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Fussy, screaming at breast & slow weight gain

(8 Posts)
helsbels74 Thu 02-Jul-09 12:09:10

Hello.

This is my first post on the site after a friend recommended it for all the help she has found from everyone!

My 11 week baby girl has become increasinly fussy whilst breastfeeding, screaming and pulling on and off at the breast. She's quite sick after feeding and has only put on 6 oz in the past 3 weeks (born at 9lb 4 and now 12lb 3). We've tried infacol (which seemed to make her even more sick) and giving gaviscon after the feed but she hates it and screams even more (the HV suggested expressing for each feed today and then adding it to a bottle of expressed milk - but it takes me an age to express any milk so am not convinced that is the solution!).

Am wondering if anyone has any advice or tips? In this heat I'm finding all the screaming and pulling on and off really hard to deal with and am increasinly being tempted by some formula but want to try to keep the bf up!

Thanks!

tiktok Thu 02-Jul-09 12:32:34

This sounds a challenge...have you tried ringing any of the bf helplines to discuss?

Weight gain could be perfectly normal - by my calculations she was between 75th and 91st centile and is now on 50th. Normal.

HV's idea sounds utterly daft - where's the logic in it? Talk about making your life harder....

The unsettled behaviour you describe could be because she is hot.

Could be lots of reasons why she is being sick and if the treatment (infacol, gaviscon) makes things worse, seems little point in offering it, IMO...as long as she is healthy, of course.

Does she behave like this at night?

jasperc163 Thu 02-Jul-09 13:06:57

helsbels,
Sorry to hear you are having problems - I remember well how distressing this is. It does sound very much like reflux to me. My DD1 had a severe case of this and sadly I wasnt able to bf for more than a month or so (tried expressing only after that and my supply totally dried up in 3 weeks so dont listen to your HV!). There are degrees of reflux though and if you can keep going then the breastmilk should be better than formula as it doesnt sit in the stomach for as long.

I would suggest you take a look at some reflux threads but in the first instance - a few suggestions:
- there is a chance the reflux is caused by a dairy intolerance - in which case removing dairy from your diet (no mean feat i know) for a week or 2 as a trial might make a big difference
- keep her upright as much as possible (especially straight after a feed).
- if you have fast letdown it might be worth trying to express a little off first (my DD couldnt cope with any speed at all, or any liquid for that matter - we ended up having to thicken all her feeds for 9 monts -but this was severe)
- Is DD arching her back when she comes off the breast? This is classic reflux.

If you do think it is reflux it would be worth seeing your gp as there are other meds that are used - not ideal but may allow you to continue to bf. Ultimately the weight gain doesnt sound too bad as tiktok says, the pain is the issue - if you think that is what is going on?

Any other help i give pls shout

LupusinaLlamasuit Thu 02-Jul-09 13:18:32

Fussy and pulling away was one symptom of fast let-down in my case... If you seem to have a lot of milk coming out really fast you could talk through that option with a BF counsellor?

beccar917 Thu 02-Jul-09 13:22:06

You sound like you are doing amazingly for 11 weeks and well done for sticking with the breastfeeding - it will only get easier. I found NCT breastfeeding helpline really helpful when I had problems - do give them a call if you can on 0300 330 0771. They are all highly qualified breastfeeding counsellors and mums like us who have been through it all too.

Expressing does take time to work - I seemed to spend the whole of the first few months feeding and expressing. But if you keep drinking lots and lots of water and persevere at the expressing it will get quicker and easier - as will the breastfeeding.

best of luck

posiedullardparker Thu 02-Jul-09 13:22:43

If gaviscon is no good, go up a level.. I believe there are quite a few...
The next one is Ranitidine, this reduces the volume of liquid in the belly.

My baby (3 of them actually) had reflux, he's still sick at 8 months if you make him laugh! He would feed very frequently, vomit a lot, scream even on a long car journey, arch his back after a feed and cry in pain.

caen Thu 02-Jul-09 17:45:51

I switched to giving the gaviscon immediately before the feed to neutralise it so it didn'tgo up the throat when feeding - instant change! Dr said that was fine. We syringed it down the back of the throat when she was tipped 180 degrees and screaming. Ctruel but she couldn't spit it out.

helsbels74 Fri 03-Jul-09 08:15:16

Thanks for all your comments and tips. We tried the gaviscon before the feed which so far (only 2 feeds!) has been easier than giving it to her afterwards.

I've been having terrible insomnia as well which came back last night so had to take a pill and my husband gave her this mornings feed with expressed milk - apparently she gobbled it all up! We'll see whether she starts screaming again later when I try to feed her. I spoke to the BFNetwork and they suggested holding her in different positions etc to help with let down but that didn't seem to help last night.

Someone else has also said about the lactose intolerence so I'm going to cut it out for a bit and see if that helps (might help the weight loss too!).

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