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Reflux baby comfort feeding constantly - help

(11 Posts)
hollymonster Wed 15-Feb-17 14:29:19

Hi all

My 3 week old daughter had colicky symptoms last week so I was told to use colief which seemed to help somewhat - but to cut a long story short I've realised it's silent reflux. I went to the GP today and she said she doesn't like to just medicate babies and tbh I'm with her on that so she just gave me practical advice on how to minimise symptoms until she gets better.

But I really need some positive vibes right now. She was up from 4am grunting and wouldn't settle unless feeding. I took her to the doctors first thing and she fell asleep in her pram, since we got back she has been on my breast since 11.30am nonstop (3 hours!!) and cries if I take her off (when it seems she is asleep).

Clearly she is doing this for comfort and she is obviously in pain/uncomfortable. I'm at the end of my tether with what to do and my breastfeeding journey sad please no judgement here I have struggled from day one and am really trying.

Ps. She won't take a dummy she can't seem to keep it in her mouth, I've tried various different ones.

Thanks for reading x

hollymonster Wed 15-Feb-17 14:43:20

Is it at all possible my milk isn't enough for her?! She still seems so hungry after 3 hours! I understand cluster feeding but this feels different somehow...

Bubspub Wed 15-Feb-17 14:56:19

I'm sure different people will have different advice and obviously breastfeeding is an emotive topic. My little boy was feeding for 3 hours solid and the health visitor told me that was too long and indicated a problem. I didn't realise, I just thought 3 hours must be how long it takes! When I saw a breastfeeding specialist she said there was a problem with his latch, that he wasn't taking enough of the boob in and he was squashing the flow. Hence he was sucking and sucking for hardly anything. His weight also kept dropping. How is her weight?

Different people will tell you different things, please don't feel pressured either way. It's just what's right for you and your baby. I ended up giving formula because breastfeeding really wasn't working for us. He had colic and reflux and was still pretty unhappy for a good while but in hindsight it was the right thing as he was a guzzler and I couldn't have kept up with him. But it's what's right for you, don't worry about what anyone thinks, no one has walked in your shoes! Hope that helps x

PassTheCake82 Wed 15-Feb-17 15:08:42

From my own experience I found out quite late that my little boy (now 6 weeks) suffers from reflux and it had a massive impact on BF to the point that I stopped altogether at 1 month. He was constantly attached 24/7 which I had thought was normal and most people agreed until they actually realised I meant 24/7! Some things I have found really helpful are, keeping him upright for 30 minutes after feeding, using a dummy for comfort, little and often feeding. I am also trying ranitidine at the moment as the infant gaviscon wasn't enough alone. It was also suggested to me that cow's milk intolerance may be to blame for the reflux as he also displays some symptoms of that but I'm reluctant to use the prescription milk at the moment - had I still been BF however, I'd have cut out dairy to see if there was a difference.

Hope some of this helps and you can get it treated in time. I was reluctant to see a doc and go down the route of medication but looking back I wish I had sooner as I may still have been able to BF.

Good luck, it's really horrible seeing them in pain so I really do sympathise with you on this one - I spent the first month miserable, crying and feeling like the worst mum on the planet! Xx

passingthrough1 Wed 15-Feb-17 15:17:49

I had this. Feeding all night was both the solution (comfort) and the problem as it caused more gas and acid and pain... I remember getting no sleep as the baby would cry all night and we'd just be feeding and crying (both of us) for hours and hours. Things that helped me...
1) time. My baby is 7 months. Spits up like an average newborn but it's 5% as much as it used to be. It doesn't hurt him to lie down anymore.
2) sleeping with him upright on my chest. The first decent sleep we both got! I was in the middle of the bed with duvets far away so as safe as I could make it.
3) baby carrier or sling. I used to carry him around for hours and hours and feed in it too - he'd get less gassy that way (feeding upright).

Heirhelp Wed 15-Feb-17 15:21:05

Reflux is when acid burns your baby's throat and untreated it can cause permanent damage.

Having said that feeding for 3 hours is not unusual in a new born baby.

passingthrough1 Wed 15-Feb-17 15:27:14

Oh and to add about the sleeping upright with them on you thing - that's how we did naps for ages too and we'd both sleep then as well. Only from about 5 months did he want to roll off to sleep on his back.
No judgment if you want to stop BF. I managed to carry on and it went from being horrendous to really brilliant so there is light at the end of the tunnel (but sometimes can seem like a really long tunnel) and I'm glad we're here still feeding now.
One of the posters above mentioned cows milk allergy too. I always wondered this about my baby as well but the doctor never took me seriously. I still think it might be part of it and have reduced dairy intake a lot.

Bubspub Wed 15-Feb-17 15:28:08

Heirhelp, that was something that terrified me and I spoke with a gastroenterologist about. I think reflux babies are often left with some oesophagitis that heals but not generally permanent damage. I did get a fright one day when I found blood on my baby's bib but it was a one off so might not have been from his oesophagus. Try not to worry about 'permanent damage', that won't help the OP's anxiety about the situation. My boy honestly had terrible reflux, constantly vomitting and he's fine now with no lasting damage x

Quodlibet Wed 15-Feb-17 15:45:22

OP, who has diagnosed reflux, you or the doctor?

Not to minimise your concerns but grunting from 4am and feeding for 3 hour stretches (cluster feeding) CAN be normal for 3 week old babies.

As above, I would try to find a lactation consultant or specialist BF midwife to check the latch and milk transfer. There are also holds you can do which keep baby more upright when feeding so less comes back up. It's worth trying all this before you despair and/or Medicate. My second baby had mild reflux which was inconvenient for a bit but resolved from about 8 wks.

Reading quickly but not sure if someone else has said to put the cot on a slant - that can help.

Whatsername17 Wed 15-Feb-17 18:57:59

My baby is 3 weeks too and she cluster feeds for several hours during a growth spurt. She has had a couple of unsettled hours this evening infact. She's had two big breastfeeds and in between she's been tearful and even latching on and then getting angry and crying then pulling off. This is quite a regular occurrence at this time of day. It is exhausting at times. Last week she had four days of being really tearful and wanting to be held and feed constantly and waking to feed every hour at night. It was a growth spurt which feels like it has come on the back of a previous growth spurt! The rest of the time she feeds well and sleeps well albeit for two hours at a time. Everything I've read and the fact that she's my second tells me this is normal. Newborns do have times when they are fractious, they can be really hard work and the sleep deprivation makes it worse. Growth spurts happen a lot in the first few weeks. Usually, with reflux a gp will prescribe something and the screaming is more constant rather than just a few hours a day. What makes you think it is reflux? If you feel switching to formula will help then do so without feeling guilty. My first dd was ff when bf didn't work. The only thing I will say is that without medication your lo will still suffer if it is reflux even with formula. If it's normal newborn crankiness then formula won't change anything either. But, you need to do what is best for you. You don't need anyone's permission. If you want to continue bf then the kellymom website is helpful. If you switch to formula then check out fearless formula feeder for help. Feel free to message me and trade war stories. We are both in the same boat and I've survived colic with my first. She screamed almost constantly from 7 until 7 every day. I ended up suffering from a sort of ptsd after- I couldn't stand hearing a baby cry, to the point that I left a trolly full of shopping in Tesco and walked out because there was a baby screaming and it made me physically sick. There is a 5 year age gap between my two because it took that long to be brave enough to do it again! Remember, you are doing a great job!

Bubspub Wed 15-Feb-17 20:29:22

Whatsername there is some research that found that parents of babies with reflux often report symptoms consistent with PTSD! It's pretty traumatic listening to these high level of emotional distress for a prolonged period and being helpless to soothe your baby. I think you're very brave having a second, mine is 21 months and I don't think I could face that stage again. But at least you have the knowledge now that they come out the other side of it x

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