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Would giving up breastfeeding be best for baby?

(16 Posts)
SophieBear13 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:22:36

Hi,

I have a 4 month old baby girl with silent reflux and have been EBF since birth. Up until the last few weeks (once we got over the initial 5 weeks of newborn not latching correctly outchiness) I was really enjoying it and it was easy and convenient. My baby girl has silent reflux which has flared up in the past few weeks. We have a paed appointment coming up and she has been back on ranitidine but it doesn't seem to be as effective this time around.

If I let her, she would be on the boob all day. Most of that time isn't feeding just sucking which really hurts my nipples. She gets very cross and upset if I stop her doing that and at the moment it can be the only way to settle her during the day when I'm on my own. During those times I grit my teeth because the pain is so bad. Now it hurts whether she is latched properly or not. She has been on ranitidine on and off since she was around 6 weeks. At 10 weeks it seemed like the silent reflux but it came back a few weeks ago and is worse than ever.

I have been told that anti reflux formula might be better for her but I don't know if other people have experienced the same. I also don't know how much longer I can be scratched, grabbed, pinched and hurt for. Sometimes it makes me resent her because it's so painful and I know that sounds horrible.

The thought of giving up is so upset. We used to have lots of feeds where she would be so content and I loved the feeling of closeness and felt so proud of what my body was doing, especially at times where she was upset with the reflux and it was the only thing to calm her. But now those feeds are so rare and it breaks my heart. I worry about how I would soothe her if I changed to formula because I don't feel I'm very good at that generally. I don't know if formula would make the silent reflux worse.

The whole situation is making me feel very low and I really don't know what to do.

SophieBear13 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:24:20

I forgot to add that during a feed the last few weeks she has started grabbing handfuls of my boob and pinching. She was also scratch my boob and pull the nipple out of her mouth with her hands which is so painful.

daisygirlmac Mon 12-Jun-17 21:26:45

I don't know a lot about silent reflux but is there anything you can change in your diet? I have a good friend whose baby has a cows milk protein allergy and she has cut out dairy entirely and is still breastfeeding at 8 months. Could be worth a try if you want to carry on? Also will your DD take a bottle? Anti reflux milk is quite thick so she might find it quite hard work at first.

daisygirlmac Mon 12-Jun-17 21:27:32

Also have you tried a dummy to help with the comfort sucking?

C0untDucku1a Mon 12-Jun-17 21:29:38

I know someone who could not eat or drink anything with orange in as her baby reacted badly to it.

Have you seen a bf consultant?

Helspopje Mon 12-Jun-17 21:30:28

Is this definitely the reflux coming back?

I say that cause my cmpi refluxy nearly 4mth old is spending 24/7 feeding the last few weeks and I put it down to the 4mth growth spurt so more feeding as a way of upping the supply

SleepWhatSleep1 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:31:24

Have you tried a dummy or helping her to find her thumb? Also for the pinching - try getting a fiddle/nursing necklace and play with her fingers - grab and kiss, raspberries on her palms - that sort of thing - works really well

DueOct30th Mon 12-Jun-17 21:31:31

Someone who knows what they're talking about will probably correct me but I'm fairly sure the grabbing scratching thing is a developmental stage - it stimulates milk production or something like that. I would also try a dummy if you haven't already.

I don't know anything about reflux but good luck whatever you decide to do. I hope it gets better soon.

PacificDogwod Mon 12-Jun-17 21:35:46

It is unlikely that giving up BFing would benefit your baby and in fact there is good evidence that BM is most easily digested which is particularly important for babies with reflux.

If you want to continue BFing there is no medical reason that you must stop thanks

At 4 months old you can start to insist on some polite BFing rules like no scratching/biting/pinching etc (you might need to give her something else to hold/squeeze), shout 'ouch!' and break her latch with your finger, take her off the breast when she hurts you every time and she will likely change her behaviour.

Anti-reflux formula is often simply a bit thickened formula which 'returns' less easily on her - no medical advantage of feeding that provided she is thriving.

Has anybody discussed weaning with you? Reflux is one of these occasions where an earlier weaning age can be considered and can really help reflux symptoms.

At 4 months her behaviour could also not just be related to her reflux, but simply be her becoming more aware of her surroundings and a bit bored with feeding so fiddling around a bit while she's stuck there wink.
Have you tried covering her? A bit like a budgie?? grin

Have a look at Kellymom and Dr Jack Newman about tips for unsettled BFing babies - lots of tips there.

If you want to continue BFing there's a way through your current problems.
If you want to stop BFing, you've done so well to get this far, so well done and be proud of your achievement.

By the time she is 25 nobody is going to care how she was fed as a baby

Waterlemon Mon 12-Jun-17 21:39:40

I wonder if the comfort sucking makes the reflux a bit worse? You know like chewing gum - the body starts expecting food but then it doesn't arrive.

I think it makes the doctors lives easier if baby is on formula, but you've got to decide on what is best for you and your baby

It also won't be long before you start weaning and reflux seems to improve once baby is on solids. But meanwhile it is a real bugger!

I would second what a previous poster said about your own diet. It might be worth keeping a food diary and log of your babies symptoms to see if there is a link. My friend had to remove lots of items from her diet when bf as there is a long family history of severe food allergies.

Waterlemon Mon 12-Jun-17 21:41:19

Kellymom website is fantastic! Saved my life many times!

SophieBear13 Mon 12-Jun-17 22:02:21

Well I'm sat here in tears now. Thank you all for replying and for being so nice. At least I don't feel as alone now so that's a relief.

daisygirl I have been trying with dummies ever since breastfeeding was established but he has never been able to take one properly. I have tried Nuk, Nuby, Tomee Tipee, cheap cherry soothers and MAM. The MAM 0-2 month size he seems to be able to hold in his mouth better but he can't seem to get the hang of sucking it. I might just not be introducing it in the right way though. Cutting out dairy is an option I have been considering but at the moment it feels like another mountain to climb and I am feeling overwhelmed with trying to get through each day at the moment. I wonder if that would be better for her though.

C0untDucku1a I found that with strawberries and any citrus so I have tried to avoid it as much as possible. I saw a consultant when he was around 5 weeks and although she helped with the latch she showed me how to position myself using lots of pillows and at the time that wasn't very helpful when I was trying to learn to feed in public. She was an odd woman though! We paid for that but can you see somebody on the nhs?

Helspopje Growth spurt could be a very good idea- he has also just found his feet and is grabbing them and trying to roll so I don't know if that's linked. The reason why I think it has been the silent reflux is she has gone back to waking up screaming between 4-6am and during the night and during the day she is inconsolable unless on the boob. She also screams if she gets hiccups, won't nap all day again now unless in the sling and even then fights it. She has gone back to screaming in her car seat too which makes me feel pretty isolated. But she is my first baby so I don't know.

SleepWhatSleep1 I do think a dummy or sucking her fingers would really help her because she needs a way of soothing besides the boob but she hasn't worked out the fingers yet and won't take a dummy. Is there a way I can help her with her thumb?

DueOct30th Ah okay that's really interesting I didn't think about that. I wish she would take a dummy!

DueOct30th That all makes so much sense, thank you. I didn't know that I could try starting to teach her not too. It sounds so simple now I think about it, I feel silly now! No, no one has discussed weaning but I will ask the paed about it when I see her because that could be a good option. I do cover her with a muslin as a way of getting her to sleep sometimes (she won't nap during the day at the moment...) and that does help sometimes.

Waterlemon Oh definitely, the comfort sucking doesn't help at all and a few weeks ago I had her on a 2hr feeding schedule to help with that but it stopped working. She will scream her head off if I don't let her do it at the moment and that could last all day. She doesn't nap during the day at the moment either. It's exhausting. Keeping a log is a really good idea. I'm going to try that.

daisygirlmac Mon 12-Jun-17 22:09:34

Ok - dummies. She will most likely learn to take one but you will have to help her. Hold it in with your finger and if it falls out just pop it back. It's a pain but I think she will get the hang of it. Try tapping the middle bit with your fingernail while it's in her mouth as this will encourage her to suck.

Have you got a breastfeeding cafe or group in your area? I don't BF but friends who do have found our local group a really good support and there will be other mums there to talk to who might have suggestions.

My DS has just turned 4 months and he has suddenly gone to a nightmare sleeper. There's a sleep regression and a big developmental leap at this age so more fussiness and general hard work behaviour is to be expected but oh my god I feel your pain! Everything is so much harder on no sleep isn't it? I went to Asda before and it took me nearly an hour to get 15 items on a list because I couldn't concentrate enough to get on with it.

Waterlemon Mon 12-Jun-17 22:14:33

My local children's centre had a weekly walk in breastfeeding clinic led by a trained advisor from the la leche charity (not sure of the spelling) she was Great, she tweaked ds latch ever so slightly but it made all the difference! And it was all free!

The nct also ran a similar thing in my area but it was far less frequent.

Children's centres are a bit thin on the ground now, but hopefully you have a similar service in your area

Waterlemon Mon 12-Jun-17 22:17:12

Also I would suggest dummy better than fingers/thumb because it can be removed at some point in the future.

user1491810905 Mon 12-Jun-17 22:21:13

Sophie, my son suffered terrible reflux and for us, formula worked miracles. I wish I had tried it sooner. I really do. I can honestly say that for my son, breast was not best.

Do not beat yourself up about it whatever you decide. I spent hours, days, weeks searching for the elusive 'cure' and nothing worked. Nothing. Ranitidine stopped the pain but not the vomit, which was projectile and constant. Going dairy free for over 6 weeks made no difference.

Anti reflux formula did. He was a different baby. Feel free to PM me as it's a longer story than this but I did want to offer a different opinion!

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