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Help Needed - Reflux/Possible Allrergy?

(2 Posts)
EmmaLouise1982 Tue 23-Jun-09 11:59:57

Hi all,
I posted this in parenting yesterday and a few people suggested I may et more help here.. I am literally at the end of my tether, he has screamed since 7am this morning inconsolably and has only just gone to sleep!

Here goes....

My little boy arrived 3 weeks ago by c section (almost 2 weeks late) and unfortunately due to staff/bed shortages I got stuck on the labour ward all day after his birth and didn't get any help with breastfeeding until he was 24 hours old at which point he showed no interest. I was told to leave it and he would eat when he was hungry, but by 36 hours he was screaming with hunger at which point I gave him a bottle. He was very forcefully sick with each bottle, which I was told was due to him being 'muscosy' but I continued to offer the breast before each feed and on the 3rd day he took it and I have breastfed exclusively up until a few days ago since then. Once we got home, the sickness settled down to what I would consider normal baby sick and apart from wanting to feed LOTS (which i understand is normal (he was fine) until about 10 days ago when the sickness suddenly returned. It started sporadically at first with no real pattern (happened both at breast and at bottle of expressed milk) but when it did happen it would come out of his nose etc., be very forceful (though not projectile) and upset him for ages afterwards! I mentioned this to GP and HV but as he is gaining weight nicely (birth 8lb 10oz, now 10lb 2oz) they said not to worry. He is also very whingey/grizzly and seems unhappy and uncomfortable most of the time and sometimes screams inconsolably for no apparent reason for hours on end. On Friday afternoon through to Saturday morning he literally brought back up every feed straight away and was very unhappy so i took him to the doctors who diagnosed him with reflux. We were prescribed infant gaviscon which I have been administering on a spoon prior to breastfeeding which is helping a bit, but not much. Anyway, in amongst all this I decided (by instinct) to experiment with some formula, a) to see if it stayed down better and b) because the constant breastfeeding/crying/winding/vomiting/crying/breastfeeding/crying again cycle is really getting me down and I sometimes spend all day in tears. I have been giving one bottle a day (4 oz) for the last few days of cow and gate comfort (mixed with gaviscon) and it stays down without any ill effects (except his poo seems much less frequent) so yesterday I tried 2 formula feeds and again, they both stayed down where as all his breastfeeds came up (in part at least). So here's my dilemma... every single piece of advice I can find online/in books/from health professionals/breastfeeding support groups (have tried them all) say that breast feeding is best for reflux and bottle feeding aggravates it, which is why I'm very hesitant to just switch to formula. However, why isn't the formula making him sick when my breast milk seems to be?! My partner can't understand this 'dilemma' and just thinks we should switch to formula for all his feeds but I know if I do that and then the formula does make his reflux worse, there's no going back to breastmilk! I don't know whether to a) continue to mix feed and hope he gets better with time b) bite the bullet and switch to formula and hope it continues to agree with him or c)give him purely formula for a couple of days whilst expressing regularly to keep my milk supply up just incase. My instinct is telling me it's my breastmilk making him sick but my GP and HV say that could no way be the case?! He seems incredibly uncomfortable at the breast and pulls away/screams/arches his back and he latches on and off sometimes for over an hour and he still cries (as if he's in pain) afterwards. This does not happen with the bottle. He also has colicky type symptoms which seem most aggravated first thing n the morning and last thing at night, a very stuffy nose which becomes worse during a breastfeed and he has developed a skin rash/eczema on his face and head (although that has been starting to clear up over the last day or so). a few people suggested cows milk protein intolerance, what do you all think? We have no history of allergies on either side of the family (would that make a difference?) I have doctors this afternoon as I would like to continue to mix feed so I guess as well as cutting dairy from my diet I will need a hypo allergenic formula? Any ideas on how to get the docs to take me seriously and not as a neurotic first time mum? Thanks in advance.

Davidsmom Tue 23-Jun-09 18:44:30


This sounds very similar to my experience with my DS (now 2 and no problems!)

Unfortunately with the LO's its so difficult to work out what is going on. Reflux/allergy etc etc. It really got to me too feeling so helpless.

How did you get on at doctors?

I got a lot of info on Mnet and there are some support sites like

My DS was always pukey but eventually at about 14 weeks got really unsettled, screamming when being fed, arching back etc. Was tearing my hair out as we had a very shakey start to bfing.

I ended up going dairy free as it helped lots of others but not us (needs to be strict and if no improvement in 2 weeks unlikely to help). We tried Gaviscon but it made him constipated and v painful gut. Zantac helped a bit but not for long then ended up on omeprazole which helped considerably. Most GPs wont start anything more than gaviscon without a paediatricians recommendation.

I found bottles (ebm)were taken with less "fuss" probably because he was positioned more upright.

Anyway, hope this helps. You have my sympathy its so frustrating and distressing to see your LO in pain whatever the cause.

PS DD 18 weeks also has it but have seen paediatrician early this time and got on omeprazole straight away when the symptoms started.

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