white vomit at the back of her throat when she does this)
- Arching her back, grimacing and making straining sounds/crying

We saw the GP 2 weeks ago, they were reluctant to give her anything because of her age but agreed to infant Gaviscon, we've been giving her 1 sachet in 1oz of expressed breast milk last thing at night. I'm not sure if this is doing much but I'm scared to give her more in case it constipates her.

For 1 1/2 weeks I have completely cut out dairy and soy in case she has an intolerance. I had been eating loads of Brie after eating none while pregnant, and ate soy products 3 nights in a row and noticed her symptoms seemed much worse. So far I don't think this has helped but I've read it can take 3-4 weeks to completely clear the proteins.

I hold her upright for 20-30mins after a feed and burp her after every feed. We have a bed nest which we've tilted to the recommended max 5cm but this hasn't helped much. She seems worst when in her bed nest lying on her back, her symptoms all come on within minutes of putting her down. Through the day I sit with her held upright against my chest and she sleeps, I also sit with her like this upright in bed after night feeds and she sleeps. However most of the time she can't sleep on her back in the bed nest, although she has some nights where she's gone 2-4 hours at a time in there.

This week my husband has gone back to work so I've been looking after her day and night. He works 11-12 hour days 4 days a week and 1 slightly shorter day. The last 2 nights I've had barely any sleep. Last night was the worst ever, her symptoms were awful and she slept in the bed nest for a maximum of 30 mins at a time, but spent most of the night either feeding or asleep on me. We'd eaten curry and I'm not sure whether the spicy food had an adverse affect, so I'll stop eating spicy food too. I'm ashamed to say that last night I shouted and swore at her and felt that I didn't like her, of course I absolutely love her to pieces but at 4 in the morning I didn't feel that as much. I sat up in bed holding her crying with tiredness and guilt

This morning I fell asleep with her on my chest and we both slept for 1.5 hours. However I hate doing this, and am terrified that I'll fall asleep feeding her or holding her and wake up to find something awful has happened. I'm terrified to go to sleep with her in any position other than on her back in the bed nest in case of SIDS. We have an angelcare movement monitor in there so I know if anything happened I'd be alerted. This is no good for my sleep though as on nights like last night she won't sleep in there so I end up sitting up with her trying my best to stay awake.

I'm now at a bit of a loss to know what to do. I've seen a total elimination diet for breastfeeding mums and am unsure whether to try this. I definitely want to continue exclusively breastfeeding (she's gaining weight and lots of wet and dirty nappies so despite the vomiting she's definitely getting enough). I know lots of people might recommend co-sleeping but I'd be too frightened to do this. I'd be really grateful if anybody had any experiences they could share or any suggestions. Sorry this is so long and thanks in advance!

Underbella Wed 16-Mar-16 18:53:06

Hi purple. I currently have a 6 week old DD2 who is as equally sicky as her sister was. It's like she brings up whole feeds. She writhes about on the boob and shouts and arches her back. I put this down to trapped wind in DD's case.

Not all feeds are like this but she is pretty much sick after every feed. You get good at catching it wink

With DD1 this got me down a lot. With DD2 I'm not so bothered. I just feel like it's normal for some babies to puke a lot. They need to grow so that their little valve matures at the top of their stomach and keeps food down. But until then, you have to ride it out! That's the view I take.

I Co sleep on the nights I'm so tired and can't be bothered to be up and awake to feed.

It's up to you though, I prop myself up with pillows, and stuff one under my bum and back.

This means you can't wind them but I always put down blankets to catch the sick!

Co sleeping is great for me and DD, she sleeps really well next to me but I understand why it can be a worry. I'm not a heavy sleeper though. Plus I have a king size bed to myself at the moment which makes it easier for us to feed. Sometimes I wonder if DD helps herself to my boob when I'm asleep smile

It will get better when they get bigger. Then the puke will be replaced with dribble!

I've been there though, those grim nights when you just want sleep. And I'm sure I'll have more. But it passes!

Hope this helps....

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 16-Mar-16 18:59:08

Hi, my ds had silent reflux and it was horrible. We literally couldn't put him down some days and it was so exhausting. We resolved it by, unfortunately, stopping bf and using reflux formula because the gaviscon was such a faff to administer, but he was 10 weeks by that point. I was never fussed about bf and so it wasn't emotive to stop, but I can understand why it might not be that simple for you. All I can say is, it does get better, they do grow out of it, and even though its horrible now it will get easier.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 16-Mar-16 21:56:24

My BF baby had reflux.

I was prescribed Gaviscon but it was such a faff to give it so the GP prescribed Ranitidine and DS improved almost instantly!! It was a life saver.

FWIW - as far as I am aware Gaviscon had to be given regularly throughout the day (I think 6 times in a regular period) to have any effect. It works by thickening the feed so by only giving it with one feed it means that all the other feeds she has will still be causing the reflux symptoms anyway.

Ask your GP about Ranitidine, Gavisvon just isn't practical for breast fed babies.

purplecat27 Thu 17-Mar-16 23:56:05

Thanks all, it's good to hear from people who have been through it and come out the other side! Winter I completely agree that the Gaviscon is a faff and barely works. The hope was that by giving a sachet of Gaviscon with her last feed she would go down without terrible reflux symptoms and might manage a longer stretch of sleep. Some nights I think it helps, other nights I don't think it does anything! My plan is to go back to the GP and ask for Ranitidine if cutting certain foods out of my diet doesn't work, although I think I'll have a bit of a fight on my hands as they didn't even want to give us Gaviscon last time!

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